So Tell Me ... What's The Weather Like on YOUR Planet?

02 March, 2009

Sufferin' Succotash

Kicking around in my head for a while has been a comment on Trin's recent "examination" post, in which an anon commenter said, "It hurts to be beautiful? Damn, I'm glad I wasn't raised a woman."

The version I heard was "You have to suffer to be beautiful." I went and googled it the other day, after being reminded of it by Belle's post about bras, and found dozens of hits on that phrase -- and all of them were attributed to women. Mothers. Sisters. Aunts.

Beauty is a thing that women are obligated to, need to police their bodies over, denied to those who were not the chosen ones, a messy tangle of stuff abstracted into checkout-counter magazines and movie stars, sucked out of the rest of us and injected into the chosen ones with a little airbrushing.

No.

Beauty is your birthright.

How vulnerable are we to the people who say they see our beauty? How much is that vulnerability preserved by the sense that beauty is rare, a hard to come by commodity, something for which we must suffer? And how much suffering is ensured by this artificial scarcity?

How much do we have to chase after the secret codes, the tricks, the way to find beauty, rather than actually claiming our birthright and our power? Why do we excuse the uncomfortable and inconvenient with the notion that suffering is the price for what we have already?

What the hell?

2 comments:

Sarah J said...

As always, I love your posts. And I don't comment nearly as much as I should.

Brian Charles said...

"Beauty is your birthright"

Thank you for saying it so clearly.