The Development of a Feminist
Here is my story.
When you draw a timeline, it looks pathetic. Because the majority of my life, when marked off on a timeline, has been devoted to being what every feminist is afraid of becoming. What Sarah Haskins coins, "The Perfect Woman."
I wore lots of makeup. It caked on my face. Lining, defining, plucking, bringing out my "best features" and playing down the "less desirable ones." But we didn't like to talk about those.
I never stopped to think about why shampoo had so many vitamins when hair was made up of dead skin cells. Dead cells can't absorb vitamins! Their membranes aren't active! But ha, who needed a brain when you were pretty, right? Everything I did was a lame attempt at getting guys to like me, even if I wasn't conscious of it. The idea of being able to attract all men, even the lame ones, was so ingrained.
My mother was the epitome of the middle-aged feminist. She gently pushed to help me make the right decisions. But I didn't listen to her because she wasn't like me - she was old and wrinkly and had bad hair and too much cellulite. Or so I believed...
And then it dawned on me. My mother is a beautiful woman.
A few months ago, I read The Beauty Myth. And I cried. Because what I was living wasn't rewarding in the least. And then I realized that the friends I considered beautiful were also the most fucked up. They have perfect body and facial preportions, but they aren't happy. Tons of men like them, but they're either empty men or nice men who are projecting. I haven't seen any "true love." This brief period of time has been more rewarding and meaningful than all the other years combined. It was spent doing things for me, listening and loving and laughing only when I wanted to. And letting my bitch-flag fly when I felt like it.
And now, as I look back on this period of time, the only thing that has been missing are my girls. The girls in my life are all too centered on their hair or their boobs or their boyfriends to really enjoy what surrounds them.
So this is an attempt, a ranty one, but a hopefully worthwhile one, at having everyone share their stories. Community empowers women. Let's allow that to thrive.
More articles in WMC FBomb by Category: Body image and body standards, Feminism
More articles in WMC FBomb by Tag: Activism and advocacy, Identity, Books