Monday, November 24, 2008

Hope for Feminism

I am a feminist. I am not ashamed of this, as the Ann Coulters and Focus on Familys think I should be. In fact, the older I get, the more of a feminist I become.

The media, with its airbrushing and bump obsession, makes me despair for feminism in general, and for my younger feminist-in-training sisters all over the world. Every image you see these days is airbrushed into impossibility, and no matter how hard I try, I can't ignore the incipient crepiness of my hands, or the lines around my eyes, or the grey hair popping up on top and down below.

The worst part? Most people assume I am in my mid twenties, not my mid thirties. I've had coworkers and acquaintances demand to see my license. So, I am obsessing and despairing over nothing. I can't seem to help it.

So, I was very happy to see Make Me Heal, a message board for those considering plastic surgery. (WARNING: if you choose, you can see pictures of vaginas and penises and nipples on this site. If you are under 18, or easily offended by naked people, do not click on this site.)

In essence, people post pictures of what they are planning on surgically rearranging in order to meet the current, unattainable and often bizarre standard of beauty, and people comment on whether or not they should have the surgery done.

The most common answer? No.

Random strangers evaluate pictures of perfectly average, and frequently very beautiful, people and the most common response is "You look perfect the way you are. Don't do it."

Why does this make me so happy? Because clearly the average person isn't buying what the media is selling. Because there is hope for feminism. Because, for all of my fear and obsession and despair, I'm pretty, too. I must be. It's ok that I'm almost 33.

Also, if you are a woman, I would highly recommend looking at the vagina pictures. I've always been a little self conscious about mine, because I have no idea if it normal or not. (How many vaginas do you have to compare yours to?) As it turns out, everyone's is different, and guys (and I would imagine lesbians) like all vaginas equally. So, whichever you prefer, your partner will be fine with it.

So no surgery, ok? Especially not down there.

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