There is currently a war against women’s bodies. All women–fat, skinny, in-between, pregnant, non-pregnant, old, young, middle-aged–are objectified and critiqued. And most women, myself included, feel the pressure to look perfect.
Here are a few examples of this very real phenomenon:
1. Yesterday, the New York Times published an article about how mannequins in Venezuela have larger breasts and butts. The mannequins needed to reflect the bodies of women who have undergone plastic surgery. Now that the mannequins have bigger breasts and butts, the stores’ sales have increased.
And more and more women are getting plastic surgery to look like the mannequins.
But even when we do have plastic surgery and make ourselves look better, men have problems with that as well. They say that they were duped. Tricked.
2. Jian Feng sued his wife because he thought their child was ugly. He discovered his wife (who is unnamed) had $100,000 worth of plastic surgery.
He won the case. She will have to pay him $120,000.
3. This woman had a makeover–just makeup and hair! No plastic surgery.
I believe that women should be able to have plastic surgery if they would like to do so.
However, I’m more concerned with cultures that encourage women to transform themselves at the risk of illness or death. Of plastic surgery, the head of the Venezuelan beauty pageant stated:
“I say that inner beauty doesn’t exist. That’s something that unpretty women invented to justify themselves.”
His ridiculous notion of beauty represents what a lot of men and women believe. And women are dying or doing violence to their bodies in order to look perfect.
As a woman who would like to be considered beautiful, I also face this pressure. Every day I have to:
1. Remind myself that God made me beautiful just as I am.
2. Remind myself that health is more than just losing weight to get to the perfect size. It’s about drinking water and eating good things and sleeping and laughing a lot with friends.
3. Remind myself that I don’t need to be competitively beautiful for a man to fall in love with me.
And as a responsible Christian woman and feminist I remind girls and women that:
1. They are beautiful, just as they are.
2. Inner beauty IS important.
3. Intelligence is important. A bouncer once told me that he got tired of going home with pretty chicks and waking up and having absolutely nothing to say to them because they were not that intelligent.
4. Be healthy!
5. If you must get a surgical procedure, go to the best plastic surgeon money can buy. No basement botox or butt injections!
The best way you can show a woman love is by helping her love and appreciate who she is, as she is.
Win the war against women’s bodies. Fight against objectification. Fight against the myth of perfection.
Be okay with you.