Start Doing Things the Way You Want Them Done

This is a bold statement, I realize that, and you have excuses why you “can’t” but I assure you, anything you want to do, you Can do.

Are you one of the people in your organization at work who deals with who is paid what amount? Go in and look at whether there are male and female employees there who are doing the same work. Even-out the pay between them.

Do you want to read books where the default pronoun is ‘she’? As in, “when any human feels they are capable of a task, she will complete that task with confidence” or myriad other examples. So write those books. Write those blog posts.

Do you want to fight rape on a real and personal level? Take reasonable precautions; Don’t invite people over until you know them really well, avoid getting completely intoxicated, and when your friends mention ideas of theirs that you think might put them or you in a dangerous situation, speak up and tell them so! Respect your instincts. Practice speaking up for yourself on all kinds of things, so that you make it a practice of making your needs and intentions clear.

And then my favorite: Do you want to see media that *respects* women? Create it. Create movies that don’t question female power and agency; they exhibit it. Create advertisements (even unofficial ones!) that show healthy women whose features aren’t obscured by makeup and don’t bother to call attention to the fact. Calling attention to something makes it increase, as it is the focus. So create the world as you’d like it. Show these strong and beautiful ideas of yours with confidence and abandon!

And keep it positive.

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Lindsey Stirling [is Awesome]

So I’ve liked Lindsey Stirling’s music from the first time I heard it. I’m also into Steampunk. Hence this particular choice to showcase her talent and general awesomeness:

She doesn’t sacrifice a thing. This video is fun with a strong female empowerment message. She’s portrayed as a formidable rival for the outlaw as well as a good friend to her female co-workers and a hero responsible for the safety of the town.

Not only does she show up as strong and good, but also adorable and confident. And she fights off the bank robbers with music and gadgetry, on equal footing. My favorite part is that the costumes are humanizing, which is a refreshing break from music video traditions.

On top of all this cool, the video is her own concept. So rock on, Lindsey!

I absolutely love it. What’s your favorite Lindsey Stirling song?

Why do you care if you’re ‘on trend’?

Why do you care if you’re ‘on trend’?

What does it matter to you? It doesn’t matter to me. I have my own style and feel no need to follow the ‘fashions’, plunging money into cheaply-made ridiculously-priced clothing that will fall apart by the time I’m no longer sure why ‘orange and blue go so well together!’

Honestly? Why do we follow it?

Confidence sets the standard of beauty, not some entity or fashionista. Prices skyrocket because there is such a high demand for fashionable ‘on-trend’ clothing. When enough people quit buying this crazily-priced cheaply-made nonsense, prices will drop. And when enough of us speak up, the quality of garments may improve as well.

The problem today is that people continue to tolerate it. Buying uncomfortable shoes and clothes, necklaces that hurt our necks or smell bad, rings that impair the movement of our fingers… why? Because of some pretty photograph on the internet, and a precious little word or phrase like “bespoke” or “oxblood” or “mint green”.

By the way, this is the color of mint:

The plant commonly referred to as ‘mint’.

So what can I do, as a smart person? I find these measures to be quite an ‘innocent rebellion’:

  • Trade clothes with friends. Surely just because you don’t like this shirt anymore doesn’t mean it goes in the trash! Maybe a friend of yours would enjoy wearing it.
  • Buy clothes at a thrift store or consignment store or on ebay. There is well-made clothing with high-quality fabric for sale everywhere if you just look.
  • Make your own. Learn to sew! Use a pattern! You’ll find how very freeing and empowering this can be.
  • Settle on the idea that your wardrobe will last a long time, contain shapes and cuts and fabrics that look good on You, and will potentially not be ‘on-trend’. But lucky you! You’ll look much cooler than anybody else who is screaming ‘how high??’ when the fashion blogs command them to jump.

You are so much smarter than marketers give you credit for. I’m increasing my wage just by refusing to sink money into disposable uncomfortable clothing that I truly don’t need.

Setting my Standards

I’ve been wondering…. who sets the standard of “beauty”?

Who says it’s shaved legs?

  1. the photos in fashion magazines?
  2. the pornographers?
  3. the women who don’t dare miss a day of shaving their legs?
  4. the men who require their girlfriend or wife to shave her legs?

Who says it’s high heels?

  1. the corporations who sell high heels, but could sell something else if they chose to?
  2. the pornographers?
  3. the women who wear high heels because they ‘want to look sexy’ and don’t think they do in flats?
  4. the men who give lots of attention to women wearing heels?

What do you actually want to wear on your feet? For comfort’s sake? For safety’s sake?

Have you ever actually tried growing out your leg hair? Have you tried loving yourself despite long hair on your legs? Have you? Because I promise you it is possible.

Here’s my proof.

DSC_0313

I’m heterosexual, and brush my teeth every day, and love myself completely. It’s totally possible- in fact, it’s true. And I spent 6 months without shaving.

“Too Skinny Minnie and Gendered Halloween Costumes”

Gendered (and sexually obectifying) halloween costumes are far and estranged from my heart. Then again, they were never ‘near and dear’ my heart to begin with. Read what Jennifer Siebel Newsom has written for this week’s Miss Representation action email!

“The recent “re-imagining” of Disney’s Minnie Mouse, the iconic animated character beloved by children the world over, is a frightening example of our culture increasingly sexualizing children and perpetuating a limiting standard of beauty for women and girls. The new Minnie, created for retailer Barneys New York, is depicted impossibly skinny and is stretched beyond recognition. In its efforts to sell a product to young women, Disney and Barneys are reinforcing the media’s already unhealthy and dangerous body ideals for girls.

With Halloween fast approaching, the season for scary displays of sexism is upon us. Costume shopping for October 31st has become a disturbing yearly experience – an unavoidable reminder of just how much money is being made through the objectification, sexualization, and degradation of women.

These days you can put “sexy” in front of nearly anything and make it into a Halloween costume for women (in fact, there’s already a “Sexy Minnie Mouse” costume); and, as a result, girls are learning at younger and younger ages that the point of Halloween is to show off their bodies.

Last year we wrote:

“Halloween seems to amplify our cultural trend of women being raised to manipulate their bodies and boys being taught to master their environments. With these costumes, are we again teaching girls to value themselves only for their beauty and boys to glorify violence? When are we going to provide a wider array of opportunities for our girls to portray characters that aren’t easily objectified or sexualized? Where are the costumes for my daughter that actually represent power or authority?”

We want to counter gender stereotypes again this year by presenting positive Halloween alternatives for our daughters and sons.

This week, submit your favorite positive costume ideas on Tumblr or send them to us via email! 

You can also use #NotBuyingIt on Twitter to call out the most egregious and offensive costumes – not to mention companies – you find.

Over the next two weeks we’ll spotlight the best costume ideas from Tumblr and continue to keep pressure on retailers and corporate America to give our children healthy ideas on who and what they can become!

Warmly,

Jennifer Siebel Newsom & The MissRepresentation.org Team”

I think that non-gender-specific costuming is a fantastic idea. Costumes for girls or boys that are creative and empowering, fun, and spooky without being violent. I look forward to seeing what tumbles through MissRep’s Tumblr…

I’m feeling good about creativity in costuming, and just saying ‘no’ to sexual objectification.