Thursday, 15 November 2012

Image association week 10

I've been struck down with some sort of bug this week and am feeling rotten, but had already written my post and - luckily - chosen an idea that didn't require me leaving the house.

Last week Sarah posted the image below, with the comment: "what could be more unsettling than waving a metal implement about, millimetres away from your eyeballs?"  Her theme was scary and stereotypically female things...

I'm fascinated by the various tortures women inflict on their bodies, with instruments as bizarre and complex as the ones above.  The time and effort put into plucking, waxing, polishing, scrubbing... that's where Naomi Wolf's book The Beauty Myth comes in. 

It would be crass and simplistic to say, "it changed my life," but of all the feminist texts I've read, it's one of the ones that has most struck a chord with me.  Wolf looks at how popular culture - and especially magazines and the media - helps to perpetuate a damaging and narrow standard of beauty.  I've always enjoyed some elements of gender-typical female presentation: I wear make-up every day, I straighten and colour my hair, it's rare to seeing me wearing anything but a dress.  But on another level, I'm fairly crap at being a girl.  Plucking, waxing, scrubbing... sod that, I could be reading a good book. 

This is where Caitlin Moran's maxim comes in useful: are the men doing it?  Getting rid of facial hair?  Yep, most men.  Fair enough, then, I'll slap on a bit of Immac, and maybe tweeze my monobrow.  De-furring their pubic regions into ever-more-fantastical shapes?  Nope, not unless they're doing a photoshoot for Attitude, so get that wax away from me.  I'm in complete awe of Bethany of Arched Eyebrow who wrote very persuasively about her decision not to shave her armpits, but haven't yet applied Moran's maxim to this area of my grooming routine (except when I'm feeling lazy and will be wearing long sleeves; or winter, as it's popularly called).

Anyway, I think this might be my favourite photograph so far because - what can I say? - I like pictures, but I prefer words.


  1. *creative mind goes blank* Does anyone want to see a photo of my leg hair...?

    1. Thank you for making me laugh out loud, even though I'm feeling like death!

      Sorry about that...erm, something else with words on? black & white?