Alas nowadays it seems that the eye of the beholder is an one-eye monster, (ok, NOT that one-eye monster), with its narrow, single-minded vision towards “What sells”, deciding what men want, and therefore dictating what women want (because we all want to become what men want, and yes, the assumption/implicit acceptance of heterosexual hegemony is with us. We cannot deny it)
The eye of the beholder is also imbued with the ruthless power of PhotoShop…
I don’t even…
Every once in a while someone would say something extremely stupid (MORE stupid than what is deemed as “the way the world works”, I should add), and it would rile us up. We’d rally around the targeted, start a movement, hug each other, decide that we should support one another because we are all in this together.
The latest is the brouhaha over a pro-anorexia (I paused when I saw the term “Pro-anorexia”. Anorexia is a life style choice now?!) blog’s scathing, mean-spirited attack on Kate Upton. As a result, the Internet (aka the world) came together showering Ms. Upton with encouragement and support, and by extension, the entire super model community. It’s been getting so much attention that finally when you type in “kate” in Google Search, the first suggested search term is not Kate Middleton. (Speaking of HRH, the news media is now obsessed with her being too thin, even too thin to have a baby. Thought you may appreciate the Schizophrenia here).
I was going to end on a cynical, pessimistic note per my MO, waiting for this particular cycle to end and we all go back to our merry old ways. Everything’s the same. Always. But this time around there seems to be something different in the air… A group of teens started petitions, staged protests and mock runway shows outside the offices of popular teen magazines, Seventeen and Teen Vogue. Since telling their peers to simply not read the garbage is not an option, these awesome young feminists started a movement to demand that these magazines stop The PhotoShopping Epidemic. (Of course, initially, both magazines staunchly denied the practice of altering the photographs.) They confronted the modern-day taste makers publicly and asked them to “stop altering natural bodies and faces so that real girls can be the new standard of beauty.”
Just say no to Photoshop.
How hard could it be, Madison Avenue?
Perhaps it is time (and I know we’ve said this many times in the past, but we need to repeat it over and over because people are forgetful) that we take the gaze back. Forget about the stupid beholder.
You be the judge. You.
ETA: This is the reason why I write less and less here – I can never finish what I start. As I was brushing my hair this morning – it is a new thing for me nowadays now that I have “long” hair, it hit me that what I said as a conclusion above was kind of bullshit. Beauty exists because there is someone else other than ourselves that would be seeing us, no? If I truly, honestly do not care about the gaze, then the concept of beauty has no meaning. It is the “if a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it” thing, isn’t it?