Let’s talk about the objectification of women’s bodies, shall we?
It is a mystery to me that our « modern », occidental societies manage to associate at the same time feminism and hyper-sexualisation of women’s bodies.
A conquering, feminist attitude at the office and a so-called hyper-sexualized perfection at the beach. Indeed, I am not talking here of an assumption of sexual power by women but of a vision, the vision of an über-sexualized woman-object.
I have nothing against sexuality, on the contrary. Why is it, though, that a woman must be sexy, especially when she shows a little bare skin if she wants to conform to social norms? Every year, as Summer approches, magazines flood us with special Summer diets. Thin and sexy, so must we be.
Sexy, what a horrendous term and yet the one that pops up everywhere on magazines, on television, on social media, in the street. In such a standardised, obvious way.
Standardised because, visibly, one must be super skinny whilst still sporting perky boobs and a butt (good luck with that sweetheart).
Standardised because, apparently, extremely androgynous women as well as extremely callipyge women have no citizenship right in the kingdom of « sexyness » (when I know androgynous and callipyge women who have the same effects as a nuclear bomb).
Standardised because the slight curve which is not placed exactly where it should be, where it would be satisfactory to the intruding gaze, is not sexy (and here is the point).
Standardised and obvious, such must be our « sexyness » potential. Half naked, clad in lingerie, in a swimming suit and in a suggestive pose, if you please.
The body. Evidence, which stops with the body and with appearances without digging deeper into the integrity of a human being, its personality, its charm or its power of seduction.
Evidence, Dear God. How boring.
The diametrical opposite of questioning, discovering, of game and seduction.
The absolute contrary of sensuality, in a nutshell. The opposite of desire and desirability, the energy which pushes us, grown-up kids that we are, in every aspects of life.
What should I tell my dear 16-year-old, who is overwhelmed with pictures of models and wannabe-celebrities where everything is said because everything is on display. Pictures from the Secret Nude project by Kim Kardashian (key word : « secret ». To be honest, I don’t see the secret in the story, we’ve seen every bit of her and even her « room sport »)?
Talk to her about the subject-woman.
Talk to her of the pleasure in excitement, doubt, discovery and conquest.
Tell her she’s beautiful. Again and again (that’s not the most complicated part seeing as she is positively beautiful inside and out). That she is a beautiful person, the whole of her, with her exterior advantages, yes but also with her internal treasures.
Tell her that you yourself were a hugely complexed teenager with a poor sense of style.
Tell her that one day, you get rid of these meaningless questionings, that one day you accept yourself the way you are.
You admire this body capable of working two days straight without sleep.
You marvel at this body capable of giving her a little brother and a little sister.
You are baffled by this body, capable of gaining 25 kilos with every pregnancy – because that is what it needs at that moment – and shedding them effortlessly afterwards – because that is what it needs at this other moment.
Tell her that the skin that gets dry from lack of sleep, the spot that comes with stress, the little cellulite cushion under the butt (because I have all of the above, for instance), well honestly, they don’t really matter, in comparison with all of the amazing things your body helps you achieve all day, every day.
Tell her to respect her integrity. Inside and out, because it is that exact ingredient which will bring her a kind of magic.
Finally, tell her the way appearances run the world. And tell her to go beyond.
Eres swimsuit – Vintage cuff – Cartier earrings – Missoni scarf – Face A Face sunglasses