By: Jana Greene
Hi, Dear Reader.
I have a four year old granddaughter. A couple of things have given me pause as of lately, and last night’s Super Bowl halftime show featuring Shakira and J Lo made me think about them in earnest.
I’m worried for her and her generation, because we say we are trying to impart the importance of being a strong, smart, self-accepting woman, but our culture sends a very different message.
If it’s confusing to me as a 50+ year old female, I can’t imagine how confusing it will be for young girls.
Example 1 – Here is what we claim we are teaching them (and what we should be, because it’s TRUTH!): Bodies come in all shapes and sizes. Natural hair is an asset. What makes you different makes you beautiful. All colors of skin are gorgeous. You are not just a size number. This is the time for women to shine. Be proud of your unconventional features and celebrate the way you – and you alone – are physically formed!
The cultural reality: “Beautiful” is widely represented in the media and via peer pressure as fake tanned, fake hair, fake nails, fake eyelashes, so much makeup coverage that one girl is virtually indistinguishable from another, and being ONE certain size. Like, FAKE is being celebrated. Not beauty.
Example 2: We as a society are all about some shaming people for “objectifying” women, when the female half time show is nothing BUT and it’s called “empowering.”
Look, I am no prude. J Lo and I are the same age and I say YOU GO, GIRL! I can’t get up from sitting cross-legged on the floor by myself. Like…That’s some impressive moves!
But maybe not for a generation of females who claim they are sick of the mass sexualization of women and all that it entails? And maybe not for the biggest televised event of the year, when there are SO many talented female entertainers who carry a less shallow message and are better musicians? THiS is the best we can do to celebrate “girl power”?
We need to stop acting all aghast when women are objectified, if we are going to keep up the crappy status quo.
Let’s raise strong, confident women who are happy in their OWN skin and don’t count objectification as empowerment. Because it’s just not.