A World Without She-Roes

angelou3-sizedApril 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014

“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” — Maya Angelou

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She-Ra, Princess of Power

She-roes is a bit of a silly word and reminds me of She-Ra, Princess of Power, who was He-Man’s sister, for those who don’t watch cartoons. However, there is great truth in this quote. A world without she-roes is a world imbalanced.

I can’t believe that in the twenty-first century, there is still a debate as to whether women should be treated as anything but human beings. There is still a need for feminism, and feminism is still misunderstood.

When I say that I’m a feminist (and have been since I was a child), some people will picture me as being a little bit something like this.

straw-feminists

Image Source

I’d consider posting an actual picture of myself, but since there are a myriad of assholes on the Internet, I don’t want to find my picture circulating later with rude comments. Suffice it to say, I’m a very boring-looking middle-aged woman that nobody would give a second glance. I’d be far more likely to show up on the deplorable “People of Wal Mart” than in anyone’s list of “MILFs We’d Like To.” Both People of Wal Mart and the term “MILF” are things I’d like to see abolished, but these are rants for another time.

There are Radfems (radical feminists) who believe that there is no way that men and women can get along. There are probably women who genuinely hate men, and, I will add, someone has given them reason to. People do not start hating other people for no reason. However, I am not a Radfem, and neither are most people who identify as feminists.

The Oxford English dictionary defines feminism thusly:

Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women.This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women.

That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.

Some people say that there is no longer any need for feminism. I say that there will no longer be a need for feminism when:

Women are no longer second class citizens.

Women are finally getting equal pay for equal work.

Women are finally offered the same opportunities as men in all areas of life.

Female lawyers, doctors, politicians, astronauts, scientists, engineers, etc. are just lawyers, doctors, politicians, astronauts, scientists, engineers, etc. and the fact that they are women is not seen as something startling.

Women are no longer considered window dressing or referred to in such terms as “eye candy,” “arm candy,” or “trophy wife.”

Women are seen as actual people and not expected to be “pretty” or “hot” at all times.

It isn’t startling when a woman does something that earns the admiration of others.

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Yes, we’re still fighting the fight, and yes, I still believe it can be won. It’s real women–real people–that will make this happen.

Strong women don’t necessarily look like this:

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They can also look like this:

maya angelou

Thank you, Maya Angelou, for being a true She-ro. Shine on!

~The Cheese Hath Spoken~

This post was inspired by a Write Tribe prompt.

A Lost Art: Exclusionist Fashion Shows

models of all sizes

There is no reason why fashion can’t include bodies of all sizes.

None.

(Image source)

June 3, 2101

A.A.: Hello, Lovelies! Angelique Amour here. It’s time to showcase our fab Ladies Spring Lineup. It’s a new century, and we have new looks to suit every body. With me today is Johnnie Angel to discuss our simply stunning selection.

J.A.: That’s right, Angelique, here our sizzling sextet of beautiful babes is modeling terrific tops in a rainbow of floral shades. Ladies of all sizes and shapes are sure to find a look to please.

A.A.: They look like flowers floating across the stage, Johnnie. (sighs) I just adore these fashion shows! Everyone is able to celebrate not only their inner but their outer beauty. There’s such variety. But just so our audience understands how important this celebration is, I think we need to let people know that this wasn’t always the case.

J.A.: That’s the sad truth, Angelique. Fashion shows used to showcase only very tall, slender models. Why, folk with fuller body types were even ridiculed and scorned. It was a shameful period in fashion’s history, and went on for far too long if you ask me.

A.A.: I don’t know how they could bear working with such constraints. Of course a long, slim body is exquisite for displaying one’s couture. But then again, so is a round, robust body, and every body in between. It’s variety that makes the show, truly.

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J.A.: Indeed it is, Angelique. Next we have designer Deon Devine’s fun and flirty rainbow cover-ups, which can be worn over a bathing suit or as an eye-catching mini dress all on its own. Of course there are options in all sizes, for the slimmest of the slim to the biggest and boldest.

A.A.: Simply dreamy, Johnnie. You know, I can’t even begin to imagine how dull those fashion shows using only one body type must have been. How could people live with themselves having such dreadful attitudes?

J.A.: I can’t fathom it, Angie. Eating disorders were rampant in those times. Darling, most women hated their bodies and were perpetually dieting. Larger people were scorned and called awful names. It was a disgusting spectacle. I wouldn’t have wanted to live in such a hateful time.

A.A.: I wouldn’t either, Johnnie. At least this is no longer the case. Everybody has a right to live life to the fullest. You can’t do that if you hate your body. Just think, in those times we wouldn’t have been able to become the best of friends in fashion, you a slim vision in your tailored rainbow tux…

J.A.: And you, big and beautiful like a delicious, sequined melon. Darling, I could just eat you up!

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A.A.: Oh, Johnnie, you’re such a flatterer! Whatever would I do without you? Oh, here come the swimsuits! Just look at those lines! Selma Sweet has really outdone herself this year!

***********************

This fantasy that should be a reality has been created by The Cheese for a Daily Prompt post on lost arts. I will grant that the pictures I used unfortunately included only Caucasian women. I liked the photos for the fact that they weren’t airbrushed and didn’t include only very thin models.

I am a person who became bulimic at the age of twelve, yo-yo dieted until I was in my mid-forties, hasn’t liked my body since I was a young child, and still struggle with disordered eating. Also, I am simply sick and tired of it being okay for people to make mean spirited remarks and be hateful to others for not fitting into a certain size of clothing or having an appearance that fits a very rigid set of standards. I say enough is enough.

It’s a pretty sorry state of affairs when fashion designers pride themselves on only being able to design clothes for a very narrow segment of the population, and, rather than expanding their repertoire, they snub and ridicule those who don’t have that body type. Creative would be the ability to design beautiful clothing for whatever body was put in front of you, not limiting yourself to only one set of measurements.

Fashion for only one body type needs to be a lost art, yesterday.

~The Cheese Hath Spoken~