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Worthless women and the men who make them

How do I put into words a concept that after weeks of pondering, and multiple attempts at writing, I can still only try to wrap my brain around? A concept that I feel, but struggle to put into proper and coherent thought. A concept in which I believe, yet it’s difficult to surmise the fact that I actually believe it.

I honestly don’t know. But I am going to try. For my own benefit, if for no other reason. This is at least my eighth attempt at putting this together, and I’m still unsure if I have properly articulated what I feel needs to be said today.

Strong words do need to be said, though. Please hear me through to the end. I cannot promise you will agree, but I can promise that you will be compelled to ponder some important things. Things that some of you may think impossible, Utopian, or unnatural. Things that may make some angry. But please. Read through to the end. I believe most of you will agree with what I have to say. Most of you will see the vision of this message. And that vision will spark conversation. That conversation will spark desire. And that desire will spark the beginning of change.

That is my sincere hope, anyway.

Because we have a problem.

Women are ugly.

Women are fat.

Women are bad mothers. Women are bad wives. Women are bad daughters.

Women are lousy cooks. Women don’t keep their houses clean enough.

Women have too much cellulite in their thighs. Their abdomens are too flabby. Their under-arms are too Jell-oesque.

Women are terrible singers. They are terrible dancers. They are terrible public speakers.

Women are stupid. Women are scatter-brained.

Women are weak. They are powerless. They are defenseless.

Women don’t dress well enough. They don’t have clear enough complexions. They have too many freckles.

Women don’t have full enough lips. They don’t have skin that is soft enough.

Women are too dominant. Women are too passive.

Women are too mean. Women are too nice. Women are nothing but doormats.

Women aren’t good enough. Women will never be good enough.

Women are, simply put, worthless.

Yes, they are all these things. If, that is, I am to believe the very words that are constantly being spoken by women themselves (which I don’t). These are their words. And I’ve heard them declared again. And again. And again. To me, to other men, to other women, and for all I know to their pets and their plants.

Worthless. What a concept. To hold no value. To be less desirable than a can of dirt. Are you freaking kidding me? Every single statement on this list, including the worthless comment, was a declaration that  at least one woman has made to me, for whatever reason. I bet there isn’t a statement above that we all haven’t heard at least once; most likely hundreds or thousands of times. Why would any of these horrible, degrading beliefs spill across the lips of any woman?

What hurts me the most is that most of these things have been said to me by more women than I would care to count.

Get real for a moment, ladies. How many of these statements have you yourself said or thought? Be honest. Go through the list, one by one, and admit to the number. I’m genuinely curious. I’m genuinely sick about it. How many of them have you said or thought just since you got out of bed this morning?

[sigh] I am upset, but I’m not really angry at you. Just frustrated. Just sad. I understand the reason you constantly let slip these damaging statements. I understand the reason why you actually believe these things. I understand the real reason you feel this way. And the real reason breaks my heart.

Because of that, my message today is not directed at you. It is written to the men of this world.

Guys… It is our fault. The blame lies with us.

And, frankly, I think a man is the one who needs to point a finger and begin a conversation that could actually fix this problem.

I pray to God that every person who reads this forwards it to every man that they know, and that even a sliver of those men take a moment to read what I am about to say, because it’s time that the men of this world make a change. It’s time we make a bold declaration against everything we’ve ever been taught. It’s time we go against the grain for the sake of our precious and incredible counterparts.

I ask you seriously, men. Do we not realize what we have done to the women of this world? Do we not recognize the atrocities we have committed?

We have destroyed the very beauty that women are…

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2748 comments
Dave in IA
Dave in IA

My ex had that same bad self image of herself when we met.  others in her past had set those negative thoughts firmly in her mind.  Im not saying im innocent because every man knows sometimes a very beautiful woman walks by and you don't even realize you are staring until your woman points it out (usually not in a very nice way).  What i could never make her realize was that in my eyes and in my heart she was perfect.  I mean if helen of troy's face launched a thousand ships then my girl would have launched a million as far as i was concerned anyway.  I told her she was beautiful every day (and i meant it from the bottom of my heart).  She always had to find flaws in herself though and even worse she always compared herself to other women usually ones half her age (and no offense ladies but a 35 year old can not set the standard for how her body should look based on what 20 year olds look like its unrealistic and causes a lot of beautiful women to look down on themselves).  No matter how hard i tried to tell her that i wouldn't change anything about her because you can't improve perfection she bushed my compliments off always saying that i was just being nice because i was her husband and had to say those things.  She was wrong.  We are no longer together for reasons other than that but i have not even tried to pursue any women since her because i haven't found one that gives me butterflies every time i look at her face the way my ex did even after i had seen it a hundred million times.  That is why this article really struck a cord with me because you are exactly right as men we have a duty to make sure the women we love know that its them we love not the image of what they should or could be.  I hope that we can bring about that kind of change so that women like the one i mention above can be told how pretty or sexy or desirable they are and actually believe it instead of assuming that we say those things just to be nice or to spare their feelings.  Not everyone thought she was gorgeous but to me she was the definition of beauty i just wish she would have seen it too.  And ladies if you have a man who goes out of his way to let you know he thinks you are attractive don't just ignore his compliments because he is probably being sincere.  So listen to him and appreciate yourself instead of focusing on your perceived flaws.  Dan i only just found your blog today but i am a fan.  Keep trying to improve the world man, and keep showing that its ok for men to be emotional and have feelings and care about stuff.  I'm the same way and i'm sick of being considered less manly because i talk about my feelings and actually show it when something effects me emotionally.  Its time to try and give the world a new point of view about these kind of things and i for one agree with yours.

Ashw4
Ashw4

This is the first article I read and I am impressed! I look foward to reading more :)

csanford2
csanford2

I must say- this piece and everything else I have read this far has been an eye opener, a new concept and a new approach to looking at todays social media and social norms, myself studying psych and sociology, this approach is very different then anything i have previously studied and I am blessed to have read this and everything else on this site, this way of thinking has stuck with me more then any of the theories and great scholars i have studies. so thank you

EtovaChickadee
EtovaChickadee

Does anyone know anything about transference? When you say that the problem is in part, telling women to love themselves, while men oggle fake women. But there is a much deeper problem here. People don't actually know HOW to love themselves. No one has actually taught them what it means to love yourself. To love yourself means confronting your feelings of shame and anger. Why do you feel that you need to be that? What event in your past made you stop loving yourself? All children are born loving themselves. Their self-hatred is taught. The key to self love is to connect with those memories, and tell yourself you are loved. Change the way you see things. Until both partners can love themselves, and reach validation from within, they can never have a successful relationship. Women will never measure up. Men will never stop treating women in a manner that is deemed disrespectful. It's just like the way a diet never works, because you need to change the way you think about food, not just the food you put into your body. This is the same thing. When you love yourself, you become confident. You don't care how others see you, because they are caught in the shame spiral too. You can break free. You can change the pattern. You can end the addiction of external validation. But like all addictions, you have to WANT to change. If you don't, you won't. But the blame does not lie with one gender or another. It lies with our corporation driven society and media, who want you to hate yourself so that you can buy their product to make yourself more attractive, thereby garnering validation from others. If the external validation doesn't exist, then the feelings of acceptance and belonging don't exist. But what if we didn't need external validation? What if we validated ourselves? Those corporations wouldn't get our money. They wouldn't make billions selling makeup to insecure women (and men). They would lose billions in diet pills and gym memberships, and weight loss videos. They would lose billions in clothing and accessories. Not to mention the billions in beauty creams to reduce the signs of ageing. The media wants you to hate yourself, so you will buy their product. Learn to break the cycle. Look up "Inner Bonding" to understand how to break the cycle.

Angel
Angel

I just ran across this, and I have to say "thank you". Perfectly written, and I'm sharing this with my husband now.

That being said, I want to add something. Remember, actions speak louder than words. You may tell me I'm beautiful, but unless you act like it, it's hard to believe. Same thing with sexy, appreciated, etc. Don't just say the words. Get off the computer, video game, tv, etc and talk. Not about you. About her day. Her thoughts. Let your women know that you do want them. Kiss her, hold her, etc. get off your butt and clean the bathroom or change a diaper for her. WITHOUT BEING TOLD TO.

sadieella
sadieella

thank you Dan! this is beautiful. You can see my story at  www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhDsLhE5mTU

Readit
Readit

Ha anyone else noticed that most of the comments are from women? Did women just read this as a self-esteem boost or did any men get anything out of it?

eholbrook
eholbrook

Wow...I loved your article. I think their are a lot of ignorant people out there who think that saying "women should show less" was somehow wrong...aren't grasping the real problem.  The reason women wear less and less and LESS is because the media has sold to us decade after decade that the ONLY value we have is our sexuality.  We need to wear less to continually "grab" the attention of men and our media (and the men who look) have told us there is really only one way....be sexy...be scandalous...make him drool...make him want more...I am a women and believe that true beauty lies in modesty. All this crap about Rape Culture is ridiculous. If you want to attack a rape culture lets attack pornography and all that it entails and implies about women. Your article was well written and completely on target. Until we as women grasp that we are more than our boobs, more than our legs, more than our skin...we are perpetuating the problem. Lets be what women were created to be, compassionate, passionate, intelligent, nurturing, soft, gentle, strong, educated, loving, caring, funny, hopeful, and MORE THAN OUR SKIN! I am a mother of two BEAUTIFUL daughters and I hope to help them see themselves as far more than the media would have them believe they should be.  If you want to be a real feminist stop buying into this crap that "I should be able to dress how I want and still be thought of as a strong educated leader" If you want to be seen as a strong educated empowered woman, don't dress like the bimbo's the media wants us to be. Men that want to be taken seriously don't walk around everywhere they go with their shirts off allowing everyone to ogle their chiseled pecs and washboard abs. They wear suites. So why do we feel we need special treatment? If you want to be taken seriously dress like you want to be taken seriously. 


Signed a 33 year old mother of 2, married for 10 years, holds a Masters of Science in Organizational Development, strong, loving, beautiful and modest woman. 


Thank you Single Dad Laughing for your courage to say what needed to be said.

A Woman
A Woman

I like what you have to say, and what you are realizing.  It gives me hope.  I understand why you said, "Wear less...".  Women don't need to focus on sexuality in order to be successful.  It's the men's idea that we need to PLEASE THEM SEXUALLY TO HAVE WORTH that sets the focus on scant dress.  It's very saddening and hurtful.  I am so wounded I can barely go on from day to day.  I am now over 50.  That really makes me worthless to society.  What I am as an emerging elder is worthless to this society, per se.  I have to find my own niche, and be my own friend, or I'm sunk.  I will not get any rewards from society unless I remain looking "young" whatever in the heck society decides that is.  I hear what men say, even my own husband.  "Do you think she's pretty" I say, about a woman who is obviously in her fifties or so.  "Not really, she probably was when she was YOUNGER".  He's incapable of seeing the beauty in a woman who is older.  Now the sad part is, is that I am nearly nine years older than him. I know exactly how he feels...and I am enraged beyond belief.  This guy is one of the best guys in the world...and he is brainwashed also.  I don't stand a chance with people, even other women. Women also look to men in leadership roles because only men are seen as capable and fit to follow.  It's so hard to find a niche..and not give in to total depression.  I didn't dream it would hit me so hard but going through the change, makes a change in me and now I find that I am worthless as a woman.  How could I possibly be happy about that. I am not the one who made the decision. You are absolutely correct.  I would like to move into the wilderness. (and I am high on the attractive scale folks....I know that is all that gets me any interest at all in any fashion.  even professionally)

Michelle Scott
Michelle Scott

I know I'm way late to this game and I was 100% on board with everything you said until you got to the point about women should maybe start wearing more, not less. Once that was said, a good portion of the rest was lost--probably to most we do readers--because that one statement just put the onus of unrealistic expectations right back on us as women. What men really need to realize is that much (not all) of the time what we do, how we act, and what we wear is not for them...it's for us. And when anyone starts making the "cover up" so people don't look/ogle, it starts becoming a slippery slope to "she was asking for it because her skirt was so short and she didn't have panties on".

As much as I don't like to use the word victim, because women are strong, smart, funny, and many other things, but when it comes to situations like this it places us in the role of victim...at the whim and mercy of someone else, typically male telling us how to behave, dress, think, look...in one way or another.

Shonah
Shonah

Thank you so much for having the guts to write it.  I have a lot of single guy friends and I still don't have the guts to tell them to cut it out, let alone tell thousands.  I found your post to be incredible harsh on guys.  So much so that I'm hesitant to share it on my wall, afraid I'll offend my guy friends.  See, I still can't tell them even when it's not my words.

I have lost count of the times I have been around my friends and comments like this are said, "There just aren't any good girls out there", "Someday I'll find a nice girl", "There just doesn't seem to be anyone out there for me", "I guess my type doesn't exist" and the list goes horrifically on and on.  I sit there and choke down my beer thinking, "I'm right here".  Unfortunately, comments like these and sickening others have caused me to lose total interest in any of the guys I have friendship with.  It has also, as you alluded to, caused me to attempt in altering who I am to fit that image, even thought I don't want those who are carrying that image.  Pretty twisted.

Thanks for having the courage.  Don't listen to the overly feminist comments left on this blog.  I'm a female and I agree with everything you said.

MissingThePoint
MissingThePoint

That this article seems fixated on physical appearance proves, yet again, that it's missed the point.


Whist such points are valid, it's not just hetero-normative physical appearances that are the issue - have you addressed the FACT that women earn less for the same job than men? That women in 'male normative roles' are few and far between and the ones that are there are tarnished with either the affirmative action brush or the 'aggressive - man hating' brush?

You ARE right, men and the patriarchal society ARE the problem, but labouring the point to a woman's 'beauty' again fails to demonstrate that you've really grasped the issue.


Of course, most males will dismiss this comment as 'feminist' or 'man-hating' which perpetuates the problem and prevents anyone from ever addressing their elitist positions.


Lights
Lights

I think a lot of bad things about myself, often. It's always there. Constant. And then I see a guy, or my boyfriend, ogling a woman or hear them commenting about what they like and I just...I compare it to someone constantly telling you "You're a horrible person", "You're worthless", or "You're ugly" and then turning around and saying "She's beautiful, wonderful and worth everything." Imagine that. Somebody putting you down ALL the time and then telling you all the things they like about someone else. Things they say you don't have. How would that feel? Not great, huh? That's how I feel.

So, I did agree with you about that point and the media creating images that aren't real. I did not, however, agree with you telling women how to dress. As someone put in the comments, that's getting a little close to rape culture. I know that I don't always like seeing a woman scantily clad, but if that's what makes them feel good, then that's okay. My Grandma used to tell us when we went shopping, "No sexy underwear." She didn't seem to understand that girls need pretty underwear every now and then. I know I used to not wear it, because I thought I was too ugly. Once I started to feel more beautiful, I decided I might like something pretty. Those women that dress that way, I think, are showing a lot of confidence. And that is beautiful.

Anyway, it was still a great post. I think you're pretty awesome for trying to tackle the issue and I hope someday that it will be solved. It's impossible for me to look perfect. But perfect shouldn't be what everyone thinks it is. Perfect should be unique to each individual. Perfect should be the people I love. Perfect should be the people you love. Not something in a romance novel or pornographic magazine.

JL
JL

Dan.  I usually am right on board with your blog and most of your opinions. However, I need to point out that by telling women to change the way they dress in order for it to be easier for men to "control themselves", you are perpetuating a part of the problem.  Especially the part of the problem that pertains to rape culture. Do I agree that we need a lot less nudity in public spaces?  Absolutely.  Do I wish my boyfriend wouldn't watch porn or look at those women on Chive? Yes, of course. It makes me feel bad about myself.  You're so right about that impact. I do think that all of the constant sexual imagery in our world is having a negative impact on men and women.  However, you need to realize that even in this message while you are telling men to change it still sounds a lot like you are blaming women. 

By calling these sexualized and popular images "fantasies", you are still putting those images on a pedestal and saying that they are better than what is "real". I'd also like to point out that my younger sister is one of these supposedly impossible "perfect" women.  She's constantly sexualized by men and women.  Men obsess over her and women HATE her. She is constantly told by "real" women that she isn't a real woman precisely because she is thin and smart and beautiful. The big secret that everyone seems to miss is that she hates herself as much as the rest of us do.  Even she feels she isn't close enough to "perfect".  She is constantly told that her slimness makes her less womanly, and that her strength and intelligence aren't feminine either. She's that woman who can wear anything, do anything, and be anyone she wants.  She's the one people envy, but she is just as envious of everyone else.

The problem is so much more complex than saying it is the fault of either men, women, the media, or any other single thing. Just be careful, please, of telling women that we must dress a certain way to make the lives of men easier.  It sounds an awful lot like "If you dress like that when you go out, then what do you expect to happen?"  You know?  I know that isn't your intention, but it just sounds that way.  

writefromtheheart
writefromtheheart

Well said Dan!! Kudos to you for speaking out about how men make women feel worthless where it comes to physical beauty. Now follow up with Chapter 2! How men make women feel worthless by telling them that what they are doing is less than what they expect of them. That everything they do is done wrong...

brenem811
brenem811

Dan,

 I. Love. This. 

 But not because you blame it on men.  Because I don't know that there's anyone to "blame" here. Society is what it is and sadly, one or two people realizing the damage the masses have done won't change it any. 

I love this because women need to know they are beautiful. And worth something. I also love it, because equally, men need to know the same thing. (Apparently, women's fascination with Mr. Luke Bryan's backside is just as harmful to the male self worth as flat bellies and big boobs are to the female self worth). 

People are beautiful. People are attractive. 

Myself, I'm not perfect. I've had two c-sections, a few other surgeries. On occasion, I have a pimple, my hair has been slowly getting more and more silver since I was TWENTY-THREE years old, I'm about 20 lbs overweight (according to charts, possibly 40 ... wait, 103 lbs at 5' 0" tall is what I should weigh? I think NOT). I've got scars, stretchmarks, my breasts aren't gigantic, my ass isn't round enough, my thighs are thick and my face is round. 


I. Am. Beautiful. 


Period. It's that simple. I don't need some magazine to tell me that. I don't need some man to tell me that. Maybe that's where the real problem lies. We think we *need* someone else to approve of us. Guess what ladies.....we don't. Guess what men, you don't either. 

I don't work out on a regular basis and despite knowing how absolutely horrible it is for me, I will eat a cheeseburger in the car or some ice cream and cookies with my kids. You know why? Because I don't have to be perfect. I just have to be me. And me, is perfect. 

A week or so ago, I asked a friend to have faith in me, because I was going through a rough time and having to make some hard decisions. She told me she did, but that maybe I needed to just have faith in myself, because it didn't matter how much faith anyone else had in me, I was what mattered. 

I've known her for about 17 years, we've been through a ton and once again, she was right. And the same thing applies here. 

A man will find me attractive if I'm confident, if I'm witty, if I'm dressed nice, if I'm a positive person. It has nothing to do with the slight imperfections that I know are there and he more than likely doesn't even see. It has to do with how confident I am in myself. How attractive I believe I am. 

So, to the beanpole, airbrushed, perfect people .... well, honestly, I don't think anyone truly sees beauty just by looking at something. There's so much more than just the "picture". And over time, people who are only picking people because of the picture, well, it just won't work. Because there has to be something more than just the appearance. 

So, I'll continue to straighten my hair each morning, because I want to, not because I give a rats ass if anyone else likes my straight hair over my humidity tortured "Texas" hair, and I'll wear makeup, because it makes me feel pretty and I feel like there's some form of self expression there. 

I'll be proud of the 8 tattoos I have and there's a pretty high chance I could get more in the future. I won't worry about being 20 lbs overweight, because I'm still in pretty decent shape. I won't care about my scars or stretchmarks, because they're part of who I am. 

I'm beautiful because I'm me and frankly, could care less about what I see in magazines or on television. 

Oh and as far as women being upset over a guy looking at this perfect thing all the time, getting all googly eyed at the mall or in front of a television show .... why are you with someone who's that superficial anyways? 

Sure, I'm going to look at Luke's rear end when it's presented in front of me, and then I'm going to look away and remember that when I see it, it's his rear end and then when I see someone else who maybe doesn't have as nice of a rear, well, I'm going to be fine with that as well, because I'm sure there's something else about them that makes them just as sexy.

mommalisa
mommalisa

Point blank men....and women....you will be attracted to others, HOWEVER. SHOW some respect and self control. If you are with your man or woman. DON'T LOOK> SIMPLE. I have had both happen to me...(looked at by another man and had my man look at another woman while I was with him) IN BOTH cases the man looked like a total duche bag! I felt sorry for the woman he was with not for him being attracted to someone else, but for the simple fact of DISREGARD for her feelings. The guy I was with we'll just call him "John" total RUBBER NECKED a girl as we were driving. REALLY? DO THAT CRAP WHEN I AM NOT AROUND!!!! Unless you don't give a crap that I deserve to feel like the only woman in your eyes. Women have made MEN feel like they are the "world" to them. Most women I know NEVER let on that we are even attracted to other men to our men and SURELY would never flaunt it in his face. WHY? out of respect. Even though I am pretty sure guys wouldn't care as much.....Why is the rest of the animal kingdom trying to impress their females, to be the LUCKY man she chooses yet the human male animal seems to be entitled to "his pick" and the human woman is vying for her lucky mate? WTF women? Stop trying to out do eachother and make them impress us again like they USED to! BEFORE makeup, before fake boobs, the mini skirt and so on and so forth!!!!!

KendraMaples
KendraMaples

Dan,

If I weren't at work I would be a blubbering mess of tears right now. I am on the inside. This blog blew my mind in ways, that my heart was searching for. Real women, like myself.. we want to be seen, we want to be heard and we just want to be ourselves. That never seems to be good enough. The internet/Modern day television has paid a gross disservice upon the human race. Before, we were worried about Betty next door or maybe that Playboy magazine that was hidden. However, now we are inundated with images over and over again of the perfect female. The ones that are flawless, that are brainless and just stare aimlessly into space awaiting your arrival. Not to mention all the women that are cyber-stalking your men just waiting for that relationship status to change. Or men that want to add you because your blonde and have blue eyes, and have a collection of them on their face book page, but are "married". How does that make their wives feel. When I see a man staring at me like a piece of meat over his wife's head I want to chew him out, tell him to put his eyes back in his head and tell him to look at the beauty that is standing beside him. It is possible not to ogle everything that walks, or wiggles past you. It is possible to place your eyes elsewhere or keep those negative thoughts to yourself. Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong era, but God puts you where your supposed to be, to do the things he needs you to do. So, I just have to keep fighting the good fight and hoping just hoping that men see the real me. 

RachelPate
RachelPate

I spent many years married to a man who regularly made comments to me such as, "If you EVER act like so-and-so's wife, I'll cheat on you"... or... "If you ever get fat, I'll cheat on you." Mostly, when he would say those things and others, I just thought to myself, "WHAT?!" Unfortunately, years of being told that made me terrified to be anything but "perfect". Whatever that is. Funny thing is, I was never overweight (even after giving birth 4 times), and I never acted like so-and-so's wife (although, looking back, perhaps I should have!) and he still cheated and worse.

Eventually, I turned inside myself. I looked for the inner strength to believe that I'm good enough the way I am and I don't need anyone else to think so for me to know so. Talk about tough convincing! But, I do think I've gotten to a pretty good place.

I appreciate what you said, Dan. I also believe change needs to come from both sides. Unfortunately, we women do store up the things we see and hear; however, we rarely express that it bothers us or hurts us, etc. And, let's be honest, that's not fair. In our minds, we see it as so black and white. "How can he not tell that it makes me feel bad when I see him check out another girl?? It's so obvious!" Only, it probably isn't obvious because, if your significant other truly loves you and cares about you, wouldn't he stop doing such a small, seemingly insignificant thing if he knew you were being harmed?

Anyway, all around, you made some excellent and valid points and we would all be wise to be more careful with our words and actions.

Gwen
Gwen

I appreciate the sentiment here, and applaud your effort to call for men to change, but I would take this a step further and say: "Stop assuming women are there for your pleasure and enjoyment." We don't dress for you. We don't act a certain way for you. We don't exist for you. We exist because we are individual people. If men would stop thinking of women as something intended to please them, maybe women would stop feeling so compelled to please them! How about men saying, hey, chica, dress, look, act, and be whoever you damn well please and I will respect your humanity and love you as a person! We do need men to change, because being treated like we are meat existing for the sexual gratification of men ("real" women or not) is the thing that's harmful. It makes us feel like the only way we can have value is by pleasing you. If you say 'you don't exist to please me,' that's where women who have been programmed to think otherwise might stop thinking there is some bar that needs to be met in order to be adequate. We don't need men to use their power to validate us, we need men to give the power back to us by not acting like we owe it to them to be a certain way. Thank you for recognizing that there is something really screwed up in our interactions, but I think it's way deeper than just appreciating "real" beauty--it goes to appreciating that the beauty is that we are individual human beings who exist for our own vocation and purpose, not for the enjoyment and approval of others.

gelamy
gelamy

Thank you for your statements. I am the mom of 2 young boys and my husband is fantastic. I understand that many people do not agree completely with your statements and until a few years ago, before I had my first son, I probably would agree with you. You see, until then, I was able to maintain my own lifestyle. Those things at the beginning of your article didn't fit into my life. I felt I was smart, clean, and would make a good parent. When my first son was born all that went out the window. I could no longer keep up with the house, I didn't feel like cooking meals or at least ones that took a lot of effort, and my job seemed ever demanding. In those first months after he arrived it seemed like I was failing miserably at everything. It was challenging because my husband, though he thinks that I am beautiful, smart, etc. doesn't talk a lot, so doesn't voice these opinions. He also took on the desire to provide more for our family-not seeing him as much. I could feel some of those lies creeping into my life. Now with our second son nearing 6 months I am finally getting back to who i was prior to the boys arriving. I am now realizing what it is like to be me, be a "real" person all over again-not comparing myself. But I have to say to those who disagree. I get where you are coming from, that no one can make you feel more inferior than you let them (loosely quoted from Elenore Roosevelt), but let's be honest. If you are a female and some guy looked at your from head to toe and then back up-you would feel like a piece of meat. Or if a guy had trouble looking you in the eye because your chest was too compelling, or been told "this doesn't taste like mom's" then you would know what this guy is talking about. 


Now I work with youth, I'm a youth director at a church in the MidWest. This is great to try and help teach the guys in Youth Group how to treat a woman. Adding  a Biblical perspective, teach them that each woman is a gift from God-made in God's image. And then to the gals in YG that they are perfectly and wonderfully made! This can also be flipped as our media also tells guys that they are to be tall dark and handsome-or funny if they aren't those. So I thank you.

TheCatInGrey
TheCatInGrey

" A woman can tell herself that those images are fake until the sun goes down, but at the end of the day, her self-talk will barely matter. Not when men think that they’re real. Not when she knows that men want what is shamelessly being touted from those photos. Not when she knows that men think of those photos as real."

Pardon me? Look, I appreciate what you're trying to do, but in saying all this (this is just the most glaring example), you're basically saying that women have *no* ability to change or responsibility to maintain their own egos. You've just, in so many words, claimed that women can't feel good about themselves independent of men doing it for them. And I'm sorry, but what are you talking about?

I'm the first to agree that we have some major problems with media portrayal. It's terrible, and certainly there's little to no incentive to change when those images are still what's being gobbled up. I'm even glad you're framing it the way you are - saying that the onus of change doesn't rest solely on the woman - but then it seems to go from feministic to White-Knight chauvinistic very quickly.

It's a tricky line to walk. Thank you for trying to walk it at all, but in this case I think you fell off the wrong side. Women's internal voices do matter, and frankly, I think they matter far more than where any man's eyes do or don't wander. They matter far more than what anyone else on the planet thinks. The problem happens when and only when those inner monologues get corrupted by all the things you mention. It's a matter of human nature - we feel social pressure, and respond to it. I'm not arguing that women are or should be immune, just that you've belittled the power of my own thoughts and opinions in the face of men's with regards to my own self-esteem.

Please, never say that an outside influence matters more than someone's inner voice. Never say that about anyone.

Brookie
Brookie

Thank you for the sincere sentiment that both women and men stop beating up on ourselves and each other for being less than perfect. This is a revolutionary act, in a capitalist/media-driven culture that thrives on convincing us we are not good enough unless we buy things to improve ourselves. 

One part I'm not sure about, is your request that women cover themselves up. I get it, and even feel the same way sometimes, when I see young girls running around in tiny things, I think uh boy, that is not helping anyone. But if we consider places where women are almost entirely covered, the extreme example being in some Muslim countries, we notice this has done nothing to encourage respect for women; it certainly hasn't curbed violence. It seems to stem from the starting assumption that men are fundamentally dogs, and can't possibly control themselves in the presence of a boob (or elbow, or whatever). Perhaps in some ways this is true; once I heard a story about a woman who transitioned to being a man, and how she noticed a drastic difference before and after testosterone injections. Before, she would see a woman on the train and think "oh I'd like to talk to her." After, she described an overwhelming sense of "wow, I want to fuck her," even from the mere glimpse of an ankle. This is powerful! But maybe we can wonder about our human ability to step back from impulse and desire and be conscious. Those with more testosterone have the challenge in that arena; don't translate the powerful push of testosterone into the automatic objectification of women. Those of us with not so much testosterone, equally have to step back from our impulses and be curious about them....perhaps the impulse to translate that strong energy of desire into the assumption that we aren't the object of it...or *if we are not, there is something wrong with us.* 

Evident by the violence toward women we see in Muslim countries, this issue runs way deeper and further back than even media. Not to diminish media; I remember reading some study that showed 4th grade girls on Fiji island showed an insanely sharp rise in body image and eating disorder issues less than a year after being exposed to Western television. But the problem likely began a couple thousand years ago when we turned away from matriarchal, female, goddess-centered communities to, well, men running the world! It has been known for longer than five thousand years in Chinese culture that Yin is the foundation of all life, it is the material from which Yang springs up and moves....that is, the female aspect of things comes first, then the male aspect knows which way to go. Maybe that's the real revolutionary act for all of us to ponder; how to honor the nurturing aspect as much as the doing aspect...inside ourselves, inside each other....because this is the raw material from which respect naturally flows, for ourselves and each other....if we feel nurtured, what else do we really need? 

Vanessadawnmorgan
Vanessadawnmorgan

This..ummm...made me cry....if you ask me point blank I would say I know I'm not ugly, but find me after seeing the cover of a men's magazine and I might say something different...or if I don't say it I will think and feel it for sure...and if I were to see my husband look at it (thankfully is very respectful about those things and doesn't) I would be crushed inside. I tell my friends alot that women comparing themselves to one another is the equivalent of men's porn...it is that damaging..it's crazy, you have a man walk into a room full of people and they look at the women, sizing them up, figuring out who is the best looking, has the best this or that (and know men, he is right, your women notice..they see you seeing them) but the thing is, women do the same thing, except they are seeing where they are at on the totem pole, they are figuring out where their value is in that room. It's soo damaging...I have said probably all of the comments you put at the beginning or at least thought or felt them for sure...I remember my 9 year old daughter, about 4 years ago when she was about 5 playing with a Barbie and asking me why she didn't look like that...I told her because she's not real, no one does, she's fake...my daughters response to me was, well she looks real.....it upset me so much....it broke my heart...my 5 year old has grown up in a world where Barbie looks more real to her than she does...that's soo sad..the scary part...how is it that I am suppose to raise my daughters to believe they are as beautiful as I think they are and they truly are, when I have a hard time believing that I am???? How do you give your children something you don't have..the media and our daily environment is so toxic to women. The sad thing is because it has been crammed down my throat by many various things and people, it doesn't even matter how many times my husband tells me he thinks I'm beautiful or a good mom or a good cook I don't think I will ever fully believe him...I am not as bad as I was when I was in my early twenties. It was so bad then I wouldn't even talk to women I thought were prettier than me or better at something than I was. I just couldn't handle it, I'd almost have a panic attack. And seeing my husband at the time (ex husband now) admire those women haunted me at night....I would just cry...and think I will never be good enough...ever...and I have modeled, I know the reality well, what goes into print modeling, I always loved the prints I would get when the shoot and editing was over but I still told myself I don't really look that good, they had to do so much work, makeup editing blah blah blah to make me look like that... And it's true they did...what what's wrong with the me before?? What's so wrong with that girl??? I don't model anymore, because actually it didn't make me feel any better, it made me feel worse about myself...kinda weird how that worked out...I applaud you for this post...it struck a very hurtful reality in me, and I know in most if not all women...it makes me sad...just how bad things have become...my husband is swimming upstream with you and I am so very thankful for that. I am at least to the point where I believe he believes good things about me...I guess that's some comfort lol. I do dress modestly, not like a mininite but tastefully. I think women as you said also need to stop contributing to the problem, it doesn't just effect the men, it effects other women too. Anymore girls like to know they made someone else feel insecure, surfacely, but we all know that feeling, do we really want to make another women feel that way?? Really?? I don't think we honestly do...I have said way more than enough...I greatly appreciate this post...thank you..

mommalisa
mommalisa

Advertising....makes us feel like this to make money although I really like what Marisa had to say.

Marissa
Marissa

I'll make this short to try and explain myself to men who don't understand why, after telling a woman in their life time and time again that they are beautiful, they still don't believe it. 

Men and women are subject to different lives, simply because of their package, or lack there of. I cannot understand what kind of lives and experiences men go through, because I'm a woman. It goes both ways, and history plays a big role. While men have been expected to do all the work for the longest time, women have been expected to sit there and look good. That is all many of us still have, even though we now live in a time when women go to work, buy their own cars, and take care of their own lives. We have still not been able to get rid of that stigma that women are there to LOOK GOOD and nothing else. So now that we're slowly realizing our own independence, we're still holding on to this idea that if we don't work every second of every day, we won't be taken seriously. (And many of us aren't) That in order for a man to like us, we have to look good. This notion stays with us through marriage, because growing up, it is all we were led to believe. Just like most men grew up believing that ballet and cheerleading is for girls, and most don't grow up to practice either, and many still ridicule those who do. Not to mention we're now expected to be just as smart, capable, and strong as men, yet still have to fight just to get the same treatment when buying a car. 

Most women, myself included, don't walk through life assuming every guy is a sexist asshole. Just like most men don't assume every woman is manipulative and after their money. But we do experience these moments, some more than others. I have a great interest in cars, games, hockey, and guitar. All things that are considered more masculine fields, and I fight every day to be treated the same way as men. It's hard to have a conversation about sports cars or hockey without some patronizing remark about how I don't know what I'm talking about because I'm a female. And it's hard walking into a guitar store and having the sales people show me the different "colors" instead of telling me about the pick ups. 

I'm sure there are things that men have to fight for, I'm not saying either sex has it harder or easier. I'm just trying to explain myself clearly that we have to really try hard to fight for respect sometimes. If we look too ugly, we're made fun of for being fat or tomboy-ish. If we try too hard, we're called sluts. It's really like being stuck between a rock and a hard place.


Next time your wife or girlfriend is feeling down, try telling her not just that she's beautiful, because we all know she is, but try adding in that she is incredibly smart and independent as well. If she plays an instrument, tell her how talented she is, not just how hot she looks playing it. I had a boyfriend that always wanted me to practice guitar naked, and never commented on any improvement I made. It would be nice if I personally heard these terms more often, and I can't imagine I'm the only women who feels this way.

Ps. I'm sorry if I rambled a lot.

MommyKatz
MommyKatz

Wow. I just realized that 28 out of the 31 staements you listed on page 1 describe my feelings to a tee. How sad. I do know now that I need to work on them. Yes a lot of that is women trying to please men but it is something I as a woman should be able to control and change. If not then I should center my life around men/people who do appreciate who and what I am and what i am able to accomplish. Thank for envoking huge changes in my life.

Jhereg10
Jhereg10

I'm somewhat conflicted regarding this blog post, for the following reasons:

After over 15 years of marriage (and over 5 years dating before that) I am continuously telling my wife that she is the most lovely creature I have ever met.  That she doesn't really have to wear makeup or dress provocatively for her beauty to shine through.  The reason I believe these things is because they are true.  The reason I say these things is so she believes it as well.  So in that respect, I agree with the author that there is a need to TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF of women to seek and fixate on some appearance goal that, let's be frank, is unattainable without making fitness your full time job and hundreds of thousands of dollars of plastic surgery through the years.  

On the other hand, I think the author overdoes it and ignores the other half of the equation.  Let me explain.

First off, the things the author describes are all about the infatuation/desire effect.  Those things are not about love.  And (generalizing) men and women respond to different stimuli.  Men TEND (generalizing) to be drawn to visual stimuli and women TEND (generalizing again) to be drawn to a more hard-to-pin-down stimuli.  There is a reason that men are drawn to visual images of pornography and women tend to prefer theirs in written form.  Oh I'm sorry, did we not realize that Fifty Shades of Grey and Romance Novels were pornography?

And there are situations where women express the exact same behavior over the male figure.   Throw me in a room next to Bono and see where the ladies eyes go and watch them start to salivate.  My wife would be first in line. ;-)

Beauty is beautiful.  The human form can be beautiful, and it is used to SELL SELL SELL.  And the more "perfect" that beauty, the more they draw our attention.  From male underwear models to Victoria Secret models.

So from a problem perspective, I see this twofold.

Number one, the problem is as the author points out, the media's use of "perfect" forms.  Forms that are ridiculously managed and forged to get attention.  Cut, tucked, worked out to oblivion, starved, bulked, and airbrushed.  But this spans both male and female figures and ideals.  I will never have the physique of a male lead in a movie, because I just don't have that body, nor the money to get it.  Tough cookies.

Number two, which the author does not address, is that women and men are both being brainwashed in different ways.  Popular media says "women look like this and act like this" in visual media.  And Popular media says "men look like this and act like this" in written media. Have you SEEN the men on the cover of  novels geared toward women?  Have you read how those super-testosteroned male characters act?  How the women in them respond?

Part of this is likely not just an artificial construct, but society reinforcing and reaction to differences in how male and female brains and physiology are hardwired.  But we should be aware, as you say, that media is manipulating that fact and if the person doesn't have some damn high self-esteem, adding to the damage.

So it's not just the men that need to stand up and take notice regarding how they perceive women and what signals they send, it's how women perceive men and what signals they send as well.  The way to do that is to, frankly, SCOFF AT MEDIA.  Make a point, both men and women, of SAYING that you realize that "No one looks that good at 6AM".  "Real people don't have that body."  "That is so totally airbrushed." (My apologies to that rare human that is born with the stereotypically perfect body.)  

I guess my point is, you DON'T undermine the beauty/handsomeness of your partner by looking at a barely clad model, or noticing a muscled shirtless man walking by and admiring their assets.  You undermine your partner by ignoring THEIR beauty/handsomeness, by not reinforcing it on a regular basis with your words and actions.  You undermine it by implying that you PREFER someone else's appearance to the beauty you have next to you every day.

marysthewriter
marysthewriter

God Dan... Way to make me cry.

While I do not lay our body-image issues at mens' feet, because I believe that women need to step up and take control of their own thoughts and minds and quit blaming the media, men, and everything BUT themselves, I agree with you 100%. It DOES hurt when a man whose opinion I respect makes a joke about women, or when my ex would ogle some young girl. It's disrespectful and hurtful. Guys, how would you feel if your wife was gawking in every construction worker she saw? Not fun, huh?

I do agree on the covering up bit. Not "burkas" as some ignorant people are squawking about, but sensible clothing that fits for a change, instead of tight-tight-tight tanktops and shorty shorts that leave our cheeks showing. Have we not noticed, girls, that while we're dressing to impress, guys are not returning the favor? I see these girls in skin-tight everything, walking around with guys who look like their mamma didn't know they lost 100lbs before she went to the store to shop for them. What is up with that? If clothes don't matter... why aren't guys wearing the same skin-tight booty-bumping clothes we are? Why aren't guys showing off their bellies? Why don't guys walk around bare-chested? I like a nice six-pack as much as the next girl, but even guys who are built don't normally walk around with their shirts off, showing every inch of legal skin. Yet we do. Why is that, if not to emulate those "perfect" images of beauty Dan's talking about? 

Why are we buying into this crap? Why are we buying our daughters itty bitty bikinis? Why are we buying them shorts that say "sexy" across the butt? WE are propagating the bullshit and it needs to stop.

GeralynMott
GeralynMott

think about it.  the cure is in our hands.  it's the women that are raising the men.  raise them right.

Dude
Dude

I read every single word of this article even though I was rolling my eyes before page 2. I read all the way to the end just like you asked and all I can say is, "wow, that was a giant waste of time". A vile regurgitation of what children's books have been telling us for years. This is the most poorly written, painfully redundant bunch of swill I've read in a long time.

hekebe
hekebe

This is great - It really is - unfortunately this is never going to change and it's ingrained in MEN to be the way they are.

I grew up watching my own mother search for love - only to have each and every relationship fail. She is amazing, sweet, kind, financially self-sufficient, educated, etc. and she feels unworthy and insecure. She has no idea how amazing she really is. I watched her struggle with her weight and diet for most of my life. I never heard her tell me she loves her body once.

I myself grew up feeling like I had to be skinny, tan, have a perfect body - I struggled with eating disorders, took diet pills, basically starved myself to stay thin at some points of my life, tanned, obsessively worked out, dyed my hair, etc. I wasn't doing this for ME, but because guys only liked girls who were "hot" and girls knew this and it became a competition almost. I don't know a single girl who doesn't feel insecure about their looks at least some of the time. It's not us women who do this to each other - it's boys/men. It's sick and twisted. I wish I could say it's changed - but it hasn't - I still feel the need to be "pretty/hot/fit". I still feel insecure if I gain 5lbs, I feel insecure when I'm too pale, when my hair is too dark, etc. I still like wearing clothes that "look good".

I do compare myself to the beautiful women in our media - What bothers me is our society says women must be this way (Gorgeous, skinny, wonderful moms WITH careers and educations, the whole nine yards), but men are not expected to be anywhere near these expectations. Men are just expected to???? I can't even say make money because plenty of women make more than men these days. Men are certainly not pressured to be gorgeous with perfect bodies, be perfect parents, carry the entire load of the family, etc. It's really an injustice.

Every relationship I've been in ended with some form of complete BS - My engagement broke because he was dirty talking to another woman on facebook and watching porn because apparently I was not good enough for him. The relationship I am in now is actually worse - I have caught him on dating websites, texting other females a little too much (deleting them too), and the words that come out of his mouth to me might sum up WHY I would say these things about myself - I have been called/told: I'm a bad mom, I'm the worst thing for my kids, I'm useless, I'm good for nothing, I'm ugly on the inside, I'm a bitch, I'm ghetto, I'm low-class....basically that I suck at everything.

Mind you - I am a single mom of 2 amazing children (literally fantastic kids) who got a B.S. graduating with high honors while they were babies. I then FINALLY in this hell-hole of an economy and with nearly 100k in debt landed a career in the field I want to be in working full-time from home/in-the-field managing 3 states and a staff of nearly 500. I do it all - I work a demanding job, I raise my kids without even sending them to daycare, I keep the house clean, and everyone is ALIVE. But it's like I am expected to do MORE because his mommy or the perfect facebook moms of the world are "so much better than me'.

UGH - Exhausting. That's all I have to say.

And with that - I am now purchasing my first HOME and leaving men behind for a LONG time.

EtovaChickadee
EtovaChickadee

@Lights  Sweetie, you need to learn to love yourself. You need to have a one-on-one chat with that wounded soul in there. You need to ask her when she started feeling worthless. What event made her stop loving the reflection in the mirror. You are trying to get your love from other people, because you don't love yourself. If you feel that your boyfriend looking at another woman says "you're a horrible person", then something happened to you that made you believe that you were bad for not being attractive. You need to have a chat with your inner soul, and tell her that she is perfect just the way she is. She does not have to measure up to anything, because she is you, and you love her. I really believe that you would benefit from Inner Bonding (google it). Learn to love that beautiful person inside. She is amazing. And she misses you. <3

KendraMaples
KendraMaples

As a side note, when I started covering myself up and dressing properly and not being the tight jeaned teenager I once was I realized what true beauty was and when I see a girl with her butt hanging out of her skirt, I want to stop, shake her and tell her she is worth so much more than that!

SamanthaClements
SamanthaClements

EXACTLY. While I appreciate Dan recognizing the role that men play in this, and for being honest about how conventional beauty standards have skewed his own thinking to an extent, he makes it seem like it is a man's duty to validate women and assure us that we are beautiful and worthwhile. Not all women are interested in dating men. Some women date women. Some women prefer not to date anyone. And even for those of us interested in having a romantic relationship with a man, it doesn't mean we are constantly seeking approval from potential partners.

I also don't believe that all men go for the women in magazines. Some guys actually prefer smaller boobs, for instance. Some guys are just happy with boobs, doesn't matter the size. I know for me personally I generally don't go for the chiseled, muscly Ken doll look of male models. I prefer guys who are skinny and gawky, or guys who are kind of chubby and cute.

The notion of "real" women can also be problematic. You are a real woman if that is how you identify yourself... That's all. Doesn't matter if you never style your hair and wear makeup or if you get a boob job and a spray tan, you're still a woman, still a person, and you deserve to be treated with respect. Sometimes we mistakenly think that the solution to the objectification of women is slut-shaming, criticizing women for wearing sexy or revealing clothes. There's no way to know based on how someone dresses what they truly think of themselves. If my shirt reveals some cleavage, it doesn't mean I think all I have to offer the world is my boobs.

I dress whatever way will make me feel good about myself, and/or that I feel reflects some aspect of my identity or individuality. Can I claim my style choices are completely removed from patriarchal ideas of beauty? Of course not. There's always going to be an aspect of how I present myself that's the result of a society that commodifies bodies. But it doesn't mean I'm a passive victim to such discourse. When I choose my clothes and put on my makeup for the day, the thought foremost on my mind is not, "I wonder if I'll impress any cute guys today", or "I hope this outfit aids me in getting some dude's number." I mean if that happens, great, but I'm not holding my breath.

As to the list of all those negative thoughts and opinions coming from women about women, I have no doubt that there are women who espouse these views, but I can honestly say they are not thoughts that come to my mind frequently, if at all. When I was a teenager, I bought a lot into conventional beauty standards, I honestly thought for a while that I'd never have a boyfriend because I was too flat. I'm now 22 years old and know the difference. So I don't really understand this assumption that the majority of full-fledged adult women are buying into this crap. Maybe they are,I don't know.

It's not up,to,women to dress a particular way to please men, and it's not up to women to dress a particular way to assist men in their attempts to stop objectifying them. It's not up to men to be knights in shining armour, constantly showering women with compliments and assurances of their beauty or worth, saving them from self-doubt and insecurity. It's up to everyone to try being respectful to themselves and other people, and if you are in a relationship, to be show appreciation for your partner and not try to change who they are or how they look.

SamanthaClements
SamanthaClements

I wouldn't feel great about a guy eyeing me up and down like that, and I would not appreciate being compared to my partner's mother, but it wouldn't devastate me or weigh on my mind. He wants to stick to Mommy's home cooking and babysitting, fine, he can go marry his mother. You're also assuming that all women take on domestic duties as being one of their most important functions in a relationship or as a mother or as a person or whatever, and that all men expect these things of women. Gender roles and expectations change over time. There's plenty of guys who cook good meals for themselves and/or their partners.

As a side note, when I initially read the sentence "or if a guy had trouble looking you in the eye because your chest was too compelling, or been told 'this doesn't taste like mom's", I thought you were still referring to boobs, so thank you for that chuckle, albeit it was a little disturbing until I realized what you meant.

kateastra
kateastra

@TheCatInGrey You didn't read the entire article.


tasha9011
tasha9011

@TheCatInGrey you must not have read the whole post.

Brookie
Brookie

@Marissa  

Love this...tell us we are talented and smart...goes for young girls too...I've always noticed how we tell them how beautiful they are becoming, and tell the boys how good they are getting at soccer....certainly starts to create a really divided world....

rantag
rantag

@Marissa You didnt ramble. I agree with you - i think it's traditional for men to be judged on what they can do and women to be judged on what they look like. I dont, however, blame the men as much as single dad laughing does. I think they pay a big part, I KNOW I notice when my boyfriend looks at a certain picture or body type or actress and I catalog why he likes her, and realize that I'm not like that at all, and that hurts and makes me want to change in order to be liked. But I think it's on women. Life is never going to be a road that is paved exactly for you feet. It has bumps and dips and dark spots and you cant expect it to be the ideal method for building your self image and self esteem and awesome life. Success and love comes from inside, you cant rely on some magazines or motivated men or anybody else to make you feel better. Women need to stop catering to these images, stop saying these negative things, stop feeling ugly in loose clothing, stop acting like their looks matter most. all men are attracted to confidence anyway, thats a fact that helps us out. Start having cool stories and experiences to tell rather than cultivating a pretty face alone. Men do it, and you wonder why we find them so interesting and accept their looks more easily? Of course, these things are very, very, hard if you dont have a supportive man. I didnt realize how hard until I moved from one unsupportive one, who loved me as long as I fit in to his idea of what makes a perfect woman, to a supportive one who loves me as long as I'm doing my own thing, my own way. And if the day comes that he does not love some new change I've made, I will find another. These things are hard things to accept, but once accepted, are very liberating. I really appreciate your comments. And I agree that women dont always have the short stick, men have gender roles and fights as well. But we embrace our short stick a lot more, and it's talked about more, and I agree if we arent happy with it, it's time to change it. sometimes women bond by tearing themselves down. I'm not sure why, but it comes naturally to us. "I have such an ugly face today!"... "No, it's not bad at all, just look at how fat I am right now." It's a backwards, weird way of connection because it's just arrogant to talk about how good you look today. I like to change it and ignore it when my girlfriends say something nasty about themselves, rather than join in to make them feel better. Instead I wait for a random moment and tell them something honest that I usually wouldnt have consciously said. How pretty your eyes look with today's weather, how good your butt looks in those jeans. After reading your comment I'll look for non-beauty related compliments to build them up, too. I like to tell strangers, as well. It's crazy how much a woman will believe a stranger's comment.

SwirlUp
SwirlUp

@Marissa two thumbs, way the hell up!

gothchiq
gothchiq

@Jhereg10 Holy crap. You have made the most awesome comment of all time. You sound very similar to my husband! You well and truly understand all parts of the issue, without making a single statement as to how women "should" dress and carry themselves. Also spot on about the text porn. Don't forget that lurid fan fiction, while you're at it! LOL! Hubby and I got rid of our TV and I canceled my fashion mags, swapping the bunch for Netflix and Scientific American and Popular Mechanics. We no longer feel fat and ugly all the time. I would encourage people to consider trying that as part of their body image solution. The absence of annoying commercials and pictures of stick thin models is SO liberating.  Anyway... bless you and I hope everybody reads your comment!

SamanthaClements
SamanthaClements

It's the women who are raising the men?? Singlehandedly? What are the dads doing? It's the responsibility of mothers and fathers to warn their kids against sexism and misogyny.

marysthewriter
marysthewriter

@Dude Oh very clever. But you fail to rebut ANY of what he says. All you did was tear down. I didn't see any actual argument for your side, any logic, anything but vitriol.

Grow. Up.

rantag
rantag

@hekebeguys don't only like the hottest little hotty around, I promise. Thats true...of some men. And it's only true with the women who give them the idea that it'll work. I was raised strict catholic. I was always upset that I couldn't wear makeup or wear the tight jeans or go to the big parties. I felt I missed out on any kind of boy girl socialization for the longest time. I didn't start dating until I left home and joined the military. 19 years old. Never even a silly kindergarten kiss or anything before that. In fact, I was afraid of men. My mother had basically given me the idea that men are only after sex and looks and they'll tell you anything to get there. I wouldn't wear tanktops out. I'm pale as a vampire, never tried to tan. Because I was the girl who dressed conservatively and was shy at parties and spent my time cultivating myself before I even had a chance at relationships, I notice that men approach me bc they're curious. There's no booty shakin around, no sexy eyes going on. But I've traveled a lot, I like to write, I spent some time in the military, I call guys out all the time on bad jokes, I'm me. They like it. At least, the ones I date do. They don't come around super often. But they come around often enough. I really hope that you don't give up on men because you've only encountered the types that like the hottest hot they can find. That wont last, obviously, because you can't maintain it and there will always be some other girl trying to that attracts his attention. Act like you think you're hot, talk like you think you're hot, walk like you think you're hot, and say what you want, as long as you're a respectful person, I think any man will be happy to have a woman that thinks highly of herself. And if one or two of them aren't happy with that, what have you lost, when they leave? You already owned your self love, and your own hotness.

Jhereg10
Jhereg10

@gothchiq lol.  Don't even get me started on fanfiction.  I'm a writer and a devourer of the higher quality stuff myself, but wow there's some serious smut out there in the land of fanfic.