Is a moment of outrage allowed? I guess so.
I have written about my love for Naomi Wolf’s “Beauty Myth”, published in 1990, on a previous occasion. The essay explores how women were, and continue to be, alienated by unrealistic diktats around physical perfection, desirability and the constant staging of their bodies as sexual objects.
Unfortunately, today’s media and social media can only confirm her analysis.
Instagram, what a wonderful tool of sociological analysis you can be.
Indeed, we are well into Summer now, which means that we are also increasingly exposed to more revealing pictures due to heatwaves and bikinis on Instagram. I, of course, partake in this ritual here and now.
I partake in it, as long as it remains classy, elegant and intelligent.
This is why I am quite upset when my Instagram exploration feed suggests I follow influencers or reality TV personalities with millions of followers, who post little other than a myriad of hypersexualized photos in outfits that wouldn’t cover my daughter’s dolls.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against sexuality, it’s quite the contrary (it is, in my humble opinion, one of the three gifts of God, alongside music and gastronomy).
However, Instagram is not the right place. Especially given that these influencers and personalities often have extremely young followers and that they are often implicitly implying that beauty = hypersexualization. I say implicitly because in general these photos have no captions, no explanation or context, which is even more troubling and irresponsible.
(I will not go too deeply into the fact that beauty is to be found in all the aspect of a person today)
You can be half-naked and incredibly classy.
You can be half-naked and of rare intelligence.
You can be half-naked and remain an active subject.
You can be half-naked and still radiate a breath-taking sensuality that goes beyond being a hypersexualized object responding to current trends (ohlala the string bikini, oh gosh the side-lace PVC miniskirt. But I can see your string bikini through the side-lace, you bound-up leg of lamb!)
You can be furiously feminine, sensual, sexual, without being objectified. You just have to be a tad smart and elegant to be actively sensual and sexual: it requires intelligence of the other. Trust the other and their imagination, don’t throw all the info in their face instantaneously.
There you go, that was my moment of outrage for you – because I’ve got two girls at home and a boy too.
Am I old-fashioned? Probably. If I have to choose though, I would rather be old-fashioned and raise my children by helping them to become active, conscious adults, who will avoid pseudo-social stimuli, and objectification in all its forms.
Asceno bikini – Face A Face sunglasses – Compagnie Française de l’Orient et de la Chine bracelets