God Help You if You’re Pretty

I guess I’m just the wrong kind of feminist.

To be honest, I hate the term “Feminist” I especially hate the connotation it has that you’re a man hating liberal. I also hate that it pits the women who identify as feminist against those who do not.

I AM a feminist in that I absolutely LOVE being a woman.  However I am so torn.  On one hand I love, and embrace, traditional gender roles. I like being a stay at home mom. I like cooking dinner, and I like that my husband is the bread winner and supports our family. I like “masculine” men. I think it is incredibly sexy that my husband works in a profession that is tough, rugged. I love that he comes home with calloused hands and smelling like pine or maple or whatever he worked with that day.

I also love that I earn my own money and that I know how to throw a football (better than my husband) that I’m not afraid to get dirty, know how to change a tire and change my oil. I watch sports. I fix things around the house if they break and Dave isn’t home. I’m independent.

But, I’m getting off course here…. I’ll discuss gender in another post.

Here is what I really want to discuss:

Lately I’ve seen this attack on “pretty.” Women jumping on photos of pretty/skinny girls.  Bashing them for being “slutty” or “skanky” accusing them of being stupid or just out to get a man. Things that nobody can tell from a photo on the internet.  This isn’t really anything new, but the internet brings it front and center.  It’s no longer just something you talk about with your girlfriends at a sleepover or over a glass of wine at the bar “Hey, look over there…the blonde…eww, could her dress BE any shorter?  I mean seriously, she’s clearly just looking for some guy to buy her drinks and take her home….”  or, maybe she just has incredible self esteem, and loves her long legs and feels good about herself in the short skirt. Maybe she’s a lawyer, or a doctor or a marketing exec. Maybe she’s incredibly nice.  But we as women don’t give her the chance to show us that.

She’s too pretty so we hate her.

We’re all guilty.

I have never been “that pretty girl” I’ve never been smaller than a size 8 and that was at my absolute smallest, and also my most depressed. I dropped down to 125 after a horrible break up. My doctor referred to me as a “really, really skinny girl”  I was completely unhealthy.  My frame was not built to be 125.  My frame was made to be 140.   I’m not small and I’m not exceptionally sexy.  I’m a normal woman with an average body and I’m happy with it (for the most part…I’d love to get back to 140, and I’m working on it)  So this isn’t coming from a 6’1″ size 2,  Supermodel who is mad that other girls “hate me because I’m beautiful”  This is coming from “average Sarah”

I don’t get it.  We’re supposed to be teaching our girls that it’s what’s on the inside that matters. It isn’t what you look like. It isn’t what color skin you have or what shape your eyes are. It’s not if you have a big nose or crooked teeth. It’s not your long eye lashes or your perfect cheek bones.

It’s your heart.

It’s your mind.

It’s your spirit.

So why are we so nasty to the “pretty” girls?  Why do we put so much stock in their appearance over their personality? And why is there such an incredible double standard??

Why do we see this girl…..

miranda kerr white bikini beach

And think “She must have low self esteem, trying to get the wrong kind of attention! She’s too skinny, she looks cheap, she looks stupid, who is she trying to impress?”

 

But see this girl…..

chloe marshall white bikini pool

And say “She has great self esteem, how beautiful!,  she’s so strong!”

Why is it wrong for the girl in the first photo to be proud of her body?  Yet it is so wonderful for the girl in the second picture to be so proud of hers?

They are both wearing itty bitty white bikinis. They are both models. They are BOTH beautiful and you can’t tell anything about them, personally, from a photo.

Today I saw a post on facebook today regarding the “New Look” of Disney’s Princess Merida, from the movie “Brave”  Women went on the attack. “Disney is evil. It’s oversexualization. Why can’t we teach girls to be strong? Why can’t we give them better role models?” All because they changed small things about a movie character.  What did they change?  Oh, her dress was a bit different and featured “bling” Her hair was a bit less unruly. Her face a bit smoother, and her waist a bit smaller.  Oh and she went from being a super realistic CGI character to a 2D cartoon.

But, here is where I get really confused. These women claim that the way she LOOKS changes who she IS.  Somehow being “prettified” as one called it, made her LESS of a role model.  It somehow took away from the fact that Merida was a super independent, wild, carefree and BRAVE young woman. They no longer liked the character based on her new look. I think that is an absolutely TERRIBLE lesson to teach your daughters.

Then I hear a lot of women saying they wont allow Disney princesses in their homes and want their daughters to emulate strong female characters, you know, like super heroes.  Wonder Woman for example…..

wonder woman

 

Will someone PLEASE explain to me how she is some how a better role model than…..

 

Merida?

new look merida brave

Is it the sparkles??

They are BOTH strong, independent and brave, and Wonder woman is wearing a whole hellofa lot LESS than Merida, so how is Merida the one who is dripping with “over sexualization?”

I know the new “cool” thing is to be a Geek girl.  To love all things nerdy and totally embrace it.  Awesome!  I’m all for it!  I have been accused of being a geek/nerd on many occasions. I love science and enjoy some sci-fi, but why do we embrace the geeks and bash the princesses? (This is totally a topic for another blog post…) But the point is, a scantily clad super hero is not a better role model than a fully clothed princess. A fully clothed superhero is not a better role model than a scantily clad princess. Neither is better than the other. They are just different.  Like us. We’re all different.

We need to start embracing that. From the mommy wars to the woman wars it is getting out of hand. I am tired of it. I want to raise my daughter in a way that teaches that all women, regardless of appearance, are beautiful. Your dress size does not determine your IQ. There are plenty of brilliant size 2’s and size 22’s and every size in between, out there. Cindy Crawford was a “Geek Girl” who studied Chemical Engineering.  Iman speaks 5 languages. Supermodel Lily Cole attended Cambridge…..

So let’s stop hating on each other, and love each other. Let’s teach our daughters that it truly is what is on the inside that matters, instead of confusing them by having a glaring double standard when it comes to what is on the outside.

 

7 comments

  1. Tirannie says:

    I was following you up until the princess Merida thing. Is is so unfathomable that people are mad about her “makeover” because EVERY other Disney princess is highly feminized, tiny, and “pretty”, and now the only one to not fit 100% into that mold has been modified to do so? Why can’t there be a variance in role models for young girls in their consumptive media?

    Yes, we do need to stop hating on one another, but the Disney princess thing is not an example of that.

    • Sarah says:

      I really don’t see any significant change in her. She looks the same (only in a completely different style of animation) Same round face, same curly, red hair, same complexion, and they didn’t make her skinnier (if anything I think she looks a big larger/hippier) They didn’t suddenly give her a prince to take care of her or take away any of her strength so I’m not able to comprehend where any of the backlash is coming from. You are absolutely entitled to your opinion of her appearance, but they did NOT change Merida into something different, they just re-drew her for marketing purposes, as a cartoon rather than a CGI image. I absolutely feel that Merida is a perfect example of a “variance in role models…” even if she is “pretty”

    • Sarah says:

      Let me also say….I never thought Merida was anything but pretty. In fact, I always thought she was the prettiest. But that may be because I have Celtic heritage and my skin tone is the color of fallen snow.

  2. Jen says:

    If you believe in equal rights for ALL genders, then you are a feminist, period. Just because some feminists are crazy manhaters (do they even exist?) or think that all women should work outside the home, doesn’t change what the word means.

    Ditto to what Tirannie said about Merida. It doesn’t fall in line with your rant at all.

    • Sarah says:

      I am in no way questioning the definition of “Feminist” (and yes, those crazy man haters absolutely DO exist. I am friends with some) I identify as a Feminist, as I said.

      Agree to disagree. I would LOVE my daughter to emulate the personality of Merida (if that is how she chooses to live her life) regardless of what Merida looks like (Though my daughter, and Merida, share many similar features)

  3. Chelley / AisForAdelaide says:

    Hey… I hope my FB post didn’t make you upset- it was just how I felt about making her look like the other princesses offering up no style variance. We still love Merida in this house- I’m just disappointed she had to be changed.

    Go women and you for sticking your neck out! YOu are such a strong example to Avery :)

    • Sarah says:

      Noooo I had actually started thinking about this when I saw the post on that FB page! Don’t worry, I don’t take those things personally!

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