Oh. How novel. A guy telling me that I don’t need makeup, fancy clothes, or any of the accoutrement that I apparently don (my mask, if you’d like a cliche with your coffee), as the thought of braving this big, bad world without my shield of cosmetics and couture is positively petrifying, because I’m beautiful just the way I am.
Ugh. My eyes just rolled so far back in my skull, I can see the partially digested remains of breakfast colonizing in my intestine. (I had eggs, BTW.)
Here’s the deal, emo-kid with the Battlestar-Galactica background plastered behind your emo-esque doe-eyes and heavily fonted sign:
- Wearing makeup/awesome clothes isn’t a sign of insecurity. Because it takes balls of steel (encrusted in glitter) to have the confidence to sport magenta eye-shadow and a statement piece of your choice when you go to get your tires rotated.
- For a lot of women, dressing this way is our natural state. If you think chicks all want to just roam around sunny fields of wildflowers in Laura Ashley dresses, then you’ve gotten your one-size-fits-all perception of females from a misguided tampon commercial (that was obviously created by a man). Either way, you’re wanting us to appear a specific way for your enjoyment and consumption.
- The clincher: your telling us what we can/can’t or should/shouldn’t do, wear, and be is the exact opposite of the message you’re trying to promote, because this assumes that women only present themselves the way they do for the pleasure of the viewing male populace, which actually just demeans women as creatures incapable of making their own decisions or living lives for themselves; your telling us, via your heavily fonted sign and emo-esque doe eyes, as much is just as patronizing, if not moreso (as it’s veiled in a shroud of do-gooderness), as the male-dominated media that perpetuate a fucked-up standard of female beauty in the first place. This sign, and all of its intentions, effectively signifies the larger issue that in our hegemonic society, men decide what is and isn’t beautiful and then wield the power to dictate to women to act accordingly.
What I get almost as much as being told that I’m really, no really!, tall? That I should smile more, because it’s prettier. Vomit. Seriously, if I had a dollar for every random, stranger-danger dude who told me I should smile more, I’d be able to fund the Ph.D. in Egyptology that is my ultimate, nerdy dream-come-true. Know what? My face’s natural state is straight-mouthed. I don’t walk down the street, or meander through the market, or stroll through campus with a GD clown-smile plastered across my mien. The only women who do are on seriously mood-altering drugs. I smile when the need arises, as anything should only be done with purpose (Chanel taught me that). However, telling a woman that she needs to constantly smile in order to make the world a prettier place for the enjoyment of any man she may possibly encounter is a good way to get a good, swift kick in your balls, which, FTR, are neither made of steel, nor encrusted in glitter. Because, like the sign, it assumes that a woman’s first concern should be her perception to others, most notably to men.
When I wear what I wear, I do so because I want to and could give zero fucks about someone’s permission. Not because I’m trying to impress anyone, or look sexy-time, or lure a mate, or show the world that I’m worthy of its praise. At 15, I felt prettier during the entire summer I decided to forego shaving my legs because I felt like it (the old growth by season’s end rivaled that of a stand of southern Oregon timber) than I ever did during a modeling shoot. Because I defined what was pretty, not someone else. Will I compliment the hell out of anyone who looks fly? You bet your sweet ass (and I’ll thank anyone repaying the compliment). But I would never be so condescending or presumptively oppressive to tell them how I think they could be prettier.
It’s understood that this kid’s sign was published with good intentions, but undertand the ramifications of what you publish. Because lots of shit was promoted with only the best of intentions in mind, but I think we can all agree that maybe the Inquisition wasn’t the best plan of action.