The Objectification of Women

The other evening on my way home from picking up some groceries, Valentine’s day actually, I saw a sign for a bar that disgusted me. However, it seems to be in line with the thinking of the world we live in, as sad as that may be. The sign read basically, “Valentines day.” Which is totally cool, since, well, it was. However, the line below it is what disgusted me. “Cleavage nite.” I of course called the bar and told them I objected to their sign; whether it really made a difference or not I probably won’t ever know on this side of Heaven. One of the things that makes me incredibly sad and disgusted at the same time is the objectification of women. It’s amazing how far we’ve fallen as a society. Likewise, it saddens me how (gross generalization!) desperate for attention women seem to be in popular culture today. There seems to be this growing trend that in order for a woman to be noticed by a man, she has to dress slutty and look hot. The sluttier you dress, the hotter you look, the more attention you get. And everyone wants to be noticed, right? This idea is reinforced constantly by the media around us. Sex sells. Scantly-clad women washing cars to sell a hamburger. (Hardees, you should be ashamed.) Sexy models for cars. For clothes. For makeup and hair care products. For TV’s. For digital cameras. Because no one would take a picture of a normal person or watch a normal person on TV, right? Hmph. I am royally pissed off at the men of today’s society too, for perpetuating this notion. Gone, it seems, are the days where women were valued as people. Instead, we live in a culture that says, in essence, “If you want me to pay attention to you, you must be hot and turn me on.” Appearance is everything. We must be perfect. Every hair must be in place, shiny, thick, full of volume, and with highlights please. Agonizing over every blemish. Fretting over every calorie, every extra pound. Starvation to stay “beautiful.” Laying out in the sun for hours on end to get that nice tan. Skin cancer? That’s for years down the road. Right now I have to be hot! Plastic surgery to make features smaller. And plastic surgery to make features bigger. Dreading the first wrinkle. The first grey hair. Applications of thirty different “beauty products” in the morning and thirty more in the evening. Exfoliation. Foundation layers. Topcoats. Color coats! What is it, a paint job? Exactly. As a result, trueness to self, sense of value by God, personality, and value as a human being mean nothing. We all want to be loved. We all want to be noticed, to leave our mark on the world we live in. To be popular. For people to see us in the street and know us. Indeed, this is hardwired in our humanness. But at what cost? There are good ways to be noticed, and bad ways. Help out in the community, that’s a good thing. Developing a prosperous business. Showing care and concern for the world around you. Love based on beauty will not last. “Beauty,” at least beauty in our culture’s view, will not last. There will always be someone hotter. Someone more elegant. Someone more interesting. Someone funnier. However, there will never be another you. Ladies, if you are reading this, know that you are much, much more than meets the eye. Do not be defined by your appearance, and do not, ever, allow a man, no matter how much you want him to like you, to define you by your appearance. Know that, even though it may not seem as such, there are still men in this world who value you for who you truly are. And even if it doesn’t seem like there are any around you, always know that God loves you exactly how you are. Warts, wrinkles, blemishes, frizzled hair, weight, and all. You are created in the image of God, and His fingerprints are in your life. KNOW THAT YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. Without all the makeup, fancy clothes, and your hair done perfectly. Men, if you are reading this, especially if you are a Christian, I am going to be very very blunt: stop being a jerk and start treating women like they are people, not objects for your personal viewing and sensual pleasure. Stop focusing on her appearance, and start focusing on her. You send messages to her even by something as subtle as how you comment so much more often how beautiful she looks when she’s all gussied up versus when she’s herself, running around without any makeup in sweatpants and her hair all frizzed out. I know how hard this can be in today’s world, where it is all around us. And I will be the first to admit that in the past I have succumbed to the temptation to judge a woman by her appearance, and to my shame. It is especially hard given all the pressures of the culture we live in today. But trust me. The most rewarding relationships you will ever have, will be with real people. And if there are any women in your life who are insecure about their appearance, it is your responsibility to tell her the truth. That she is truly beautiful, just as she is. I will close, and step down off of my soapbox, with one final quote. “To thine own self be true.” If you’ve got a free minute, take a look at KJ-52’s song, For the Ladies. It speaks a lot of how I feel here 🙂