i pretty much feel like doing exactly what buster is doing in that gif.
oh hey. guess what? for probably the fourth time since i’ve been on tumblr, i unfollowed a slew of tumblrs that mostly reblog pretty recycled skinny white models fashion shit. i end up clicking the follow button after seeing something right up my alley, with proper credit and beautiful photography or clothing. but at some point something in me snaps. i’m on my dashboard, click next page, scroll past, but can’t help but feel like perhaps my body should look more like the bodies in those photographs. that my body should be different, smaller, shorter, so i could wear the pretty dresses they wear. that i wish i were richer, that i had a sugar daddy, that i had the kind of fantasy life which somehow simultaneously allows my body to magically be straight-sized and have designers knocking down my door begging me to drape their sequined couture on me.
now, i’m not linking to the tumblrs i unfollowed because it’s not a criticism of them, or what they choose to post. it’s more about what to do as someone who is critical, who challenges a lot of the drivel served to us by the status quo, but still happens to love creative makeup, fantastic designer clothes, runway catwalks, and creative fashion photographers. in short: a feminist who loves fashion, but has a whole lot of issues with capital F Fashion.
i post a lot of that kind of thing here, too, but often struggle with it… i struggle because it feels like the same kind of representation you see everywhere, all the time, constantly. i came across that photo of aubrey plaza i just posted (which i love!) when i followed this link about the top twenty five under twenty five by elle magazine. after clicking through 6 profiles, i felt so frustrated and angry.
when each person is profiled, half of them are referred to not as their job, but as their relationship to men. meghan fox, “teen-boy-movie staple.” bar rafaeli, “leonardo di caprio’s on again off again.” janelle monae, “singer, diddy protege.” mila kunis, “actress, male obsession.” not to mention their definition of activist is dangerously close to carefree white girl territory, lauding lauren bush and isabel lucas (being a pretty rich white girl born to the right family). i know the writer/magazine is probably intending to be tongue-in-cheek and sly about some of these, but it’s really kind of shocking how pervasive it is to see in a magazine geared towards women’s fashion…
and it gets better. i don’t know if it’s because of how the magazine phrased the question, but under the header “to do before age 30” almost every single woman profiled responds something about marriage or babies, or both. even if it’s “marriage, i don’t care about. but i want two kids.” like model bar rafaeli it’s still so focused around what these young women’s relationships to men are. it leads me to believe the actual question must have been something more like, “do you think you’ll get married and have kids by 30?” as opposed to, “what are your goals before age 30?”
maybe it’s because i’ve just turned twenty six and am thinking a lot about how i’ve long left the term “girl” behind and have been focusing a lot on my career goals, but for some reason this whole profile just made me feel like shit. even though i like some of those profiled, i hate the way it’s presented…
we criticize women who are career driven, yet we give them no peers to look up to and admire. when women are asked about their goals and futures, whether they be writers, actresses, musicians, artists, we always frame it around relationships (to men) and whether or not they’ll have babies. and if they do get married and have families, we ask them how they balance or juggle having a career and a personal life. we so very rarely ask the same of men. i can’t help but wonder if the same profile of “elle’s top 25 men who are 25” we would hardly have any reference to marriage or babies.
grah. i’m just getting this out to get this out but i’m constantly struggling to find a balance between my desire to consume fashion, to look at and admire beautiful dresses, without falling into a pit of body hate despair, of exhaustion of seeing the exact same kind of girl and woman idolized over and over and over. where is the space to laud and celebrate the kind of people who really shake things up, but don’t happen to fit into cookie cutter celebrity world?
for some strange reason i deluded myself into thinking that that’s what fashion blogs might offer as an alternative but these days i feel worse perusing those than i did reading thrifted copies of vogue and elle.
they feel like little, mostly insignificant struggles for the most part but i do think they have some impact on the bigger picture at the end of the day… if that’s the only way we talk about women it’s going to lead to shitty perception. if we think the only value women have is in their appearance and whose arm they are draped off of then that’s what a lot of girls are going to aspire to.