I simply cannot take it anymore! It seems like everywhere I turn I am seeing pictures of powerful and talented women and they are damn near naked. What makes it worse is that their male counterparts always seemed to be appropriately clothed. In some cases the contrast between the men and women's images is so dramatic as to be absurd. Take, for instance, the recent cover of GQ magazine with Rihanna. She is literally naked on the cover. She is even more naked on the pages inside. What's crazy is that her nakedness is sandwiched between an article about powerful men. Look at the title on the cover "Men of the Year" and there she is, in parenthesis no less, as (and one hot woman). Are the powerful men naked on the pages? No, of course not.
The other day I was walking through the living room while my husband was watching sports. A female sportscaster (Erin Andrews) was talking and next to her was her co-host. The male co-host was dressed in a normal professional suit. Erin looked like she was going to a cocktail party. She was wearing a sleeveless, skin tight red mini dress and heels...at a football game.
A few days before that, I saw a picture of two radio personalities. I wish I knew their names so I could go look up this picture for you. Apparently they are a man-woman radio duo. The image was a publicity shot (like a headshot, sort of). The man was sitting on a chair next to a table. He was casually leaned forward engaging the camera and smiling naturally. He was wearing a casual shirt, jacket and pants combo. His partner was ON the table, on her back propped up on her elbows with her leg crossed and sticking up. She was wearing a skimpy skirt so her entire thigh was showing and she had on super high heels. She had her head thrown back like, oh look at me..ha-ha! Gross.
What is going on ladies?! I was walking through Toys R Us recently and even the new dolls are looking racy. My mom and I were looking at baby dolls for Einin (my daughter) and a few of them seriously looked like they had make up on. They're not all bad. I did see these dolls that are so much cooler-smarter-relatable than these awful things. Point being, this messaging starts from the cradle!
It's not getting better as women move up into positions of power. In fact, it seems to be getting worse! Often, it's the powerful women, themselves, selling themselves out. When women don't do it to themselves, we (the media and the public) do it for them by picking them apart and criticizing them about their bodies.
These bodies we inhabit are only vessels. They're like a machine that our souls and minds operate. It's an extraordinary vessel, no doubt. Mine has allowed me to create children, feed them, make art, love and be loved, move around the world, explore and learn. The media is not creating an homage to the unbelievable machine of a body that we have. It's only focused on how we look, our sexual bodies. It's not focused on the inner workings but only on the exterior veneer.
I am NOT my exterior and neither are you. Stop the madness. Do your best to stop obsessing about your body (I'm trying, too). Don't criticize powerful women about stupid stuff like their clothes or their bodies. Disagree with their views but leave their looks out of it, it's irrelevant. Vote for strong, smart women. If sex is selling, stop buying! Don't criticize your looks in front of your daughters (or sons). Exercise and eat well because it keeps your machine strong and allows you to feel good and do more, not just to be skinny or sexy. Read books and ditch the garbage magazines. Don't watch stuff on TV that objectifies, humiliates and criticizes.
Above all ladies, It's time to put our clothes back on!
Edited to add: Thanks to my friend Jenny for filling in the gaps. The table image I was referring to is here. The woman is a recognized journalist (TV, not radio). Frankly, the image is worse than I remembered. I found a great article about the image on Salon.com. I especially like the last few sentences. It's not only Mika and Rihanna (etc) that are culpable.