I don’t own a straightener :/

In Anecdotes on December 4, 2010 at 11:09 pm

I’m in a woman’s organization here at Texas A&M (We raise awareness about poverty in the Bryan-College Station and advocate for women in poverty around the world) and the other day we were having a discussion about the female appearance and why each one of us wears makeup or not, dresses up a certain way, etc.  And so we went around saying whether or not we applied makeup (how much and how often), what we usually wore to class and did with our hair.  Most of us wore some makeup – usually a light foundation and mascara, and then some occasionally straightened their hair.  Our reason for doing so was to feel better about ourselves because when we put in a little effort and feel pretty we are more productive and confident.  But, the overarching question of course was WHY? Why did we think it was necessary to do anything pertaining to our appearance? Yes, we want to look nice for ourselves, but why is it that we have to wear makeup or straighten our hair, or wear certain clothing to do so? Is it not possible to feel good about our faces and our bodies – to feel confident in our natural skin and whatever it is we happen to throw on to clothe ourselves?  Then there’s the question of why owning a straightener has somehow become a necessity, like drinking water every day.  And if you don’t you almost have to feel guilty about it when you tell people, as though you’ve just committed some small misdemeanor.  It’s sillyness I tell you. 

We never once mentioned doing it for male attention, yet, underneath everything, is that the reason? Would we put in the same effort if there were only females on campus, or would we allow ourselves to go to class in sweat pants and a t-shirt, hair un-done and faces free of make-up? Hmm…I don’t know, I really don’t.  Girls can be really harsh critics, but if we were all sort of frumpish looking maybe it wouldn’t matter.  Of course, I don’t agree in letting one’s body go – it’s good to keep yourself healthy, but everything else sort of seems superfluous.  But then again, we girls do like our accessories.  That perfect piece of jewelry to set off an outfit, the way our hair falls one day to frame our faces, perhaps a pair of super cute heels, the cleverly placed buttons on our shirt that serve no purpose except to add to the aesthetics.  Women like what’s beautiful but I think there are many forms of beautiful and that perhaps men and women have different definitions of it and that the male version most often prevails.


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