Quips and Quirks of a Theatre-Bound Word Nerd

Monday, February 4, 2013

My Heart Aches

I am an avid follower of fashion blogs. I love staying on top of what's haute and what's not. I find browsing the internet for fashion inspiration a fun, chill pastime. Recently, though, I've been struck with a serious, aching conviction. While perusing different fashion sites, I came across this picture.

At one glance, you may not think that it's a big deal even -- I didn't! But, for some reason, this image haunted my mind. I kept coming back to it… like how a bad dream stays with you for a while, even after you awake.

And then I realized why I was/am so bothered by this picture.

It's because this picture actualizes and makes tangible the objectification, the sexualization, and the categorization of women.

I'll be the first to admit that I pass judgment on my fellow peers based on what they're wearing. "Oh, he's a nerd. Look at those high-water pants." "She'll never get a date in that sweater." "Only a tool would wear that." "She's desperate for a little more than attention, if you know what I mean."


Stop it, Anna.

That judgment is not okay. Because it puts me into the same category as those people. It puts me under the same microscope I use to judge others. And, as a Christian, I am ashamed of that. I cannot promise that I'll never judge someone by his or her appearance again, because I'm not perfect and will fall into sin again. But I can promise that I will give my best attempt not to allow the way someone dresses to influence my thought of them. I'd like to encourage everyone to do the same.

There is such a two-faced stigma about women in our society and culture. On one side of the coin we have the caretaker, the virgin: The ideals of femininity. This is the woman we place on a pedestal and admire. Flip the coin over and we the exact opposite. The skank, the floozy: The epitome of "trashy." I wish, with all my heart, that there weren't such a double standard. I wish, with all my heart, that I didn't follow this double standard.

So much of the average woman's life is trying to find that balance between "proper" and "flirty" and when she doesn't get it right, she's immediately classified as a "prude" or a "slut." Her character, integrity, ideals - her person - isn't taken into consideration. She is simply labeled and discarded. On to the next victim, please…

I will not stand for such a system. Will you?