All the recent gender news has me thinking why anyone would want to be a woman. The hard truth is it’s a brutal business being female and it always has been. I’m sure even Betsy Ross as she was stitching on stars and stripes was thinking “does this flag make me look fat?”
Just take a gander at the whole “body after baby” craze. It’s not enough to create a human being you must attempt to be gorgeous during the entire nine-month process.
You know what the biggest compliment you can get when you’re pregnant is? Weirdly, (at least to me) is that you don’t look pregnant. All hail the women at 32 weeks gestation who has a tummy bulge so insignificant that you would never guess she was with child but instead think that maybe she just ate a steak burrito at Chipotle. Yes, indeed my friends a mother-to-be’s goal is to have a stealth pregnancy.
Then after you bequeath the world with a new life the race is on eradicate any sign of a lingering maternity footprint because the second best compliment you can get is not a gushing “Oh my gosh what a cute baby” but an “Oh my God you don’t even look like you had a baby.” Sigh.
Now, I realize I sound bitter and I promise it’s not because I’m 168 months postpartum and still trying to lose my baby weight. (Okay, to be fair that might be a little bit of the bitter.) It’s just I’m so sick of the beauty marathon. Not that I’m competing in that race (let’s just say I’m on the injured reserve list because it sounds better than I quit), but I do have a daughter and it saddens me to see that this quest for female perfection is not abating in the least.
The most disingenuous is the whole “natural beauty” trend. Every time a magazine does a celebrities without make up pictorial proclaiming the “braveness” of these women for being photographed without cosmetics makes me want to scream.
One, the celebs maybe make up free, but that doesn’t mean make-ups “bestie” Photoshop didn’t make an appearance. And two, do beauty editors even know the meaning of the word brave? Brave is not the word to use for females who have just started having birthdays in the double digits being photographed without eyeliner.
This perfection phenomenon has hit warp drive with the “selfie generation.” Teenagers don’t just post pictures of themselves. They do digital surgery. Apps are used to whiten teeth, add false eyelashes, slim facial and body parts, erase zits, stretch smiles – you name it. After that you add filters and voila I almost didn’t recognize a picture my own daughter. My son recently joked that years from now anthropologists will have to use “un-digitizing” techniques to see what the humans of the 21st century really looked like.
Then there was that whole twining thing that hit social media. Just in case you missed it, and lucky you if you did, here’s the back-story. 26-year-old Rumer Willis, recent Dancing With the Stars winner, and daughter of 52-year-old actress Demi Moore posted a picture of her and with her mother on Instagram with the hashtag “twinning.”
In the photo they appear to be wearing almost identical outfits, glasses and hairstyles. This prompted a flurry of “twinning” pics of mothers and daughters on social media. Some were downright scary.
Moms just because you can fit in your daughter’s clothes doesn’t mean you necessarily should be wearing them. Am I the only person left who thinks dressing younger can make you look older? I’d like to gently suggest that wearing something called “teaspoon low rise shorts” from Abercrombie and Fitch is not for anyone who’s had their medically recommended mid-life colonoscopy.
I get it, we all fear aging, but using a physics formula (force = mass x acceleration) to squeeze your fanny into a piece of denim the size of a Brawny paper towel square is not the way to go. We need to kick it old school.
That’s right I said old, as in back in the day when the “I’ve seen 50 something in rearview mirror” females were revered for their life experience and wisdom (think the dowager countess in Downton Abbey) and not the engineering feat of harnessing their chest into a halter top.
By this I mean we should luxuriate in our awesomeness. Unencumbered from trying to constantly visually impress the world at large (not that I don’t advocate a superior moisturizer and SPF routine) and secure in the knowledge that we’ve still got it in all the ways that really count – savvy, smarts and swagger – we could take over the world. Who’s ready to join me?
*Attention Snarky Friends, I have a brand new book out. It’s the second in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon. It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read. I hope you like it! 🙂