“If I looked like her I’d walk around in my underwear at any given opportunity too.”
I frequently say this when looking at magazines, facebook profile pictures or girls at parties. When I tell my friends they look nice and they reply with something like, ‘Is the top too low cut though?’ or ‘Is my skirt too short though?’ I always reply “if I had your boobs/legs I’d wear it too!”
So I regularly champion dressing in short/non existent clothes but if I see a girl who’s not quite ‘pulling off’ (not literally) that micro mini skirt I’m the first to say...’That girl looks like such a slut.’ Or ‘that top is way too tight for her.’ I justify this frequently by saying things like, ‘I’ve got a really similar figure to her and you’d never catch me wearing anything that short/tight/low cut etc.’
So this led me on to the bigger picture. I should be opposing to bitching, to quote the eternal genius of Mean Girls, ‘You’ve got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It makes it OK for guys to call you sluts and whores.’ I totally agree with Tina Fey on this one. So why am I bitching about girls in short skirts? Why the hell am I calling girls fat when I could hardly be described as skinny?
As a Feminist, a label I’m still not sure on all the time, I think I should be promoting female solidarity. Or maybe I should be promoting dressing for yourself and not the ‘male gaze.’ As in, who are these tight dresses being worn for? Is it to fulfil some expectation that we are scarcely even aware of? The problem seems so deeply rooted in socialisation that sometimes I’m not even sure if I am dressing for me or for someone else (be it male or female).
I was drawn to Feminism because I’m not very good at being a girl. I’m loud, I swear a lot, I sometimes forget to put make up on and I hate sitting with my legs crossed. I always felt, before The Female Eunuch (actually I’ll be honest the text that really got me into it was Reclaiming the F Word by Refern and Aune) that because I hate kids, don’t want to ever wear a white dress or shave my armpits there was something innately wrong with me. Feminism taught me that there’s nothing wrong with me, in fact there’s a lot right with me. I’m resisting the the patriarchal pressure put upon women by mass media and consumer culture. I mean, I thought I was just being lazy in the morning with the mascara…
Today I was looking at facebook pictures of people I barely know, because let’s be honest it’s always fun to facebook stalk someone you haven’t seen in 4 plus years. And these girls are very beautiful. Traditionally beautiful. And so, so, so thin. I wanted to hate them, with their perfect lipsticked mouths, fake nails and tiny tight dresses but I think I was just jealous.
It got me thinking…I wouldn’t give a shit about Feminism if I looked like that. If no one had ever called me fat, if no one had ever turned me down for being ‘ugly’ I wouldn’t care about a women’s movement promoting (amongst many other more complicated issues) the right to look however you want.
That left me feeling pretty crap. I actually am just a shallow girl who doesn’t care about what’s on the inside.
So here’s my plan: I’m going to try to stop bitching about people, namely girls and what they choose to wear. And I’m going to stop facebook stalking people, again girls. In fact I’m going to delete all those haven’t-seen-you-in-4-years-but-i-love-to-stalk-you people from my facebook entirely. Out of sight, out of mind.
It’s very, very easy to tell people what you want them to hear. “Yes, I’m a Feminist, which means I don’t care about society’s expectation of what women should be. I believe in the right for women to dress/act how they want and not be labelled a slut.”
But it’s much harder to enact these aims. But I have to. For my own sanity. I can’t keep beating myself up because I’m a 12 and not a 10. I can’t keep comparing my figure to every single person I see every single day.
If you feel the same, why not join me? I’m going to talking shit about other girls, because let’s face it when I’m bitching it’s to make myself better. Except it doesn’t really work because of the curse of comparison. I have a great bitch session with my girl mate, and then at home later I start thinking, ‘Well we both said she’s fat…but she’s actually got skinnier thighs than me….what if I’m fat?’ So, really I’m just bitching about myself and projecting it onto someone else.
So I’ll just stop. Stop bitching about myself and stop bitching about others. You better all hold me to it.