Everyone’s seen the new Dove ad, right?
In it, women describe themselves to a police sketch artist, who draws them without seeing them.
Then, other people who have actually met the women describe her to the artist.
The sketches are notably different. In the ones where women have described themselves, they end up looking like hideous troll monsters. The ones where others have described them are way more accurate, and they convey their actual physical beauty as well as attributes like kindness and friendliness.
Then it occurred to me how hard I am on myself as well. And it occurred to me that real beauty is not somebody’s outer shell– it’s the soul they show. It’s really hard to take a bad photo of somebody’s who’s happy.
I showed this to Cadillac, and he said, “Why did you need an ad to tell you what I’ve been telling you for 15 years?”
So I thought about that for a little while.
Women learn from an early age that our bodies are commodities. Chop them up, sell them, comment on them, criticize them. We analyze ourselves and other women as if there’s *ONE MALE* left on the face of the earth and we’re all involved in some hyper Bachelor-type competition for his affections.
Here are a few pieces of evidence about how we tear down/objectify women, culled from the news over the past few months– most within the past week, actually.
A CBS Houston affiliate put up a poll asking if this OKC Thunder cheerleader is too chunky to cheer.
Sports Illustrated model Kate Upton has also been accused of being fat.
If Kate Upton and the cheerleader–the epitome of feminine desirability– if those two are fat, then surely the rest of us are hopeless.
Female Olympic athletes are photographed by the part, focusing on how nice their lady-bits look rather than their skill.
Queen Frostine in the Candy Land game looks like this now:
Nick Jr. showed actor Josh Duhamel (copying Katy Perry) in this commercial, between commercials for Mattel and Hasbro commercials, during Sponge Bob (which, by the way, freaked out my kids so much they came to get me).
Even if you’re smart enough to go to Princeton, a career isn’t what you need. All you really need to care about is catching a Princeton husband.
If you weren’t smart or well-off enough to go to Princeton, then you can have a baby as a teenager and be a star via MTV; and when that star fades, you can put your commodified body to good work and shoot a porno and get a deal for nearly a million dollars. (Also: Exhibit Everything Kardashian).
Check out this short film, which splices together many of the ads featuring women-as-bodies, and also what would happen if men were in the roles.
Okay, I’m done depressing myself. If you want me, I’ll be taking samurai sword fighting classes with my daughters and son.