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Brainwashed by Photoshop

By Gloria Diaz

Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!

Fort Wayne Reader


I'm talking to more people lately, and that means eavesdropping. I learn stuff that way; I encourage you to give it a try. Anyway, I'm listening to what men say, and it's kind of disturbing.

The topic that's come up more than once is “women who think they are all that, when they are not.” Translated, it means, “there are women out there who think highly of themselves, but they shouldn't, because they don't meet my impossibly high standards for what women should look like.”

There's a reason why cosmetics, cosmetic surgery, and the diet industries are booming. It makes me want to slap men who can't understand women's obsession with makeup, shoes, and their weight. If education and accomplishments mean nothing, what else are we supposed to do? Clean house? If you're constantly being judged by your looks, you are going to think about your looks, or how you present to the world, and frankly it's exhausting.

I like makeup, myself. I like to see my face as a canvas that I can play with. I rarely indulge in edgy makeup looks, but I think I look better with makeup than without. Same thing with clothes. Some days I don't care, other days I'm concerned if my jacket matches my boots.

But the comment (belief?) that women can't act “all that” unless they are supermodels is an extremely disturbing concept. It's also a conundrum. Men SAY they like women who are confident, but we aren't allowed to be confident unless we look like supermodels. Got it.

Every so often, there's a news story about some child who commits suicide because they were being bullied. As someone who was bullied, I have to say it's life-destroying. There are some people who can deal with all sorts of bad shit—they survived a concentration camp, polio, home invasion robbery, the slaughter of their family and the heartbreak of psoriasis, but they somehow become well-adjusted billionaires who foster shelter dogs. I'm not that person. But it blows my mind that these kids killing themselves, sometimes after being called “ugly” are some of the most beautiful kids I've ever seen. Are the people bullying them just that jealous? Are the standards for beauty so ridiculously high that even supermodels feel insecure? And as my hero Janice Dickinson notes, all of it isn't even real. Sure, models are held to incredibly strict standards, but the distortion of people's views is probably due to a little something called Photoshop. Because that's what we see on an everyday basis: impossibly perfect people. We're getting used to this, so when we see people with pores on their faces in real life, we recoil in horror. Is that hair on that woman's legs? Does that guy have a pimple on his chin? Oh. My. God.

That's part of why women are frustrated and fed up. That's part of the reason why there's feminism. If women are supposed to let men take care of them, what happens to the women who can't get a man? Well, we don't think about them. They're supposed to go away. We don't think about them. They don't exist.

It's frustrating that no matter what women accomplish, it's all about the looks. A woman could cure alcoholism, diabetes, cancer and end homelessness, but in the end, all that matters is if she's do-able.

Maybe, as an experiment, we could force men to wear their current bank statements around their necks. Then, women could check them out, and see if the guy is worth talking to.

Turnabout is fair play, guys.

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©2018 Fort Wayne Reader. All rights Reserved.