Images of Women: Beauty crisis-A A +A
Yagubyob sa Bulkan
Sunday, September 29, 2013
IT IS dangerous to be a woman. In a society where prescriptions of beauty become a personal attack and a disadvantage of being a non-conformist cosmetic-free organic female, the natural tendency of the general public eye is to compare women to beauty queens if not to the fantasy characters that dominate the signature fashion that is meaningless extravagance.
A strong reflection of poor self image of brown oriental genetics has actual effects on economy as the sales of whitening creams go up. I gave up on using synthetic soaps 10 years ago for strong allergic skin irritations. The most toxic business in the planet has reached a ‘cosmeticologic’ crisis that cannot be sustained by nature’s resources.
We have reached a crisis of no return such as the power crisis to maintain a certain comfort to support lavish lifestyle of delusional consumerist population. Women are the most vulnerable consumers given the pressure to look and dress-up a certain way or smell a certain way.
I felt free being born in a democratic country where I enjoy the privilege of being a modern woman. In the surface, there are many notions of freedom such as I can wear anything. However, there are many layers of the onion skin. There are unspoken dress codes, religious expectations, and mere change of complexion bothers people.
But somehow another level of anxiety for women’s image has been sexualized and consummated. Women for instance are the perfect victims of beauty products. I realized in some Asian countries, women get a nose job and cosmetic eye surgery as a birthday gift package – a frenzy fashion.
The non-conformist organic lifestyle that I have embraced is not only about not using soap, but also for minimizing waste products and chemical exposure. I think I owe it to the painful deflowering of my mind with constant media hype of sexualized women who forced to open many eyes of my identity.
Women have been projected in the most vulnerable places, however sexualized to attract as sex objects and commercial objects in the guise of a high paying career, prestige, fame and status.
In the article Woman, Native and Other I found this one sentence very striking “Women must write through their bodies, must not let themselves to be driven away from their bodies.” I find this reassuring after my ordeal of trying to bring together words to connect the volumes of readings from a foreign body, I somehow resonated with the same breasts and vagina that made me understand the context of the writing or empathize their invented character as projections of their own body experiences.
The society has programmed our psyche that “she who writes well ‘writes like a man’ and ‘thinks like a man’ used to be the highest praise a male reader could bestow upon a woman writer or speaker.” It is a pity that women wear multiple burdens and at the same time persecuted by culture, religion and race when they try to assert themselves. There is always a jealous man in the corner who steals the power and consumes the vulnerability of women.
Women in marriages
Aphra Behn, as one celebrated playwright who brought money on the table, had especially a comic peculiarity that liberated women on stage with tolerated vulgarity and boldness. In the play The Rover “dealing with sympathetic way with the problems of arrange marriages” Behn made the woman the center of action as free birds and extended their privileges in terms of choosing the men in their lives as they are allowed to speak and act as they please without prejudice.
The rape culture of women in both marriage and strange lives was redefined. The power play between and among other women has also caught attentions while subjected to man’s view of their sexuality. What is surprisingly attractive in this play, women admired for their beauty and wit openly enjoyed the public life of being sexual prowess advertised as courtesans suggestive of legal prostitution. That is a relief in the fate of women being objects of desire at least Behn made women object before they become objects.
In reality it is a little more complicated, though in a play we can portray any role of a woman which brings out the vulnerability that is so personal and make us face the truth about our own insecurities, prejudices, addictions, excesses and living dangerously.
It is vulnerable subject for women to continue with her own mind for there are many eyes that complicates her choices in life. In general women in a patriarchal society seem to roll the ball and play the boss, but in a much deeper context, she plays an underpaid multi-tasked role of making this world a much livable place.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 29, 2013.