advice, feminism, feminist, gender, misogyny, race, racism, sexism, strenght, Uncategorized, women

Beauty and the Bill? Harriet Tubman, The New $20 Bill, and Contemporary Beauty Standards

Racism and sexism is alive and well and rearing it’s unquenchable head once again!

Only yesterday, the US Treasury announced – in what will be a milestone for women and people of colour – that abolitionist WoC Harriet Tubman would grace the new $20 bill.

Harriet_Tubman_by_Squyer,_NPG,_c1885.jpg

While the new bills won’t be available until around 2030 (or so the reports say), racists and sexists have taken to Twitter and other social media to lament the decision to represent blacks and women.

The biggest complaint I’ve seen so far is, strikingly, that Tubman doesn’t conform to modern (and often unattainable) standards of beauty. Many of the posts publicly found on Twitter question why Tubman’s “ugly ass” (that’s an actual quotation there, by the way”) should be on the bill;another claims, in what is evidently a racist trope, that Tubman belongs on food-stamps rather than currency. Shockingly, – in what can only be seen as a  manifestation of the insidious nature behind sexism and racism – it seems even many people of colour are falling into this sexist rhetoric; as though having, say, Tyra Banks on the notes would have been more applicable and timely.

The more important question here, it seems, is why Tubman’s history  is being relegated straight back to her physical appearance? Current ideology continuously positions women – of all races, ethnicity, and backgrounds – as relevant only according to the standards of beauty, physical appearance and attire they present; anything else which they may achieve during their lifetime is either an added bonus to this imperative or is, sadly, inconsequential.

So what does this treatment of Tubman reveal: that women continue to be regarded, despite their historical influence and present status, as relevant only as symbols of beauty in our culture. Tubman herself is quoted to have said:

I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.

It’s time to free women from this rhetoric, too.

 

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advice, feminism, feminist, gender, misogyny, sexism, women

“Don’t Risk Dudeness”: A New Low For Beauty Standards

Patriarchal beauty standards have consistently and relentlessly been attempting to convince women that hairy legs, pits, etc are repellent and character destroying. Veet’s new hair removal adverts take these ideas to the extreme by declaring women ‘manly’ if they fail to maintain their body hair with the criticism “Don’t Risk Dudeness.”

While many past advertisements have focused on how waxing and shaving can give comfort and help women feel attractive, this new campaign literally depicts women as transforming into men due to – as the above advert reveals – the slightest touch of leg stubble or prickliness. Oh, and apparently, we have to shave everyday or risk manliness.

The taxi advert, similarly, reveals a woman – despite having shaved her underarms the day before – is transforming into a wolfman due to her forgetfulness… Not only does she berate herself for this, but even the taxi driver shows obvious disgust and seems to pull away from his potential fare as a result.

Each of the advertisements seem to imply that women must shave daily or “risk dudeness.” The failure to apply to these standards result in the women being openly judged and criticized by the public at large.

Even worse is the implication that women risk or even concede their femininity if their bodies are even slightly hairy; equating women’s sense of femininity with a beauty standard seems to be the norm in our contemporary culture but this new campaign, especially, takes the norm to a new low.

feminism, feminist, misogyny, photoshop, sexism, strenght, women

Photoshopping Real Women Into Cover Models

 

“Once you take away your imperfections, there’s not much left of who you really are.”

Four women participate in a professional model shoot – make-over and expertly photoshopped photos included.

It’s their reaction which truly make the video.