Category Archives: The Beauty Myth

Why are body politics important? [Loving Our Bodies, Part 4]

If I had a penny for every time I’ve seen people, both men and women, call issues such as shaving “petty” or otherwise mock them when someone brings up the double standard as an example of why we aren’t equal, … Continue reading

Posted in Feminism, Gender Caste, Gender Cultism, Loving Our Bodies, The Beauty Myth | 16 Comments

Male gaze, what male gaze?

I think the video says it all. But, if not, then go read this deconstruction of the site being advertised: Chickipedia. For Guys That Never Get Laid.

Posted in Gender Cultism, Gender issues, Popular Culture, Sex, sexuality, and sexual politics, The Beauty Myth, The Evil -ism's, The Internet is Serious Business | 2 Comments

"If I were [x] I wouldn't do that!" [Loving Our Bodies, Part 3]

It’s summer again in Japan, which means torrential downpours, blisteringly hot days, and enough humidity to make you feel like you need to shower again right after you step out of the house. It is not weather that is conducive … Continue reading

Posted in Gender Caste, Loving Our Bodies, Series, The Beauty Myth | 10 Comments

Policing women through violence [Women and Violence, Part 7]

[This is part of my series on Women and Violence, which I am writing as a project for a Women Studies course I'm taking. For an explanation and information on my intentions with this series, please see the introduction.]

In an article titled “‘Femininity’ and women’s silence in response to sexual harassment and coercion,” Kathleen V. Cairns describes how harassment of women functions as a method of social control over women’s behavior:

[O]vert practices include the public, ritual shaming of women in the form of catcalls, lewd remarks and so on which serves to demonstrate the fact that ‘any man or group of men feels entitled not only to pass judgement on any woman walking along minding her own business, but also to announce it to her‘ [Kotzin 1993: 167]

[...]

In patriarchy, women are taught to accept that their femaleness, their simple presence, are responsible for men’s behavior towards them [...] It becomes women’s responsibility to police themselves, to keep their dress, comportment and presence within approved limits to avoid ‘provoking’ harassment. (96-7).

This dynamic – of men acting with impunity to judge women, and women shouldering the blame for men’s actions towards them – can be applied to other forms of gender violence as well. What it comes down to is the way that negative reactions from men – or even the anticipation of those reactions – function to police women in everything from their appearance to their behavior. Continue reading

Posted in Abuse, rape, and domestic violence, Feminism, The Beauty Myth, Women and Violence | 4 Comments

The violence beneath 'beauty' [Women and Violence, Part 5]

[This is part of my series on Women and Violence, which I am writing as a project for a Women Studies course I'm taking. For an explanation and information on my intentions with this series, please see the introduction.]

Next week I’m giving a presentation in class on cosmetic surgery in regards to women of color. Now, cosmetic surgery does not readily fall under most common definitions of ‘violence,’ and I find myself hesitant to categorically label it as such.

On the one hand, while cosmetic surgery does involve bloody alterations on a person’s body, so does surgery in general, and we generally don’t label that as violent – especially when voluntarily consented to by the patient. The fact that cosmetic surgery is often (though not always) agreed to by an autonomous individual does mitigate the physical damage it brings.

Of course, we are all aware that ‘consent’ is a sticky issue, and that we can’t ignore the pressures that can constrain a person’s ability to make a choice – particularly in the case of women facing pressures to be ‘beautiful’ in a certain way.

Furthermore, the same level of physical damage can be construed as ‘violent’ or ‘non-violent’ depending on the context. Full-contact sports can be performed just as ferociously as a street brawl, yet not be uncontrolled and violent. What’s more, a session of safe, sane, and consensual BDSM can be non-violent, while the quietest rape perpetrated under clearly communicated threat is clearly not. Continue reading

Posted in Abuse, rape, and domestic violence, Feminism, Racism, The Beauty Myth, Women and Violence | 9 Comments

Obesity Moral Panics and the Gendered Presentation of Disordered Eating

The news here recently reported on a new study suggesting that eating disorder rates in Australia have more than doubled in the last decade, and the rates of “regular disordered eating” (that doesn’t necessarily coincide with a diagnosable eating disorder) … Continue reading

Posted in Australia, Gender issues, Studies, The Beauty Myth | 2 Comments

The beauty myth and character design

One of the points I constantly bring up as a barrier to gender inclusive game design is how women are hypersexualized — meaning that they are constructed to be characters whom presumably male characters would like to have sex with, … Continue reading

Posted in Feminism, Sex, sexuality, and sexual politics, The Beauty Myth, Video Games | 10 Comments

A deeper look into femininity [The Gaming Beauty Myth, Interlude]

I’m labeling this as an “interlude” because the constructs of femininity I’m about to address don’t all directly intersect with the beauty myth, but the way that they interact with femininity as a whole is a topic that I feel … Continue reading

Posted in Gender Caste, Gender Cultism, Popular Culture, Series, The Beauty Myth, The Gaming Beauty Myth, Video Games | 7 Comments

Using Beauty to Establish Gamer Cred [The Gaming Beauty Myth, Part 3]

Last time I talked about two prevalent female gamer archetypes that represent the gaming beauty myth and this time I want to expand upon how that interacts with the real gaming world. One facet of being seen first for your … Continue reading

Posted in Feminism, Gender Cultism, Series, The Beauty Myth, The Gaming Beauty Myth, Video Games | 30 Comments

Female Gamer Archetypes [The Gaming Beauty Myth, Part 2]

Since this blog is primarily aimed at people at least somewhat familiar with feminism, I often take it for granted that people know what I’m talking about when I say things like women are “the sex class” or that female … Continue reading

Posted in Gender Cultism, Series, Sex, sexuality, and sexual politics, The Beauty Myth, The Gaming Beauty Myth, Video Games | 12 Comments