I love looking at girls who surf. I dig the way they ride the waves and the way they are so confident. However, recently the same activity brought me face to face with something that plagues the internet forums. A picture of a woman with underarm hair was posted in a Facebook group with the simple question – “Can you tell what’s wrong with her?”
Apparently most guys caught on immediately and the post became a laugh riot. I was the one sitting clueless in the corner guessing other things. I caught on quick too, and then I felt bad. I felt bad because it was easy for me to notice too, even though I didn’t consider it wrong.
The thing remains that we often treat feminism as an outside force, something that deals with issues that exist outside our personal spheres and seldom if ever, deals with something related to us. However, patriarchy is glaringly present in our everyday life. Feminism might or might not be something of interest to you but, in this world, it is completely relevant.
The image of women that propagated by the media is a very narrow one. Few companies if any, provide a positive body image for the women. There is this view among people that women are supposed to live by some standards of beauty in order to seem acceptable in society. Don’t get me wrong, I do not wish to change your views about what you find beautiful or not, you have every right to find something or someone more beautiful than the other. However, you do not have the right to call a woman wrong if she does not conform to the extremely oppressive standards that you have created in your mind.
The phrase “Real woman” as it is used in social sites is pretty much the worst thing ever. Your womanhood is not defined by your body hair, your body type, your weight, your outlook, or anything. You are a REAL woman as long as you identify as one.
Women are more than what they look. Some may not like shaving, some might like it, some may hate doing make up while, some might take pleasure in it. These things happen. And truly, they are good. However, shaming them for their own life choices and for decisions they take for their OWN body is somehow wrong.
Perhaps the first lesson would be to accept that everything a woman does is not meant for others…