Response for July 30
7/29/2014 07:48:34 am
Emily VanLeuvan-Reflections on Readings for July 30, 2014
7/29/2014 12:13:57 pm
Erynn Masi de Casanova's piece about Ecuador is incredibly engaging. In fact, there are many ideas in this article that are quite interesting. For example, Casanova writes, "Racist messages appear in both transnational and national publications. Many advertising campaigns for U.S. or European products are not changed prior to distribution in Latin America, conveying a universalized, generic, and (almost always) white ideal of beauty" (92). When I read this quote, I was immediately reminded of a presentation and discussion that occurred in my African American literature class last semester. A student delivered a presentation on white beauty norms and ideals in African American culture. Within advertisements and other media products, the African American women usually succumbed to white beauty norms. Many models' hair is straightened and their skin has been digitally altered to appear lighter than they actually are. As I remembered this discussion, I was then reminded of a vignette entitled "The Hairpiece" from George C. Wolfe's satirical play, The Colored Museum. In this vignette, a black woman is confronted by two personified wigs. Wig 1 advocates for beautiful, straight, silky hair while Wig 2 advocates for a large, “picked-out” Afro. The argument presented by Wig 2 is symbolic of authentic African American beauty whereas Wig 1 represents white beauty norms. Essentially, it is up to the woman to decide whether she wants to don this hairpiece or not. Together, this makes me question white beauty norms and ideals. What is better about white beauty? A number of the prettiest, most attractive people I know don't conform to nor represent white beauty norms and ideals, but rather express and celebrate their individuality.
7/30/2014 01:01:35 am
Jodie Nelson Musings on Readings for July 30, 2014 (Burqas, Birkenstocks, and Bleach)
7/30/2014 01:39:19 am
The article “‘Be a feminist or just dress like one’: BUST, fashion and feminism as lifestyle,” bothered me. It seems to me that this magazine is saying the only really important aspect of feminism is fashion; which could not be further from the truth. While I understand previous restrictions on women’s form of dress, times have changed in this regard and for the most part, I feel that women dress how they feel most comfortable. I feel in reference to the 1968 Miss America beauty pageant, the bra burning, even though the bras were not actually burned, was a bit extreme. Personally, I am more comfortable in a bra! However, I do agree with the aspect that beauty pageants have gotten out of control in regards to the messages these women are sending to children, young adults and even males as to what classifies a person as beautiful and healthy. The fact that this past 2014’s Miss America beauty pageant contestant from Indiana caused a debate on what constitutes “normal,” she is a size 4, is outrageous. The average American size is a size 10-12. It is a horrible example to be setting for young girls that a size 4 is “normal,” below is skinny and above is overweight. What we should be stressing is the importance of being healthy—as Miss Indiana did (even though a size 4 I do not believe is “normal”). This also relates to the article “Women’s Magazines in Ecuador: Re-reading ‘la Chica Cosmo’” where there is a call for “more ‘representative’ or ‘accurate’ depictions of women” (89). We are sending out false messages to young girls who already have enough mixed hormones going through their bodies; they do not need to see idolized versions of what they “should be” as to instead, being happy with who they are. Jennifer Lawrence, although I also consider her to be skinny, starts to break the barrier from all other celebrities who explain eating healthy and exercising to maintaining their figure. Jennifer Lawrence explains that when she wants pizza, she eats pizza and doesn’t feel bad about it. It’s not all about restrictive diets and excessive exercise that is important, it’s just about eating in moderation. More real role models (especially on the covers of magazines and social media) are needed than ones that are nearly impossible to become and should not be the goal of becoming.
7/30/2014 01:56:50 am
Fashion and feminism have always had a complicated relationship. We all need to wear clothes (with the exception of nudists – and that in itself makes quite a statement), but clothes represent much more than merely garments, especially for women. The readings we focused on today all pose the question of how the choices women make in regard to fashion, or the choices made for them, are influenced by both media and various movements.
Leave a Reply.