Summer’s here! Well, maybe not by the calendar yet, but certainly by the change in the weather and absolutely when it comes to summer’s main event: body shaming. Of course, little of this is pointed at men, unless you count Bruce Jenner after his transformation to Caitlyn.
I don’t know about you, but suddenly I can’t go near a magazine stand or log into online periodicals or blogs without being assaulted by a series of photo montages that focus on a single part of a woman’s body. The first one I saw was, of course, breasts, then came butts, followed by legs. I didn’t see any montages that were pictures of an entire female person. I didn’t see any photo montages that featured men.
Oddly nowhere among these montages were any other identifiable information about these women like education, accomplishments, contributions to community or society, area of expertise, or even a name. Clearly the only thing of importance was how pleasing their singular body part was to a man in one man’s opinion. Actually, I’m not even sure I can target only men here because women seem to be becoming ever more vicious in judging one another’s physical appearance.
I even caught some dumb tv show where the cast attended a fashion show put on by a plastic surgeon and the “models” were women who had all had a procedure done. In fact, they were organized by procedure with introductions like, “here comes the parade of butts!” and a dozen or so women all dressed in white jeans with white T-shirts tucked in, marched down the runway proudly displaying their newly enhanced butts. Family, friends and potential patients vigorously applauded. Then there was the parade of women who proudly announced all the procedures they had done… in great detail.
As if the outward body changes weren’t enough, now there’s a growing narrative that women need to have a labiaplasty to create the perfect labia. Huh? So we still maintain our horror at female genital mutilation, but willingly schedule cosmetic surgery that could carry serious negative results on our genitalia.
I’m never going to dispute that sometimes corrective surgery for any number of issues is a godsend, but when it gets to the point where we don’t know what our bodies are supposed to look like and therefore think we need to subscribe to an artificial standard, then it’s clearly time to hit a reset button.
Listen, I’m not one of those all natural, crunchy women who ignores all manner of conventional enhancement. I dye my gray hair, I shave, I get pedicures and I’ve had laser hair removal. And whatever manner of body celebration or objectification that takes place between my husband and me is just fine because it involves all of me along with the body part. And vice versa.
But I wonder where the line is between tweeking yourself for your own sake and getting a major overhaul to try to fit some false illusion of women’s beauty.
Certainly body image is something you carry inside yourself, but the constant bombardment of rubber stamped images of “beauty” can’t possibly be helping everyone’s self-image. By the same token, our hyper attention to these kinds of superficial topics and vacuous people (Kardashian kabal) rather than humans of worthwhile knowledge, action and accomplishment speaks volumes. Can we all just get a brain?
If you really want to explore images of some individual body parts, check out this Instagram account: mrs_angemi. It might not be for the faint of heart since she posts pictures of actual body parts, but if you want a little truth to your version of body “normal” maybe you need to see what bodies actually look like and her commentaries are spot on. One of her latest posts is a picture of a liver damaged from wearing corsets.
So happy summer to all and celebrate the individual that you are.