Saturday, 15 November 2014

Let's bring real sexy back

I realise it's been a while...quite a while. Since I last posted in July, I've drafted several blog posts....on Ferguson, on Ebola...on Palestine...on discrimination. All quite sad or angry and none of that have given me the energy or courage or desire to complete. So here I am back on The Hibiscus Notes...writing.

Ironically this is a subject I've blogged about on numerous occasions, in various ways. It's about how we women are portrayed in the media, more specifically the way our bodies are portrayed.

The reason I decided to blog yet again about this...hopefully from another angle is because of a video I just saw - Heather Headley's video "In my mind".  As I watched Ms Headley sing her heart out about lost love - I was reminded of how sexy she is in that video...and yet she's fully clothed. The skin we see is limited to her midriff but in my humble yet objective opinion, she's still hot. It's the way she moves, the flash of a little flesh but not too much that keeps you guessing. That in and of itself I believe is sexy - the promise of more...maybe.

I contrast that to the numerous famous and not-so famous women these days who strip right down to the bare minimum - i.e their birthday suits. Whether on their videos, in magazines or on their Instagram accounts. They regale us with their butt and boob selfies - which not surprisingly have ceased to shock our sensibilities. Each time I see these half naked or very naked women, I can't help but shake my head in the manner my grandmother shook her head when I wore crop tops at age 15. Perhaps with age I've become my grandmother, prudish and judgmental but I'd like to think it's more than that.

Infact I find it almost laughable to observe one famous woman after another engage in one-upmanship - desperate to outstrip her peer - to shake that bare booty harder, faster - to shock by showing more. Although if I'm honest once we've seen you bare butt, oiled up and gyrating in music videos, we've seen your boobs in their full glory and your neatly manicured vajayjay - there's not much else left now is there? It makes me wonder what the future holds for our daughters. I wonder if when they're adults, women will take to performing sexual acts on their naked bodies in order to grab attention because let's face it, it's going to be hard to top a full frontal.

There are many people who argue that stripping down is a woman owning her sexuality... maybe for a few it is...but I highly doubt that the majority of these women are mature enough to fully grasp what that means. Most have simply been told men...that their bodies are beautiful. Either they have convinced themselves, or let others convince them, that this is all they have to offer the world. And so they put it on display.  And of course for some women, their bodies...half clothed or naked, are their money-spinner - some might even say their only discernible talent. And that's all well and good but forgive me for having a hard time celebrating the pornification of my gender.

Interestingly there's been one constant over the decades - the men.... have remain fully clothed. Poor things- how sexually repressed they must feel.

Of course no amount of me ranting or my friends and I lamenting about how we wished the world valued women for their brains more than it does for their bodies, will change the way things are. I've learnt to accept that this is our modern world. Girls will continue to imitate their idols by stripping down to take selfies, or becoming increasingly obsessed with the size of their booties.

And for my part, I will continue to shake my head and secretly pity these body-image-obsessed women. I will continue to celebrate real sexy as demonstrated by the women whose clothes flatter their figures but who prefer to leave the stripping to private sessions with their partners. And the real sexy we see in the confident female commanding everyone's attention in a meeting. Now that's worthy of a comeback.

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