Tuesday, September 6, 2011

If looks could kill

OK, rant time. Know what sucks? The way our society tells girls and women that are looks are what matter the most. I still get this from certain female relatives who shall remain nameless. First comment when they see me: "Oh, I love your [dress/earrings/shirt/hair]!" It pisses me off because, well... I like the attention. I like being told I look good. Including when it comes from men, because that's how I've been socialized. We learn to desire and seek that attention, and consumerist society gives us all kinds of ways to make ourselves pretty and sexy that generate mega corporate profits.

What really sucks is that the more we focus on our looks, the less we value our intelligence and other gifts and talents.

Case in point: this t-shirt recently made available by J.C. Penney, only to be pulled from its website due to the outrage of parents.

This almost makes me too angry to attempt a proper feminist analysis of how atrocious this is. "Too pretty to do homework" means my looks are way more important than my intellect. Why spend time doing silly homework when I can be trying on makeup or doing my hair? "So my brother has to do it for me." For frig's sake. Leave the thinking to the boys. They're better at it anyway. Go paint your nails, sweetheart. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

I came across a good article the other day on how as a society we really need to work on not dumbing girls down. The best part is how the author, Lisa Bloom, talks about ways of interacting with girls that shift the focus away from looks and towards what girls are thinking about. You know, like asking them what books they're reading. Or what they think about stuff happening in the world.

What if women and girls took all the time we spend on our appearance and invested it in rising up against this bullshit?

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