[T]he fact that we’re still talking about the overemphasis on looks means that too many people still believe that they can pull the “you’re ugly” trump card when they don’t agree with a woman. You may not agree with a woman, but to criticize her appearance — as opposed to her ideas or actions — isn’t doing anyone any favors, least of all you. Insulting a woman’s looks when they have nothing to do with the issue at hand implies a lack of comprehension on your part, an inability to engage in high-level thinking. You may think she’s ugly, but everyone else thinks you’re an idiot.
“What We’re Really Talking about When We Talk about Hillary Clinton Without Makeup” - Erin Gloria Ryan (via makingfists
What is your opinion on beauty pageants? Or the whole Miss Universe events?
I am not a huge fan of beauty pageants. My first concern is that they are based purely on physical appearance. When people are literally judged for their appearance on national television, it is setting a standard for what an attractive person should look like and how they should act. These standards of beauty are harmful to all people.
It also seems (at least to me) that these competitions are generally white-washed in the US. We don’t see that many POC and when we do they are rarely winning the competitions. What does this say to our country about what is attractive and what isn’t?
These are of course just two ways in which these pageants are problematic. There are more, these two issues are just two that come to mind first.
[TW: Disordered eating] I am not alone in this. I am one of a multitude. I have met women of my age who eat what they want and couldn’t care less if they gained two pounds over Christmas, but I am firmly convinced that they are the exception, not the rule. The rule is that if you are a woman in America you want nothing quite so much as you want to be a little smaller. The rule is you are always trying to lose. It’s no coincidence that this is primarily a women’s issue (although I don’t want to discount the growing number of men who fall victim to disordered eating as well). Even in today’s society women’s bodies are not entirely our own, and we are not always able to avoid others’ attempts to pass judgment on or make demands of or possess them. We are obligated to be attractive in a way men are not. We have been made responsible for the cultivation of other people’s desire. We are constantly under the scrutiny of a hegemonic male gaze that demands beauty and accepts no substitutes, and we are left to placate that watchful ideal by tithing gym trips and skipped dinners. And so whole nations of women spend their hours not reading books or loving bands or making the goddamn revolution but instead agonizing over the inches of a waist, strengthening the bounds that tether us to a sinking anchor.