I saw this today when I was out running errands. That’s my kind of graffiti. (Of course, I also like it when they put “HAMMERTIME” on stop signs. That is also my kind of graffiti.) Sometimes I think I live in this bubble of people who are more aware than the general public of the issues we discuss here at TIAW. So to come across something like this in the wild was heartening.
And after the tragedy earlier this week, I need heartening. You know what else helped me? Star Trek: The Next Generation. It’s so optimistic about humanity’s future. According to Gene Roddenberry, at some point we get our heads out of our asses and become reasonable and loving towards one another. Ultimately I am optimistic like that, too. But sometimes things get so shitty – like bombs at a marathon, or a string of girls committing suicide because they’ve been bullied about having been raped – that I need to turn to sources outside my head to remind me of the good in the world. And it is there. As Mr. Rogers said, “Look for the helpers.” They are there.
~So this has been going around this week. A part of Dove’s Real Beauty campaign, a forensic artist was hired to draw women as they see themselves and then as seen by others. The comparisons are, unsurprisingly, quite contradictory. And then this post about Dove’s video has been going around. I’ve long had mixed feelings about this campaign by Dove. On the one hand they’re showing differently-sized women. On the other hand, they are still all nice and smooth and generally conventionally beautiful. And the thing is that Dove still has to sell a product. And the best way to sell a product is to make sure people feel like they need it. And for women to feel like they need it, they shouldn’t feel TOO good about themselves. Possibly more sinisterly, Dove is trying to make it look like they’re totally on your side. Because if you feel just the right amount of not-good-enough AND if you think Dove is on your side about all this media bullshit about how we’re told we have to look, then whose product will you reach for first?
I don’t know if I’m that skeptical, though. I like to believe that there are women who really do get it who are working their asses off on this project and doing the best they can within the parameters they are allowed to work (both from the corporation in charge and the patriarchy in charge). And then I also believe that the more types of bodies we see, the wider our view of beauty will become. And they are the only ones consistently showing differently-sized women. So there is a balance. As long as we can see it for what it actually is – a commercial – I think we can find goodness in it. But you guys? Don’t stop talking. Pick it all apart every time. It’s how we, as women, teach each other to really see what we are up against.
~I love that this woman makes no apologies for her body. I think the fact that this is one of the most embarrassing situations for women is the real problem. If fatness wasn’t so shameful, this wouldn’t be so embarrassing or hurtful. And that’s where I hope we can be someday.
~”I didn’t encourage tutus and tiaras… they just happened.”
~And on the flip side of that story: “You don’t think that will make him funny?” “I sure hope so.” BREAK ALL THE GENDER STEREOTYPES!!!
~Jen over at Epbot sums up bra fittings. Bookmarking all those links for next bra-buying trip.