A Fine Line

I chose to mainly focus on this link from the module: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/29/beauty-industry-women_n_5127078.html

The article mentioned that the adverting industry has always manipulated their consumers into buying their products and it can have some serious side effects, such as smoking cigarettes and all of the health risks they come with. The beauty industry also negatively affects its consumers, mentally and physically. Women feel pressured to buy their products to be seen as beautiful and be accepted by men. Cultural standards have changed over time but most of the ads shown are from the 20th century. They make outrageous claims that make no attempt to be subtle. Today, advertising still does all this but it is hidden. Some things have just become a cultural norm that is isn’t seen as ridiculous anymore. In fact its ridiculous if you do the opposite, like shaving for example.

The ads told women that they were too ugly to be seen without makeup, too skinny to be around men, or even their skin was too dark to be seen as beautiful. Dangerous products ensued. Sometimes those trends turn around. Now tanning is all the rage, and skin lightening is a thing of the past, but in some cultures it is still present. Women are also dying their hair more normally than before and it isn’t seen as a big deal. Most people as me if that is my natural hair color just because I am blonde, does it even matter?

There is a fine line between telling women whats wrong and whats right for them. At first people were outraged by this ads telling women how to be beautiful and that their sole purpose was to impress the men in their lives, but now there are countless articles and media stunts of women empowering others to be natural and wear no makeup because “it isn’t needed”. But why can’t women wear makeup just because they like it? If you don’t wear makeup you are told you look too tired or would be much prettier with it and if you do you are seen as unconfident and insecure because of these campaigns advocating for no makeup. Colbie Caliat recently made a music video about being untouched and not wearing any makeup but some commenters argued that she shouldve made a video and not pointed out the fact that it was untouched and not made a big deal about it. Whatever is done someone will be unhappy.

Here is an article I read today about a young women going a year without makeup, prompting yahoo’s makeup team to go a week without it: https://www.yahoo.com/beauty/would-you-go-one-year-without-makeup-92654012109.html

Now women who dress up are seen as trying to hard and women who are thin are being patronized just as women who are overweight are. There is always talk about what women should do next, nothing is ever good enough for the media and cultural norms, the ideals are always changing. Why can’t women wear what they want and do what they want to their bodies as men do? Who cares if someone wears makeup or not, if they are overweight or thin? As long as they are healthy and happy with themselves then nothing else should matter. Advertising companies should stop manipulating their consumers into believing they are never good enough.

In my life I experience sexism at work, the girls are only allowed to do the easier jobs, such as cashiering or bagging. Jobs such as slicing the meat or working on the grill are reserved for the boys. In Richmond there is plenty of cat calling. I ended up having to change my route to class every morning at 8 am from Broad Street to Franklin because I felt less scrutinized. I remember one day I was crossing the street with a few friends and a few boys yelled out of their car; “Y’all look nice today”. I ignored the comment, being oblivious I didn’t even know they were speaking to us. They boy then regarded my silence as rudeness and stated something along the lines of; “Okay then, not like I was calling you pretty or anything”. I had to yell back an awkward thank you and shuffle away. There are countless more examples of this. And as the book mentioned, especially with the poem about for every girl afraid to be strong there is a boy afraid to be weak, sexism occurs for men as well. It is imbedded in our culture of what gender is supposed to be and is not based on our sex or biological fact.

 

 

One thought on “A Fine Line”

  1. Well put. The endless effort by advertisers to sell products is certainly a part of this issue. And now the “fuzzy feminist” ad campaigns are just the most recent twist.

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