Feminism has been in the spotlight a lot lately. There appears to be two camps. Those who believe that we have a long way to go, and those who think we’ve already made it. Of course this is a simplistic way of breaking the issues down because there are many shades of grey amongst those two camps. However the issue that I want to talk about is firmly in the ‘we still have a long way to go camp’.
I have noticed, and really it’s nothing new, that it almost appears to be a right of passage for a female to hate her body. Like I said, it’s nothing new. Women have been doing it for decades. However one thing that I have noticed is that increasingly women are doing it because it’s the ‘done thing’ rather than because they actually believe it.
We are taught that we need to believe in ourselves. We are taught that we become what we think and say, that we need to be positive, whether we believe it or not. They why are we allowing our girls to believe that it’s totally normal to poke and prod at our bodies trying to find the parts of that we hate.
You know what I am sick of? I am sick of people, of all shapes and sizes, posting pictures of themselves on social media with captions that depict the hatred they have for their bodies. I don’t care if you are a size 8, 18, or 28…stop posting about how fat you are. Stop hating your body for the world to see.
To the people who comment on these photos…stop feeding the beast. I know that it is hard when you see a friend or family member who you love to death posting about how much she hates herself. I know that you want to build her up, to be the voice of support.
However it is my belief that through the comments of ‘OMG you are beautiful’ etc, that it starts the never ending cycle of compliment fishing. It’s this fishing that enables our girls, the girls who are looking up to us, to think that it’s OK to hate their bodies, that it is completely normal to do it.
Right now, I am not impressed with how my body is. I don’t see the point in posting pictures that I am not happy with, and captioning it with how much I hate myself. Maybe the women who do have more going on. However I think the first step is to stop posting pictures and expecting other people to continually boost your self esteem. That needs to come from within for it to last.
Flogging my blog with Grace
Great post! I see teen family members fishing like this and it drives me up the wall. We need to validate ourselves more than we need others to do it for us and as far as feminism goes, we’ve a long way to go!
Feminism can be easily summed up – do you think women are given equal treatment, conditions and respect in society? Do you think they should be? If the answer to the first is no and the second is yes, then bingo, you’re a feminist. There are angry feminists, calm feminists, clever feminists, not so bright feminists, but that is absoluteIy all it means, there is no amorphous blob of “feminists” who look or act in the same way, they are old and young, all races, all and no religions, both sexes.
I know you are a feminist, frankly I don’t bother talking for any length of time to anyone who isn’t, that sort of bigotry against half of the human race is just too dull and ignorant to be bothered with.
Tell you what is irritating, the constant catch cry “But isn’t feminism all about choice?” as a way of defending some of the ridiculous (imho) choices women make.
Um, no. Feminism is about ensuring women are granted political, social, and economic equality with men.. The fact that feminism gave you the opportunity to make the choice to do certain things does NOT necessarily make them feminist choices and does NOT make you impervious to any criticism. If I see a person doing something that harms women as a class I have just as much right to point that out, whatever your sex, as you do to behave in a fashion that harms other women.
As for the rest – women are taught from their first breath that their main value and worth is in their looks. There is one easy way to combat this – we all need to stop commenting on what women look like. Full stop. In the past I have been guilty of it too, a few years ago I cottoned on. We are brought to believe it is acceptable. It’s not.
Unless you have an existing relationship with that person just think what you want and say nothing. Not positive. Not negative. No woman anywhere is ever missing out on anything at all by a stranger not “complimenting” her and if she wants your criticism she can ask. Yes, society will still function and the opposite sex will absolutely still find ways to get together.
Bottom line, every one of us needs to let go of the notion that women exist for our approval or disapproval. Think whatever you want, and stay silent about it, unless she asks, or unless you know her personally in which case you can define your own rules. It’s the only way things are going to change.
Thanks, as always, for thought provoking topics 🙂
This reminds me so much of being in the school change rooms when I was a teacher and some of the girls prancing around and saying, ‘Don’t look!’ I wasn’t looking before they said it and then they’d start a critique of themselves… It used to drive me crazy.
Definitely agree!!!!! I hate the ‘fishing’ people!!!
The other ones that annoy me and the ones that post status updates on FB like ‘FML’ and then when people ask what’s wrong they respond with “ohhh nothing” or “I’ll inbox you”….does my head in… they are only writing it to get attention so I defintely DO NOT feed the beast!
I love this post quite a lot and it’s said what I’ve been thinking for quite awhile. These people are fishing for compliments and I hate people who do that. Compliments should be spontaneous and freely given, not said out of some kind of obligation. But then again, I also dislike people who constantly post selfies under the belief people want to know what they’re wearing at any given moment. I think it’s narcissistic and I don’t like people who are narcissistic – they’re generally dull and self-absorbed.