Feminist Writing. Fourth Wave. For Women.

Turtlenecks, Sexualization and Clown Female Empowerment

How a simple google search for a turtleneck produced hypersexualized results, a quick thought on cyborgs, and some holes in liberal feminism.

I google search “slate turtleneck”. Come across Shein (Chinese online fast fashion company), with one that looks pretty comfortable. I visibly cringe when I see the model. Some East Asian-looking chick, with huge lips, a tiny nose, chin job(?) and that overall cyber sexualized woman look. I’m sure she was stunning before.

I looked at another website, a stylish chick with a much more natural face. Thinner lips, nose with some character.

“But it was her choice”

I wondered how the former look became so popular, when it was so clearly the worse choice. Here is where my liberal feminist sistas might come in and say bUt It WaS hEr ChOiCe. It’s true, it was most probably her choice.

But what kind of choice is one that stems from societies that drill in women’s heads that they should look like, do, and enjoy XYZ, from the age of 4 or 5? That they should want to be hot, be sexy, be small, be polite and forgiving and allow people (mostly men) to walk over them?

I digress. My point is that this fairly naïve and ignorant chant of “but it was her choice”, that has been adopted by libfems, holds little water. Your bottles got mad holes in it, sis. If a woman chooses things that harm her I thought we called it self-harm. But apparently it’s now empowerment? Seems a bit fishy eh?

Yes, the cyber chick from the first picture may have chosen it, but let’s ask ourselves why? She undoubtedly had to go through some sort of painful and uncomfortable recovery from the procedures she’d done (read and watch some account of what the healing experience for popular cosmetic procedures looks like… it does not seem like fun at all). She also had to spend money on these procedures. So we have some things already — money, pain, and time — to put on the “con” list for surgery. Not to mention potential health implications down the line.

Why would she choose this? To look prettier? Does she look prettier? In my opinion, hell no. She looks slightly terrifying. Am I something-blaming or shaming by saying this? To some circles, probably. But dig deep. Ask yourself if you really think she looks pretty. Or does she just look intriguing because she looks not completely human anymore?

Cyborg Future? (A Sidenote)

Maybe the next stage of our evolution is us turning into cyborgs? Make humans stupid as shit with technology, then replace their brains with just technology, then replace their natural human features, but keep the skin and the blood and the organs? Damn….

I digress. Let’s get back to the girl that chose surgery and that undoubtedly many other girls/women are looking at and saying “wow, she’s so hot”, and many guys are looking at her and saying “wow, she’s so hot”. And the guy would be thinking of f’ing her, and the girls would be thinking, wow, if I looked like that all the guys would want to do that to me. See one of the problems here? Is this realllly empowerment, sis? I’m starting to see the holes in your feminism.

Why are we women always told sexualization is empowerment? When it’s literally for centuries been the root cause of our oppression?


Women, be uncomfortable but sexy

Let me get back to the second ad, the one with the stylish chick with the natural face. I looked at the page, learned a few things. Firstly, that it was far too expensive (who would pay over 100 bucks on a vest?!). Unreal. The description read“An open-side poncho knit pullover with adjustable ties on either side. Wear it layered over another top for interesting contrast, or without anything at all if you feel a little risque”.

What? Why would anyone want to feel risque when wearing a vest? Why is the last part necessary? It occurred to me that I didn’t understand the point of a vest, so I googled “what is the point of a vest? And it said it right there “Vests provide more warmth than most people realize”. It was about warmth. I wasn’t crazy.

So why was this online ad mentioning wearing this vest without ‘AnYtHiNg At AlL’? It had an overtly sexual feel to it. It would also be highly uncomfortable to wear a vest like that, without anything at all underneath.

It seemed like no matter where I looked, I was seeing examples of how women should want to be sexualized; should want to bare it all, and if it wasn’t big enough, make it plumper, and if it wasn’t small enough, make it smaller. And it didn’t matter if it costed too much, or was too much pain, or was far too uncomfortable to wear.

What I saw again and again and more and more was this message that women should want to do things and wear things and like things that made them sexual beings, but not in a way that did much for them (read: expensive, painful, uncomfortable), but rather in ways where they simply appealed to the shitty, sexist (at best, misogynistic at worst), consumerist, patriarchal world we lived in. That was always the case, but now women have somehow been duped into thinking this is their choice, and have begun to call it empowering.

Something doesn’t make sense here.

For more from this author visit: https://medium.com/@aolander

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