Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Over Emphasis of Beauty

Hello everyone, in this new year, I promise to be more critical and scathing on all things stupid and frivolous! Yes, the Jewish New Year is upon us, and as a Jew (Let me stop you before you start, YES, I AM Jewish and we'll get into that later) I feel that this blog does need to find a niche of sorts, as I am making a new year resolution.
So, since it's a social commentary blog of sorts, I think I'll be narrowing it down a bit on the things I will focus on and place emphasis on. In this way, hopefully, I'll be able to place more time and energy on things.

Today, our main topic will be....

This is something that I tend to discuss with not only my daughter, Jihan, but also my girlfriend, Sharon, on many occasions. Let me tell you this first, I do like the way MOST women of the Western world dress, and I am definitely NOT advocating the wear of the hijab or veils as they wear in the Middle East. All I'm asking for is more emphasis is placed on what's important, not the unimportant.

With Jihan, since she is a pretty young lady and desires to be popular in school, the emphasis on beauty is often skewed and tilted in the wrong direction since she and her friends are still defining what beauty is. She is 11 going on 30 in some cases, and often attempts to try to circumvent my decision not to allow her any use of make up or beauty adornments of any type. Such as: Lip stick, eyeliner, nail polish, ect. ect. and I'm continually being bombarded with the age old answer to everything, "But ALL of my friends get to use it!" My response to this is, "If all of your friends wanted to jump off a cliff like lemmings, I guess you'd want to do that too?"
Even while I dropped her off at her friend Elizabeth's house for her slumber party, I noticed that Elizabeth and the other girls already had garishly loud lipstick and make up on, thus, my ruling against it for Jihan, will be trampled to oblivion while she's gone out of my sight. Yet, maybe she'll have the intestinal fortitude to stay the course, which I hope for, but seriously doubt. Imagine the sight, a bunch of 6th graders all made up like cheap hookers. The thought just sends me into fits of laughter on one hand, and extreme fury on the other.

As long as she makes sure that there is none on her when I come to pick her up, there won't be a problem, but we will be having a little discussion as to why I feel so strongly about it though, and maybe she'll gain something from it.
My reasoning for such a "harsh" ruling is that I want Jihan to understand that she's already attractive without all of that make up, which many women in our country and elsewhere don't seem to understand, that it's to ENHANCE, not to cover up. But, then again, I guess many women have issues with self esteem and probably need to cover up some of their less than desirable blemishes. Yet, in the age where people are saying that there should be more truth and honesty in the world, I feel that wearing a ton of make up to cover up those "blemishes" is just as bad as Ronald Regan claiming that he didn't know that arms were being sold to the Iranians to finance the Contras in Nicaragua.
Ladies, we men are going to see you without all of those artificial colors and plaster anyway when we wake up next to you after taking you home for a nightcap anyway, so let's just quit with the deception in the beginning and start the relationship off right.

At any rate, my sweet Sharon is going to help me out with this, as she tends not to wear much make up, and by my view only uses it to enhance. She has a natural beauty about her, that I find so very refreshing. I have never seen her all painted up like one of the members of the Insane Clown Posse, or like a tart in some back alley bar. Even though, that may be something that we do a little role playing with at some time in the future (*wink, wink*), I know that she actually knows how the make up thing should work and will educate Jihan on the matter, so to ensure that Jihan doesn't make the fatal mistakes that many women across the globe enjoy making in the pursuit of beauty.

Today, Sharon is going to go a bridal fashion show and I know that each model will be painted up and while they may be beautiful on one sense, we know that these looks are unrealistic and something that the average woman will never attain on her own. Being one of a dry and often crazy sense of humor, I wonder what would happen if one of the models lost a part of her outfit while on the catwalk? I know most of us would like to see something like that happen, because we all have a morbid sense of wanting to see things go wrong, like people craning their necks looking at an accident when they're slowly driving by, or going to a NASCAR race expecting to see a crash. Models falling off of a runway or having their garments malfunction are in the same catagory. Well, praised be the Almighty [blessed be HE] as he has provided mankind with the means to create technology that could capture such moments! Check out this video...

or this one...

Even the clothes of women today, add to the deception and the over emphasis of beauty. Don't get me wrong, I do like to look at well dressed women with modesty along with good taste in what they wear, but it seems as though, all that I have just mentioned is something that is quickly falling by the wayside not only in the US, but all over the world.
Case in point, how many times have you gone through the store and seen the following: Padded Bras, Padded Underwear, Push up Bras, Midriff squeezing panties, Stiletto heels, Low rise jeans, and the like?

Low rise jeans? Really though, who wants this (picture below) staring them in the face all day long when you have your 7 year old son tagging along, pointing out the virtues of how crack is an interesting thing to look at?

I used this picture to make fun of Sharon's daughter Amy in an attempt to let her know that more fun would be at her expense was to follow, if she wore anything like that around me.
The list goes on, and on and on, all of these items and many more, are all to serve one purpose: To deceive men, under the guise of "making the woman as attractive as possible, so as to hide any and all flaws or to show off "assets"".
Come on, we're going to find out about them anyway, but I wonder if women think that once they get us in the marriage type of setting that we will suddenly somehow not notice those flaws? This view is something that I feel obliterates a woman's means to demand that a man be honest when in the dating game. Besides, some flaws are actually attractive in a way, as they denote womanhood. (I personally find some stretch marks attractive because they have a connotation to motherhood). Then there is the personal ad deception which had me continually rolling when I was still trying to find Ms. Sharon.
How many times have you seen in personal ads where women and men say that they have "a few extra pounds", knowing full well that they don't have just a few extra pounds? Oh, that's right, they were only measuring the flab under their arms and failed to check out that spare tire around their waist or those huge cinnamon buns plastered to their backsides. Maybe, I'm just a fan of less is more, and like to see women take pride in their unadorned beauty? I seriously think that if there was more focus on a woman's traits, her ethics and intelligence, we wouldn't have so many messed up young ladies who would grow up into psychopathic, deceiving and self mutilating women. Maybe I'm going to the extreme on this one because I'm sort of puritanical, but, I do see this is a major issue as it does actual harm to our women. Ever hear of Anorexia and Bulimia? These are not some names of exotic women, but diseases that affect women primarily due to what our fashion industry pumps out year after year through the media. The false notion that "waif thin is in" coupled with dieting fads and men's desire to seek out trophy wives, world wide beauty contests don't really help either.
Speaking of beauty contests, let's give you an example of what I mean when I say that we should focus on our young ladies' intellectual prowess, rather than forcing her to strive for unrealistic "hotness". This is a video of Miss USA Rachel Smith, who busts her butt on the stage because she chose a dress that was obviously too long which caused her to slip as she stepped on it. Let's take a look...

I know Ms. Smith was humiliated in major fashion as this was telecast all over the world to over 1 billion people, but I do give her some "cool points" back as she played it off with a stiff upper lip and a beautiful smile. Then you, as well as I know, that this would be replayed over and over on the news, along with the interviews about the fall, with reporters asking her a "million" times over, "Miss Smith, how did you feel when you fell on your butt during the Miss Universe pageant?" Then to make the situation worse, there were rumors that there was some tampering with the scores to make sure that Miss USA made it to the finals, where upon, Miss Mexico, Rosa Maria Ojeda Cuen, the hometown favorite (and by my estimation was far prettier, more sensual and didn't fall), was booted out of the finals by Miss USA, by a huge margin. This miscarriage of justice caused Miss Smith further problems when the interview portion came up, as she was booed and jeered at by the Mexican audience and could barely get out her response to the question.
Again, more humiliation.
On the issue of focusing on intelligence rather than beauty, here's another one, Miss South Carolina, Miss Caitlin Upton, who obviously was nervous, but didn't pay much attention in school, or to the question asked her, otherwise this would not have happened...

What did she say? Did anyone even understand what came out of her mouth? Maybe I just got lost in the Carolina accent! Alright, I can blame some of that on nervousness, but I can blame most of it on the sad idea that looks are more important than everything to some people, and she didn't focus as well as she should have in her public speaking class in school.
To me, this goes to show that beauty contests should be done away with as they not only objectify women as "pretty sex objects" but also show how shallow, ignorant and yes, sometimes stupid we all have become as a society.
Harsh view? Of course, that's why I'm writing about it!
As a society, I personally feel that we should place more importance on educating all of our youth and getting our priorities straight. While good looks, looking nice for the other sex, putting your best foot forward, are indeed important, we should not be obsessed with it. Believe me when I tell you this, I feel that everyone should have pride in their appearance, and strive to improve it, but I do feel that we are going overboard with it.
Dangerous procedures to satiate vanity such as gastro-intestinal bypass operations for those not morbidly obese, botox injections, extreme dieting and the extreme lack of modesty are all major problems that many of our young ladies are dealing with.
Loss of parental control or interest in their children, advertisements and the media are whom I blame for a lot of this, as they tend to show women in unrealistic lights. Yet, I hold the parents of these women to blame the most, as they are not only harming their already beautiful young ladies, but are encouraging others to do the same to theirs. I for one, will not do this to my daughter and will work tirelessly to show her that she is already a beautiful diamond that doesn't need all of the "extras" to gain the eye of man or to somehow get ahead of everyone else.
She has a brain for all of that, and I know that she'll use it to the best of her ability, so that her beauty will be something that adds to her overall attractiveness not defines it!
*All video links are taken from