Today I attended day two of Women of the World, and one seemingly harmless debate really riled the crowd.
'I am a Feminist. Can I Vajazzle?'
The atmosphere quickly got pretty intense - more so than any other session I had been to. I think this is largely because this area of beauty and feminism is still pretty split and undecided amongst feminists. Most of the other issues are easier to agree and find common ground with others, yet this idea of suffering for beauty split the crowd pretty much down the middle.
On one side, the idea that feminism supports women making choices. It is your pubic area and only you should get to decide what happens down there. If you want to rip the hair out and stick little jewels on it, it is your business.
On the opposing side was that vajazzling adds to idea that our bodies are not good enough. Even our vaginas/vulvas are not good enough anymore. Vajazzles support an idea that women need to spend even more money to make their bodies acceptable.
This teeny summary clearly doesn't represent all of the arguments put forward. I can't blog it all here- it would go on for pages!
The women in the room were angry. I think women are getting angrier about the pressures we feel about what we look like, how we feel we need to look, and the value placed on our looks.
On the way home, I suddenly thought about high heels. High heels hurt me. They are uncomfortable. Men don't wear them. By the time I had made it home I had decided, I don't want to wear high heels anymore.
Why I'm giving up high heels
They make my bad back worse. During wear and the day after. I can't believe it isn't making my back worse long term as well.
Men don't wear them. In fact, do men wear anything that is uncomfortable?
They make movement more difficult.
We have somehow been taught that the shape high heels makes our bodies is sexier. My walk and my body are awesome enough.
They make me more vulnerable. I can't run and I may trip.
I feel ok in flat. I can move with ease and can relax.
I do other things which make me feel more confident/sexy....none of these other things cause long lasting damage too my body. High heels do.
We look back at how women used to permantly disfigure themselves with corsets and lead based make-up. I'm not sure how this is all that different.
Men don't wear them. They manage to feel confident and sexy without discomfort.