As you may know I spend a lot of my time commuting these days. Like four hours a day. I go to Vienna by train. Mostly at the time when all the kids are on their way to school. I sit there and I am surrounded by immaculate looking teenagers, chatting about how good their new shampoo smells and whether or not they should dye their hair.
How do they do it? When I was 16 I looked like a normal teenager. A bit like straight out of Daria. I wore little to no makeup, my hair was more or less messy (I have lots of it and it has a life on its own). I wore flats all the time and I really gave the impression that I was going to school rather than to a party.
These days young ladies look like out of a fashion magazine. They straighten their hair every day. They have as much makeup on their faces like I would have on a weekend. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I´d rather have them taking care of themselves. But I wonder: Does anyone every leave the house with less/no makeup on? Would they still feel comfortable in their own skin? Are they hiding or are they enhancing their features? What is their relation to their own body? And: Are they willing to sell their body or to trade it for some benefits?
What really got me thinking about this topic was the video/homepage that Galadarling shared on her twitter account: Miss Travel. "Who needs money, beautiful people travel for free! Travel dating for generous and attractive people." When I first saw it I was kind of stuck between the need to throw up violently and having a hysterical fit of laughter. (Imagine my face…) Are they serious? Really? But yes. Yes, they are serious. For a little more information, take a look at their spot:
How does this make you feel? To be honest: It blew my mind! I slapped my hand against my forehead in agony. So the beauty privilege makes men pay to have attractive women travel with them. A private escort system so to say. Mutual benefits, no strings attached.
Is this the princess life that women strive for? To have somebody to look after you and to pay your stuff while you are out for a beauty treatment? The little Disney fairy tale? But here is the wake-up call: Women are selling themselves for nothing. Beauty after all is a social construct. It´s features change widely. Through the history of mankind attractive women could be curvy or thin, blond or brown-haired. The standards change.
What stays the same is this: Attractive women are said to have more positive character traits. "According to Kenealy, Frude, and Shaw (2001), research indicates that an individual’s physical attractiveness is an important social cue used by others as a basis for social evaluation." Nice, huh? So attractive women officially are a trophy. A bit like Pokémon. Catch ´em all. But: You are not the one to decide if you are pretty enough. The one who judges is the one who has the power over you. So basically if we look at Miss Travel, there is some superficial dentist or lawyer waiting to spend his money on you, because he thinks you are worthy of his "companionship". He judged you by some snapshots and pieces of information. He basically knows nothing about you other than that you would suit his bedroom quite well. And that is a privilege?
Hell no. Even if it would take me 7 years to save up for my trip to Tokyo, I will not let some random dude pay for my flight in exchange for my body. Or my time. Or my presence. All these three things (along with your brain) are there for you for free. And they are basically all you need to make money yourself. So you can buy your own things, pay your own bills and be a freaking hot rock´n-rollin´woman! And by the way: Models do the same thing. It´s their JOB. They make money. They are self-sufficient.
Just because it´s convenient doesn´t mean that you have a lot of power. Yes, you may use your good looks as a tool to get you somewhere with someone. Let´s face it: These women exist. We´ve seen those girls before a lot. We´ve seen them off to marry somebody who they don´t really love, but they get a house and food and probably children from them and voila: "perfect" life. We´ve seen them grow all hysterical towards their 40s. We´ve seen them hating on other women whom they consider to be more beautiful. A threat to their status and security. A devaluation of their quality. What if you grow old? What if you are not "in the game" anymore? What if your "hot attractive time" is over? How do you define your worthiness? Are you even able to do it yourself?
So yes, yes: You can be pretty and not need money. True. But it will cost you. It will cost you your freedom, your will, your female power and your self-sufficiency. You will be owned in one way or another. Is that something you are willing to give up on the long run? I don´t think so.
5 things I am grateful for today:
- Still marveling at Bei Badgirl´s artwork. She is such a sweetheart!
- Midnight blogging. It´s such a calm and silence around here right now.
- Drinking hot-chocolate and enjoying the sunshine. I wish I could kiss the sun.
- Talking to random strangers and making them smile.
- Fluffywee´s tumblr.
Have a wonderful day and sending big big hugs to you!