Am I mad at John Legend (and those in his camp) for writing a song attempting to undo the damages of years of his own industry’s sins? No. Of course not. But I’d still rather he didn’t, and here’s why: These songs, which presume to assure women that they are attractive (and, by extension, worthwhile), assume that the singer’s relationship to our bodies overrules our relationship with them. All of our primping — our “fixing makeup, just so” — has a pointed objective, namely to be found attractive by men. And allegedly, what a relief to find out we don’t need to be doing any of it at all!
If a woman doesn’t believe she is beautiful, the solution isn’t a man telling her she’s wrong. If women have been groomed to believe that they need to look a specific way to succeed in the world, you can trust that those beliefs are so internalized and wide-ranging as to require far more than male approval and acceptance to be undone.
Now let’s assume wearing makeup isn’t about that, at least not entirely. Let’s say that these women DO know they’re beautiful, and, more importantly, that their relationships with their appearance aren’t defined by whether or not they put on makeup. That a woman might wear lipstick or curl her hair because she likes it, that she could find her own empowerment through physical appearance, completely detached from the reaction of men, is an absent concept in these songs.
Thank youuuuuu I have always hated songs about this and they are CONSTANT. Whoever sings/believes/says this shit: stop assuming women do it all for you, stop assuming women do it out of shame, stop blaming women for caring about how they look when you reinforce how important it is in the same sentence, stop acting like you are not fully part of the problem, and stop reinforcing the harmful and ludicrous idea that a meek, clueless women with low self-esteem is the ideal. This is so harmful to young girls. I know many of these songs are well-intentioned but it’s a harmful message and I’m tired of the pseudo-alturism.
I like some of the positive messages in the John Legend video, for instance, but I think there is a better way to frame it. Like say, love yourself first.
ps almost didn’t post this when I clicked through and saw it was posted on Buzzfeed…that’s how judgey I am.
World Population : 7,810,521,683
just in case somebody start feelin too important
7,810,521,682 and me
Fox News, which always has its thumb so squarely on the pulse of what The Youngs are up to, figured out why the Hobby Lobby ruling has caused such a flap. No, not because it’s deeply unsettling that a corporation can impose a religious, unscientific belief on its employees. It’s because there are lonely ladies whose bitter singleness has calcified and become malignant.
We yowl day and night about unequal pay. “Seven cents for every dollar,” we screech sleepily as we wake up alone every morning, our one-night-stand having beat a hasty exit at 3:45 a.m. “I am Leaning In and crushing the patriarchy,” we reassure ourselves while feeding the cat. “Lilly… Ledbetter…” we whisper to ourselves as we frown at men.
This, of course, stops when we’re too busy crushing and snorting all the oral contraceptives we can squeeze out of hardworking American taxpayers. Instead of a $100 bill, which we do not have because we’re female and voted for Obama, we use IUD applicators.