Monday, April 23, 2012

Talking the Talk In The Conversation: Calling Our Men!

Barbara: I was talking to my dad the other day. My dad is awesome. He’s always been my biggest fan and reads the blog religiously. If he goes away on a trip, then he reads the ones he missed when he was gone. At the very beginning, and once he got the hang of it, he commented a couple of times, but then he got a bit self-conscious: not because he was a man commenting on our blog, but because he was my father and it might be deemed … inappropriate. You know, like when your parents find your diary or something. Funnily, this is the same feeling I’ve sometimes felt from other random people. We’ll get to talking and they’ll mention the blog and they’ll look a bit sheepish, really as though they’ve seen something they maybe shouldn’t have. But, hey, we blog because we think. We want you to peek inside. And so I’ve always shushed my father and told him to go ahead and post comments. And besides we love men over here, fathers especially, and we want them to feel they belong here too. Middle age is for everyone (sorry if that’s a shock), and middle-aged women affect everyone. It’s a fact of life.

So my father challenged me to call out our men. We know you’re reading because sometimes you’ll pop in, or you might message us privately, or you might mention it at a get-together. And here’s the thing: this isn’t a private girls’ club. I know those exist (and maybe must) as do the boys’ clubs (again, no judgment: we sometimes need the safety of private forums). But here we THRIVE on discourse. We love to skew a point of view this way and that until we get a broader sense of things. You guys might have different prisms through which we can look, or you can remind us that we ALL worry about the same things, not just those of us in the female orbit. We value our men. We count on your wisdom, your support, your sense of things.

So the question is: would you stand up here and be counted? Would you let us know what you think—even if you don’t agree with us? We know if you’re reading this that you are compassionate and temperate. If you don’t agree with something, or if you have a slightly different take, we won’t be offended (we only get offended at rudeness).

But most importantly, if over these next few weeks we are taking on The Conversation, if we’re examining how women are being portrayed in the media and how women’s sense of self is compromised or diminished because of it, if we want to change that, and even if we women are to blame for much of it, don’t you think you guys deserve a place at the table, a voice in the discussion?

We want to hear what you think about this stuff. We want your ideas and thoughts. Even if it means we’re forced to accept a “difficult truth” (yes, men do look at “shiny objects”), it helps get us all closer to the real truth (but they usually don’t mistake that for love, or even lust).

So I hope you’ll speak up today. I hope you’ll join us in our search for balance.

I’ll start off by throwing out a specific question—that of course, I’m still hoping our female readers will weigh in on. What do you think of the pervasive sexualization of women in the media? Does it have a subtle, shifting impact on how boys and men (and girls and women) look at women? Or is it harmless fun that doesn’t actually filter into our private expectations or our bedrooms? This isn’t a trick question, I swear! In its simplest sense, many men I know truly prefer their beloved woman fresh-faced, no makeup, no fancy clothes, despite the fact that it’s the rare media image that portrays a woman like that. So what do you think?

Deb: There was an article yesterday in the Globe and Mail entitled “Thinking Outside the Boxers” and it was basically raising this question: “with so much porn and negative portrayals of women in the media, does it affect a young boy’s view of sex and relationships?”. Are these young boys poised to treat women like objects? I was thinking about it from both sides, this very interesting question. I also wondered if some young women start to act the way they think is expected of them, which is why everywhere I turn, in television and the media at large, the skank meter is up to 11. I got to thinking about my own son and his friends and cousins that I know well. They are, of course, exposed to these things but I think a greater force is at work which prevents them from painting all women with the same glitter body paint. I think they see by example in their homes and the homes of their friends how a real man treats a real women and how a real woman treats a real man. They learn by example, respect, and equality. This way they are able to see porn for exactly what it is, and whether or not they engage in watching this type of thing, they are aware of its place in the grand scheme of things. It is not a real way of life. To a degree, it is theatre. Smart boys know this. So do smart girls. 

55 comments:

  1. I do think that the media images of "women" are becoming more intense everyday. I can tell a difference by just looking at how girls my younger sister's age dress. They show more skin "fully dressed" than I would in a bathing suit. I just don't understand it. My younger sister is 10 (large age difference between us). The movies that are targeted for her age group are nothing like what I remember seeing at her age.
    Overall, I do think that the media has a negative affect on us in regards to what makes a woman (and a man). I do think that some see beyond it, but what I am most worried about are the children my sister's age, that are too young to see past it yet and by the time she is older, will she want to look past it, considering all of the boys her age will have grown up with it too? Will she (does she) think that dressing like the women in the movies or acting the way they do is the only way to get a guy to take notice?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think a few people say it here, but I do believe that by getting the opposite message from parents and beloveds, a positive impact can be had against the media toll. That said, I think it is an enormously difficult uphill battle. But battle we must.

      Delete
  2. Sad to say but it is all media based. I think we learn from what we see at home and then compare and contrast with outside images. If it was all home based we would not need all the extra stuff thrown at us everyday about how to act or dress or what is important. Our parents are the main influence for about a minute and then the outside world takes over. I went through the feminist movement so much so that I thought my sons would take it all in and respect it all and not see girls any different than boys in all areas and grow up to see the world equal. Not a chance when they hit pre school and tried too live my world there. All of a sudden all my hard work about how girls could do anything a boy could do and that girls were equal all shifted. Their peers took over. I stood by and tried to gain my position back but not to be the case until as adults they came back to me and now I see them raising their children with the same dedication I did and as the media rears it's ugly head, my grandchildren are being reconditioned. I have my work cut out for me:). I did go overboard with my kids so much so we had no head of the table and rotated seats for eating so their was no head of the household. I so wanted everything to be equal between men and women. Some of the advice stuck and now I have very aware men (sons) raising sons and daughters and I see some of my influence still there.:) Hope this makes sense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can relate to the table situation. We have a round table, so no one is at the head. Although before my grandmother had her stroke, she sat in a different kind of chair than my mother and I did at the table.

      Delete
    2. I love your strategies, Madge!! And clearly they worked. And I also take heart that your sons were able to counter later in life the negative trend that might have taken hold earlier when their peers were everything.

      Delete
  3. 3 hours this has blog has been up and only two comments. Where are you all? Men included.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was wondering the same thing.

      Delete
    2. ME TOO....I just see all the regulars !

      Delete
    3. Fingers crossed! It's still early in the day...

      Delete
  4. I can't stand hhow little respect men have towards women lately. Going off my own experiences here, but at college not many guys will not even hold open the door for a girl behind them. Growing up respect for women was a huge topic in my household. If my brother and I (3 years difference) were fighting, we would both get punished or yelled at but then he would also get a stern talking to from my dad about never ever hitting girls or women. And my brother knew by the age of 5 that he had to hold open the door for any elderly people or women every single timeno matter what. I am glad that we were raised this way and think the college boys around here need a class on proper respect and courtesy.
    I think the media takes over for the role of what these guys are learing their behaviors from once they no longer live at home but are still a little immature.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, manners are another fundamental form of respect that seem to shift depending on our upbringing and our socialization. It's not a bad idea to remind ourselves to teach our children respect in all its forms.

      Delete
    2. Hi,
      I don't disagree that manners are important. I do, however, about the importance of men opening a door for a woman because she is a woman. Do open the door for people, if you get there first. To me, however, opening the door for me just because I'm a woman, tells me you think I am weaker. I am perfectly capable of opening a door for myself. Respect me as a human being, an individual, not because I am female.
      I hope that didn't seem harsh. I just woke up from a nap and still have a bit of bear left over. :) I plan on further commenting on the topic after I wake up a bit more.
      hugs,
      Karen

      Delete
    3. Not harsh at all, Karen! And I can't wait till you weigh in later. I still think holding doors is a gesture of kindness. I do it for people all the time in a kind of "no, please, you first" sort of way. I love a door being opened for me. Even though I work out and lift weights and am perfectly capable of opening it myself. And it doesn't have to be a man who does it :)

      Delete
    4. I don't see it as harsh at all. I was just saying compared to how I was raised these boys have no manners at all. Being raised with this in mind I also open the door and show common courtesy to men and women alike.
      I get confused when I see men who are my age and only think that women are pretty if they wear next to nothing and are a size zero because that is what they see on TV and advertized.

      Delete
  5. I think the sexualization of women certainly CAN have an impact on many boys and girls but in the end I still think the biggest impact comes from their parents. If they are talked to with honesty, if their influences are strong people who have respect for others than the impact can certainly be negated. I think that kids listen to their real life influences before media, whether they admit it or not. The unfortunate reality is that some kids don't have that positive influence and in that case yes the influence of media is certainly going to skew their views negatively.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know! I'm shocked how many parents actually fall into the negative spiral themselves and encourage their children to act in sexualized ways: telling their daughters to behave or look a certain way so they can "get a guy", etc...

      Delete
  6. I agree with Madge: children are influenced by their parents for a minute and then peers and classmates take over. I don't think a parent can control their children's views (which isn't a bad thing really). I know this first hand. My uncle was raised by a mother that was all about equality and being a good person, whether you are a man or woman. However, as an adult, he believes that women are weak and can't do the same things that men can. I know this to be the case because I was raised by the same woman. I have also seen it go the other way: a guy raised by parents that are all about men being #1 and women coming second and being weaker and he became an adult that does not live by that concept.
    Parents have some influence, but the person has to develop their own views; I think that is were we go wrong, we let ourselves be influenced without really realizng it until it is too late.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And that influence becomes a subtle pattern that we don't even realize is being entrenched and engrained. But the patterns can be broken -- it's just not easy. Something akin to homework. Which is why we need to spend time talking about this and working for change. "Working" for change. (although "working easy" would be nice too :) )

      Delete
  7. OOHHHH....I LOVE THIS...waiting to see the number of MALE commenters today....
    Oh and before I answer your question ....I really loved it when you wrote "THRIVE" sounds vortexy..teeehheeee..ANYWAY..IDK there...but Here in India, I think it makes a difference...Like Deb said...It also depends on what the kids learn at home. But, the way media portrays women has an effect on people. Very much I guess. Most of the time people dont watch it coz its right or wrong...but they watch it coz its ENTERTAINING. But it certainly has an influence.But here with the people I know..I have felt this very deeply that....a persons views are so connected to how they have been raised in their home...mostly what they were taught by their MOM... Especially the guys...Ive seen it with many guys here...They'll hurt the world but not their MOM..And I can tell ya this like Deb said the example of their homes and their friends homes is very very influential. Ive been friends with someone who never ever watched his language with girls..and one who never left me alone waiting for a cab if it was dark. Even when I said "you can go, I'll be fine" he never left me alone. And this one has a BIG influence of his mom. And I LOVE HER for literally morphing this guy's views and making him the wonderful person that he is. My best friend is exactly like that. And I LOVE HIS MOM......well because of the whole morphing thing..but also because she is AWESOME (I'm her soul-daughter)so Yes I will agree that family...most importantly you wonderful mothers....you morph the kid's way of looking at people...I can say this definitely because I was raised by my Mom....I had an uncle, But my mom morphed me in the girl I am today. and I turned out fine..Well WEIRD...but FINE-WEIRD !!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I LOVE your kinda weird, baby!! You say a lot here. And you know I agree. A THRIVING household will definitely lead to THRIVING LOVE :) I wonder if we can keep translating that on a broader and broader scale. After all, if parents are warped by what they see in the media, it's bound to filter down to their kids...

      Delete
    2. Aww....I know you like my kinda weird *BLUSH*

      Delete
    3. Also, in India the woman moves in with the man's family and the mother-in-law rules the house so I have been told on numerous occasions.

      Delete
    4. Absolutely TRUE Madge !!! VERY TRUE !!! you'll find every kind of "MISTREATING" women here !!!! and mother-in-law not just rules....there have been cases where the husband and his mom burned the girl alive coz her family refused to give dowry ! OR the husband an the mother-in-law send her back to her parents because she gave birth to a GIRL !!!!

      Delete
  8. "when your parents find your diary or something" -> After she quotes it back to you infront of other people, start writing hurtful things of her there instead and that will stop. She won't stop reading, but at least she is not talking about it. Personal experince might have helped me with that insight.

    I have developed early and have been (and still am) a bit of the bustier side. This I believe was one reason why, in the small twon where I lived, there were these rumors going around about me. I was about 14-15 and I was called a hore few times so that I could hear it. Now I do believe that some sort of media stamp was on it, because there is a certain view of the bustier ladies. Of course in my situation it didn't help that I was already considered outsider. In this same small town I have had grown men trying to give me a ride home, or tried to follow me.

    When I moved to a bigger city (well it was the second largest city here) I still had older men coming to talk to me. Once one actually said to me that I reminded him of a girl who was part of Lotta Svärd organization (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotta_Svärd) and that he had had some good times with. He said it quite nicely so I wasn't affended, but still the implication was kind of rude, if you know what I mean. I have met few nice younger guys but I still have to say that the older ones are the real gentleman (even though they are comparing me to a lotta).

    I hope that I have dropped most what my mother has taught me. I know that everybody lies (small white lies at least) and I do too. But oh boy, my mother can make an art of it. Sometimes you are listeing something that has happend and then the surprise kicks in... I was there too! And what she says is nothing like what has really happend. One thing from her that I am going to keep though. It is: Trust no-one! If you can't trust your mother, who can you trust?

    Now having said that, I could trust my dad. But he was never there. Well my mother moved as far as she could so that he couldn't see us, so the blaime is not with my dad. Still I feel sorry for myself for not been able to learn more from my dad. Now I am too stubborn to listen and he knows it. He knows I'd do anything for him is he asks. He knows because I've told him. This is one thing that I think my dad has taught me: Never hit and always do what the lady says. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Argh, what a shiver-inducing situation, Kasku! I feel for you!!! I will say that I am thrilled to hear that your father seems to be in every way the opposite of your mother. Maybe, over time, you can fully accept from him that trust and unconditional love and acceptance. I also want to say that for girls like you who grow up more developed, there's definitely a trend toward men and boys treating you as more sexualized than you are or are ready to be. It's really unfair. It didn't happen to me (I was the opposite physically, but it definitely happened to many of my friends). Sending love!! xoxo

      Delete
    2. Thank you Barbara! You just made my day :) I do have to note on the equality aspect that my mother did leave her under two year old son to live with his dad... Apparently she thought that girls would be easier to mold to her will. Never mind that. Yes it is so thrilling to find seminormal human being in my family three. I have to say semi, because he is too kind to women. He won't say no, even though sometimes it would be good. Men can say NO too. It is not just womens right.

      My sis was the opposite of me. She told me that she was treated more like a little girl that needed to be protected. This was at the same time when I was considered you know what. So there definately is a double standard there. Oh, and my sister is older than me. Some how people tend to think I am the older one, so I better try remember point it out more often.

      Delete
    3. Probably because you had to grow up faster with more responsibility.

      And your brother is not alone in that sitch. We could write a whole other article about women using their sexuality for power!

      Delete
  9. I totally AGREE ! I was thinking, everything comes down to a THRIVING HOUSEHOLD OR NOT...Its like core settings....The way your household is will direct your ways in the future....Also relationship with your parents...coz now that I think about it.....the people who have a dysfunctional childhood or are not really connected with their parents tend to get influenced easily....and people who have a good relationship with their parents or had a great childhood tend to take it easy....THINK and then make a decision....You are right...Its not always the kids....sometimes a dysfunctional household can create chaos in the kids mind !! Its all EMOTIONAL baby...its AAAALLLLLL EMOTIONAL !
    P.S. Still waiting for guys to comment !!!!
    GUYS C'MON !!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Well the things about the media that are annoying to me is the over use of woman being...or trying to be sexual in just about every situation and show. I think I read somewhere along time ago that the media does it because that's what the people want, but i think that it's what the people think they want because it's everywhere nowadays...I'm not sure how I can explain it. I personally don't like it and a have friends who agree that it's way overdone and some who disagree and think it is fine and that it doesn't really matter. All i know for sure is that it seems to be increasing and now it's even it kid shows like on the Disney Channel and i think television would be better without it or at least only do for certain brands that may have some relation with looking good like Victoria Secret...i mean that's basically what the whole brand is focused on so i could accept it on those commercials, but it's everywhere!
    ....well that's how i feel... (^-^)/ that's all folks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stepping up to the plate, Garrett! I actually take comfort hearing from a young man who is obviously the main target of this kind of media onslaught. And I will also add that most of the male friends of my daughters completely agree with you: they are tired of the images and of the over-the-topness. I also agree that the industry thinks this is what we want without considering that it's not. It has its place, sure: nothing wrong with sexuality and owning it. But in its place.

      Delete
    2. Unfortunately, advertisers survey their target audiences to find out what is most appealing to them in order to convince them to buy the product. What we see in the media, commercials, adverts, is what the general public want to see. On a conscious level we may believe we don't want to see skinny, flawless people selling hamburgers (Paris Hilton and that awful car wash hamburger ad a few years ago), but on a subconscious level we must or the advertisers would use different tactics.
      Karen

      Delete
  11. I too am frustrated with the over sexualisation of women. I find it damaging in more ways than one. It encourages those (few) men who only perceive women as sexual objects to continue doing so. It also encourages us to think we're only attractive if we're showing skin, and that we'll "never get a man" if we continue to cover up. I'd love it if we all banded together and ignored the media on this one. I even feel that maybe we should stop wearing bikinis to the beach and stuff like that. I think it hurts us. I think I'm not alone in constantly comparing myself to other women, and I also always wonder if guys see something they like at the beach and then wish their girlfriends looked like that. It's the same with porn. I dunno ... am I crazy here? I just think that we're setting ourselves up for this, but understand how it got this way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree about the bikinis. I also wonder why in the hell we still allow beauty contests/pageants, and most especially the ones with little girls. Those are horrible and I consider them a form of child abuse. They aren't little dolls to dress up, they are little girls.
      Women...we are sometimes our own worst enemies. :(
      Karen

      Delete
    2. Oh, those horrible tot pageant shows. I just do NOT understand them. I really do try to be open and curious, but that is just completely outside my understanding.

      Delete
    3. I am really clad that we don't have those childrens pageants here. We have, I think, two beauty contests here but they have lost their popularity. Still everytime they publish the swimsuite pics people go crazy over critisizing the women. What's up with that? We indeed are our own worst enemies, when we can't even play nice.

      Delete
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The two above were me trying to post on Garrett's comment. For some reason the computer kept teleporting them over here >.<

    ReplyDelete
  15. As the husband, i thought I should weigh in. Yes, women are objectified in the media and as a man I feel that men are too to a certain degree and this has been growing more and more over the last decade or so. As I grow older, I increasingly feel the pressure to maintain a certain youthfulness in the way I dress, cut my hair and even speak. It's so confusing that I actually don't know what the definition of "age appropriate" really is for a 50 yr old man anymore.
    But I digress; back to the topic of women, sexuality and the media. Yes porn is everywhere, but in a sense it always has been. While we didn't have the internet back when I was a teen, the newsstands which had lots of variety on offer, were easily accessible and there was always some weird guy at school that had a stash of truly raunchy stuff that had somehow been "imported from Sweden" if that was your thing. Do I think porn is harmless fun?... only in the same way that alcohol, gambling or drugs are; it depends on the user and their predisposition to addiction. All of these offer a brief escape into fantasy. The problem becomes when people cannot or chose not to make the distinction between said fantasy and reality and then use the consumption of these as an easier way to cope or cop out of dealing with real situations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well said, my darling. Thanks for adding to the dialogue on a not-easy subject. It seems like the more there is to see, the more we NEED to see to get the same rush. One of the reasons the line keeps getting pushed... and pushed... and pushed. But on a completely unrelated subject: I'm still about the fun ;)

      Delete
  16. I feel like I spend a lot of time trying to counteract the messages that are everywhere for both my daughters and my son. I hope it's enough to provide some balance so that our children understand that what they see in the media is about selling and not about reality.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm going to give you the opinion of an 18 year old man on this situation.

    I do believe that the media is over-sexualizing women, but it stems from the real world, and that's what needs to be addressed, not advertisements. As we've seen, the problem has become increasingly worse over the past couple of years and I think I'm starting to see why. Younger women are feeling more empowered, and they're starting to notice a double standard for men and women, mainly in the teenage years. If it's known that a guy fools around with a lot of girls, he's seen as a "ladie's man" or a "player", however, if a girl does the same thing, she's seen as a slut. Through social media, women are becoming more enraged by this double standard, and I'm seeing a push by women to be judged the same way that men are. There's a huge "anti slut-shaming" movement, which is trying to remove the stigma from promiscuous women. This was originally only to reduce the judgment of someone's actions, but it's slowly moving into the judgement of finite elements, such as picture or movies. Girls are advocating that their revealing pictures are not an indication of who they really are. What was once taboo is now becoming accepted and the norm, but how far is too far?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you hadn't told me your age, Anon, I never would've guessed from your answer! Although that sounds a bit ageist, doesn't it? I truly feel that you've hit one of the nails squarely on the head here: one of the ironic twists in this story is how women ARE feeling empowered about their sexuality and manipulating it to take control of that power. Or at least that's what they say. And yet it's such a fleeting and superficial power, isn't it? I really hope this trend doesn't last so long we forgot what we've achieved. I thank you for weighing in here so eloquently!

      Delete
  18. To be honest, one of my greatest fears is that the media's portrayal of both sexes will make women distrust me for the simple fact that I am male. I have never had a girlfriend, despite coming close a few times, despite the fact that I am very kind, and very respectful. I sometimes think I come off as weird or creepy, but I'm a very reserved, shy person who finds it very difficult to talk to anyone I want to, male or female. I worry that every woman I want to get to know assumes I only want sex, like so many other men, or like the men in the media. I worry that I'll never get a chance to show someone how much I really care, that I don't want to ruin their life by being their boyfriend, that I just want mutual companionship. All I know to do is wait and be myself, but I worry that I'll never find the right woman because I'm too picky, or I'm too shy, or the media or brain-dead men have killed my chances before I even begin.
    Sexism and gender roles make me so angry that I ca'n't think straight, but I feel there's nothing I can do; I'm at their mercy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, so hear you on this, Dr. R! Thanks for being so honest about your side of things. And, of course, that's why we thought it was so important that both sexes address this issue -- because it does affect all of us. I will give you one piece of advice if I may: you're obviously a great guy, considerate and kind. I would trust that. Own it. Do be patient. Keep up your end of the conversation. In the meantime, build up your confidence and ease around people by practicing coming out of your shell bit by bit (it gets easier the more you do it, even if it isn't always "successful"). Trust that not all women will think you want sex just because you are speaking to them. We, all of us, have to fight the subliminal message that we aren't worthy if we're not a certain way. If we don't, it becomes another corrosive instillation of fear -- and it keeps us all inside our shells. Thank you!

      Delete
  19. As a young male reader (27 years old) I thought I'd throw my humble opinion into the comment section.

    Like Barbara said, I too have male friends who have a greater affinity for women who are less fussy about their appearance, and keep it as neat and simple as possible. But that isn't proof positive that there is some dualism about how the media says we like our women, and how we actually want our women to look like. It only proves that Barbara, myself, and others surround ourselves with people who think the same way we do. There are other men I know who confine their attention to women who simply have the veneer of beauty; they’re meticulously put together and are striking to look at it. For these men, that’s all that matters.

    The reality of it, as I've begun to understand it, is that the women we see in media exist with manicured looks. We forget they’re specially selected because of their symmetric, photogenic (and youthful!) features. They could be pop stars, reality show stars, models in clothing advertisements, etc…. but they’re just models to showcase makeup, clothes and jewelry i.e. to sell said items. I look at it as a capitalist: these are industries that work in tandem with marketing to distract us from who we really are. Women are exposed to images that contain latent messages about how life is patently better if you can look young, blemish-free and untouched by ageing.

    Men, already visual creatures to begin with, are so easily influenced by these images and covet a partner to amazing 24/7. The smarter ones among us, however, realize that character runs more deep than looks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beautiful response, Paul! And it's just a vicious circle for those people, isn't it? Because you can't keep up that image 24/7. Or maybe you can, but not every 24/7 of every year of your life. And then something shifts and cracks and the house of cards comes crashing down! But the "smarter among us" as you say (or at least those of us like myself who have worked so so so hard against the centrifugal pull of that downward spiral) prefer our lives to be real every day. It is the cornerstone of happiness.

      Delete
  20. What bothers me the most about the media is I don't see me at all. I'm a size 18-20 and no company that makes these sizes advertise. It's like we're hidden. Stores that do carry my size have the "Womens" department hidden in the back of the store. (Why "womens" by the way? Aren't we all women?) I'd also like to know why smaller women get lots of choices regarding lingerie. Colors, patterns, styles, sexy stuff. Anything over a 36, sometimes a 38, gets multiple choices regarding colors, too: white, black, or beige. Yeah I feel pretty. So, I work it myself. (I just hate trying to buy a swimsuit, but almost everybody does.)

    I follow Tim Gunn on Facebook. He recently posted that "Some designers tell me they won't make clothes past a size 12. Isn't that shocking? The average size in America is a 16!" There's a weight-loss ad on tv with a woman who is so happy with her weight loss because she was so large before. She's gone from a SIZE 14 to a 2. What kind of image is being portrayed to bigger girls? How tough is it to feel "normal" in a world that's telling them that they'll only be okay if they're below a different size. No positive messages about health are mentioned, only how good they'll look. I want them to know they are beautiful, not that they just have a great personality.

    I want guys to know that Victoria's Secret models and I are the same. When we take off our bras, our boobs disappear. Difference is you can find mine, at my waist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Leave it to you, Dawn, to make me both emotional and laugh out loud! You know, I do think it's shocking that there isn't more attention paid in the media to large people, or to older ones. We have the same money, the same dreams, the same desires. Did I say the same money? Don't people want our money too???

      Delete
    2. I so agree with you here Dawn. I am a litlle teapot figure myself, so finding clothes is really a task. If I find something I need to buy more then one piece, just so that I don't have to wait another year to find it again. Online shopping is my friend as there they do accept my money :)

      Delete
  21. So,I have to agree with you all here. With the media and the way they portray women these days through clothing adds and things like that are just crazy. But I do have to say even when you walk through malls or deperment stores or even a simple parking lot you can have men just looking all over the place.Me and My cosin were shopping and we went to go leave and walk to our car and their were a bunch of younger guys who started hollering and saying very horrible things. To say the least I took care of that problem and told them piss off. Please dont get me wrong,I am not saying every single guy is like that but the ones that are need to go back to school and GROW UP. I think the media should start putting more positive images of women on tv and media really. These negative images of women that these guys see are the reason why they don't treat women with respect. with my job I am around alot of young people. and I hear it all the time. I hear the name calling and the staring and the hollering all the time to younger women. Too me that just shows that they need to be smacked in the head bit and have some sence knocked into their untile they know how they treat a lady.

    Again im not putting this towards all men just the ones that only see a women for just sex. News flash that not all that a women is good for. we are so much more than that.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Colin Mochrie brought me here :) I'm a 22 year old male and I agree that women are over-sexualised in the media. I'm quite ashamed of some of the things that other men my age say but I seem to be in a very small minority about that. I also agree that a woman with natural beauty is far more beautiful than a woman lathered in make-up. For me, it makes them look clownish. Again, something I think that I am possibly in the minority of one about is that what I find unsexy is a woman wearing a mini-skirt that is more like a belt and a top in which her boobs are pretty much hanging out. It comes across as desperate to me. I like a woman with a bit of dignity. The woman that I have been most attracted to in my whole life was an ex-girlfriend of mine because she never wore make-up and whether it was sunny outside or rainy she would always wear long sleeves and a knee-length skirt. And she actually had, unlike what the media and society expects, she had pert breasts. She, to me, was the most beautiful woman I've ever seen.

    Personally, I like to treat women with respect and it actually makes me upset to see and hear both the way that the media portrays them and how fellow men treat them.

    Having said all of that I will be honest and admit that I am not the most experienced with the opposite sex and perhaps the above explains why.

    Tom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for this, Tom. I don't think you sound inexperienced at all. In fact, I want to beg you to never change! Maybe if it's about things swinging first in one direction and then another, we'll still have a chance to swing back to a more balanced place -- and thanks to young men and women like you, I think it is possible.

      Delete
  23. Thanks Barbara. I promise you I will never change and I don't want to, I like who I am.

    I just thought I would bring to your attention this thread. It's the way that the men speak about the women that bothers me:

    http://www.cpfc.org/forums/showthread.php?t=231085

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.