Sunday, 8 August 2010

Don't Give Up.

I'm thinking about the representation of women in the media, again. There are several reasons. Firstly everyone who still has a television will probably have seen the Sure ad. It features Alexandra Burke, the winner of X-factor a couple of years ago. At the beginning of the advert I think she looks quite beautiful. Then they fire make-up all over her face and stick her on a stage and she looks far less beautiful. And I guess as their target audience I'm supposed to aspire to the latter Burke.
I went to a bar in Bath last night and saw swathes of women walking around in strapless dresses which only just skimmed the underneath of their buttocks. Nearly all of them were wearing impossibly high heels. I wondered at what point women collectively decided they needed to look like this. Would men cease to want to sleep with them if they wore something slightly more flattering? Of course not.
I think a sketch on That Mitchell and Webb Look - Women Sort Yourselves Out

highlights these issues pointedly.
And it's the way women talk about each other as well. In Mean Girls there's a brilliant scene where Tina Fey says to an audience of high school girls: 'you all have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it OK for guys to call you sluts and whores.'
How many times have you heard Camilla Parker Bowles referred to as a horse? And what does Charles get? Big ears... If someone told me I had a big nose I'd say 'Yes?' because I do have a quite a prominent nose. But call me equine-features and you're insulting me as a person.
How many unattractive male actors and comedians can you name? And female?
Feminism has achieved a lot - but it's painful to hear people still taking the man-hating whinging woman perspective as its face. Feminism in the original sense is about striving for equality while celebrating differences. I'm still waiting for all women to be celebrated by all women and men for who they are, not what they look like.

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