“Make your post titles short,” they said.
“Make your post titles catchy.” they said.
“Make your post titles clear,” they said.
Yeah, I think by now we’ve all realised that I just write post titles as they come, so sorry for this particularly long-winded one.
Lately there’s been a lot mulling around in my mind to do with feminism, sexism and representations in the media in general. Stay with me, I promise this post isn’t the same as the essay I wrote in university on a similar topic (….or so we hope). I realised I shy away from writing about these kinds of topics and I shy away from talking about it in person. Did I not want to…make waves? Realising this kind of dissapointed me, I was like come on Julia step up to the plate woman. So here we go.
Back to the thoughts, they’ve been in my head; mulling, waiting, watching (okay well maybe not watching). Then I came across a video. I watched this video.
It was a Hollywood Reporter roundtable video with Amy Schumer, Kate McKinnon, Tracee Ellis Ross, Lena Dunham, Ellie Kemper and Gina Rodriguez. When the women were speaking, there was so much that I agreed with, it felt like their words were coming straight from my brain.
The video was great, and then it lit a fire within me with a comment that Gina Rodriguez made. She was talking about how she auditioned for an acting role. They told her she did well, but to come back in a little tight dress with her face all done up. When she asked why (because it didn’t suit the character she was auditioning for) they told her they “needed to know that she was pretty enough to be put on the cover of magazines.” In the video the reply Gina gives to that is bloody incredible:
“You know how you put someone on the cover of a magazine? You get a f**kin backdrop, you get a photographer, you take the picture and you print that shit out. That’s how you put someone on the cover of a magazine. The camera actually will not break.”
Amy Shchumer sarcastically replies with “But what if a child see’s it?!” and by this point I was quite literally clapping my hands in support and screaming “YASSSS” at my computer screen.
Hearing my thoughts echoed, all of a sudden I felt this fiery passion come to life.
A lot of people don’t really notice, but when you do start noticing representations of women in the media (in all outlets), you start to realise just how messed up it is. There is literally such an emphasis placed on the way women look that it surpasses all of our other qualities because it places our appearance above all the rest.
So it doesn’t matter how smart we are, how talented we are, how dedicated we are, how passionate we are, how caring we are, how much we go the extra mile…but like, are you pretty?
I see such intelligent, capable, fiery, vulnerable, sassy, empathetic, spit water out your nose funny women around me. They’re beautiful too, sure. The thing is, when you really look around you, how many truly, truly ugly people are there out there? I don’t see any. Yet whether we fight against it or not, whether we agree with it or not, it’s there. The beauty standard we’re judged against. And the truly crazy part is, with different time periods the beauty standard changes, yet we still all are forced to try and conform to it whether we willingly want to or not. So I see these incredible women in my life and then I think, wait, all of that isn’t good enough, that’s not enough to offer? We’re still being judged on essentially how pretty we are?!?!
I’ve lived a lot of my life thinking “well that’s just the way it is,” but no. It shouldn’t be that way and I’m straight up calling it out. Funny how a single youtube video lit this fire within me, but we need change. I don’t know how, and I don’t know when, and I don’t know where, but it needs to happen.
Is this something you’ve ever thought about before? Do you feel like you can relate at all?