Well guys, I’ve done enough of this couture stuff for one week (just kidding, I can never have enough. Next up is Mary Katrantzou by the way, her collections make me cry with the faith she restores in humanity.) Feminism is a lot like my math homework–the more I read up on it, the more angry it makes me but I know that deep down inside IT HAS TO BE DONE. Actually, that is literally the worst analogy because every time I fail at a proof I look up at the sky and say “that was the most worthless thing that has ever been accomplished since the monogamous Don Draper” but whatever, it’s okay, that’s not the point.
There are a lot of things happening everyday that contribute to feminism and feminist ideas; personally, I think feminism is just doing what you want with yourself as a woman in any society of the world today. I also believe that feminism does not only encompass women’s rights but also other people who aren’t privileged in societies, like people who aren’t white (PoC* but I read a quotation about how that’s an offensive phrase because it’s used too generally and it’s wrong to say and I feel bad just writing it because I can’t remember the exact explanation but obviously African-American is even worse because it doesn’t include other parts of the world,) gay people, lesbian people, asexual people, pan sexual people, transgender people, and transsexual people. I think that there are a lot of problems in our society with people who aren’t:
The only people who object to what I just said above ARE white, cisgender, straight men who don’t want to be blamed for being privileged, like my brother. While at first this is understandable, however stupid it may be, it becomes annoying. A lot of people in positions of power in the American government are white and it’s worrying to realize that they don’t understand their privilege as white people. If they don’t understand their privileges, they are digging us deeper into a hole of oppression of people who aren’t white, and this is disgusting. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that some people get things handed to them because of things they can’t control. All we have to do is look at a case like Trayvon Martin and there you have it.
Sadly, race is not what I was thinking of covering today (I just think it’s really relevant to feminism and it bothers me when white women exclude PoC out of feminism because that is actually the most nauseating and ridiculous thing since Rick Santorum becoming president, but I’ll do it soon because it’s really really important but it’s a touchy topic and I don’t want to make statements without educating myself first) instead I will be focusing on a trend I have seen a couple times in the media recently:
One Direction did a song “What Makes You Beautiful.” Now, will this may seem like a nice sentiment at first (aw, WHAT MAKES US BEAUTIFUL I MEAN IT’S SUCH A GREAT MESSAGE ALL GIRLS ARE BEAUTIFUL) it’s really quite irritating. First of all, it’s not original (I mean, we’ve heard this way too many times before) and also it just really bothers me. It’s so fucking annoying to me that these men, these men who don’t bother to criticize the media or think about what it means to be a woman, who don’t read up on it, who don’t really give a shit, quite frankly, storm in here, and make these songs. All it is are a bunch of guys validating your feeling beautiful. There’s this ravenous appetite out there for insecure females, because they’re vulnerable and not confident. Confident females are just weird; something is wrong with them, they’re full of it, they’re gross.
Well, let me tell you something. I am sick of having to feel like men need to validate MY BEING confident in myself. I am constantly hearing this message everywhere and I find it really fucking weird; I find these videos weird, I find these songs weird, I find this whole thing really really sad and strange and horrible. They are feeding off of female insecurity and acting like they’re the good guys. It’s easy to get sucked in. Attractive men all wearing tight T-shirts telling you that you’re beautiful while making a catchy song. Well, I don’t care.
I don’t think girls should feel this way about themselves, obviously; I’m not promoting insecurity but I don’t think this is the way to help people feel better. If we sit down and analyze the lyrics to the song:
“Don’t need make up
To cover up”
Well, here we go again: the age old debate of makeup. REAL GIRLS don’t wear makeup, now do they? No, they don’t, they just naturally have great eye lashes. It’s like saying real women don’t diet (they’re just naturally skinny,) real women don’t shave their legs (they’re just naturally hairless.) Well, One Direction, what if a girl WANTS to wear makeup not to “cover up” but because she likes mascara? What if she saw Anna Sui’s runway show and wants to try blue eyeliner? What if it’s really pretentious and horrible of you to act like GUYS are the ONLY REASON girls put on makeup? What if you don’t know what “natural” is? What if it’s really sexist, and contributes to rape culture because it’s like saying “the only reason girls wear skirts is because of guys” because women never do these things FOR THEMSELVES? What if I told you, One Direction, that you suck, solely for this VERY LINE?
“You don’t know you’re beautiful
That what makes you beautiful”
And here’s where things REALLY bother me. I guess the makeup thing isn’t excusable exactly, but understandable. And I mean, some people DO wear makeup for other people to like them which is wrong and bad. But here we have something that I find absolutely horrible: your insecurities are what make you beautiful. In fact, we like girls who aren’t confident because that makes them MORE PRETTY. They’re completely unaware of their prettiness! If they think are pretty, they’re bitches and self-centered. They’re not in need of people to validate their confidence and this makes them weird and wrong.
The thing that bothers me about these songs is that they talk about how girls are beautiful and they should feel that way, which, in itself isn’t that bad; except that they define beauty by physical characteristics. Not once in these songs do I hear someone say “you’re funny” or “and you’re so smart” because these things aren’t valid ways to compliment women in our society since we must feel beautiful physically in order to do anything else.
I don’t think being ugly is a problem at all. I think that when people who say they’re ugly and object and say “no, you’re pretty!” It’s really offensive, because what you look like on the outside shouldn’t matter and these songs aren’t saying that. They’re saying the opposite.
*Please, if you have any other ways to say “People of Color” then let me know and give me THE RIGHT ONE because I’m worried this could be offensive BECAUSE OF A QUOTATION I read and CAN’T REMEMBER