Susannah Friis wrote a wonderful blog post today. She’s angry, and I’m standing with her.
I recently reposted a picture on Facebook. In one line, skinny, emaciated models posed. In the other, normal, healthy young women grinned at the camera.
I’m not perfect. I’ve been known to obsess about avoirdupois as the pounds showed up in my aging flesh. But I shouldn’t. What does that say to our young women? That we must meet some artificial idea of perfection? And why? Obviously, it’s so we can compete for male attention.
Was I like that as a young woman? Probably. Should I have been? No. Thinking of ourselves that way is demeaning. God didn’t create us to be reflections of men, but to be reflections of Him, glorious as created, unique and capable, with a purpose for good.
One of my favorite lines from Susannah’s post: “Stop being scared your kids won’t like you, or think you are cool, or that your child will be the only one not going to that party.”
Here are her words:
I recently heard Melinda Tankard Reist speak at a local school. For those of you who are not familiar with Melinda, she is an author, speaker, media commentator, blogger and advocate for women and girls. She is known for her work on the objectification of women and the sexualisation of girls in our culture, particularly addressing the use of media to perpetuate these issues.
I have always had major issues with how women are portrayed in the media and the widespread disease of pornography. Since having my two girls, I have become acutely and increasingly aware of how they are marketed to.
These issues are complex and involved, far too big for me to intelligently and successfully write about, so I won’t even try. For information, stats etc, it is worth going to Collective Shout and especially checking out their resource page.
But I will say this since listening to Melinda: I am angry.
Angry that companies make push-up padded bras for girls under 8; angry that magazines such as Dolly and Girlfriend, which are run by women, encourage and endorse underage sexual activity; angry that there are virtually no non-photoshopped pictures of women in the media; angry that for all the women’s movement, women are still told that their main use in the world is as a sex object; angry that there are websites promoting and encouraging anorexia;……I could go on and on.
And I am especially angry that women buy into it, propel it, and continue to be complicit in this damaging path our culture is on.
We can’t sit back as women and blame men, although their part to play is large and not to be ignored or diminished, we need to rise up and make a stand. And stop sending the message to our girls that looking thin and beautiful, and available for a man’s use, is all there is.
There is the notion that we, as individuals, are all but powerless to combat this onslaught on our children. It seems it’s easy to think that we can’t do anything about what our daughters wear, the age they start dating, how much time they spend on facebook and other social media, how early they have mobile phones with cameras and easy access to the internet.