But I think the first real change in women’s body image came when JLo turned it butt-style. That was the first time that having a large-scale situation in the back was part of mainstream American beauty.
Girls wanted butts now. Men were free to admit that they had always enjoyed them. And then, what felt like moments later, boom—Beyoncé brought the leg meat. A back porch and thick muscular legs were now widely admired. And from that day forward, women embraced their diversity and realized that all shapes and sizes are beautiful.
Ah ha ha. No. I’m totally messing with you. All Beyonce and JLo have done is add to the laundry list of attributes women must have to qualify as beautiful. Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits.
The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes.
— Tina Fey (Bossypants)
Back when I was in my junior year of high school, as soon as my English teacher brought up feminism, no one wanted to label themselves as a feminist. I’ve seen this occur less and less since I’ve been in college, but I am still amazed by the strong negative connotation that attaches itself to the term. It seems to me as though females are especially turned off by it, not wanting to associate with anything that makes them seem like a man-hater/man-basher/misandrinist/whatever you call it.
Feminism simply calls for equality, not superiority. Trust me, I love men. Ask any of my friends with whom I spend hours thoroughly discussing the mysterious creatures of the opposite sex. But what about income inequality? Workplace inequality? Education inequality? Focusing on the United States in particular, the 2009 female-to-male earnings ratio was 0.77, meaning that females earned 23% less than males. Of course, there are many factors that can explain this gap, but there is also a percentage of it that has remained unexplained, and the “unexplained” percentage is increasing every year.
Beyond the basic discussion of inequality by the numbers, which has been rehashed over and over again, there are follow-up questions based on this topic: Is it even biologically possible for men and women to every be equal? Is it one of those things where you can get closer and closer, but never touch the wall? Is complete equality a scary thought? What would that mean for masculinity and femininity? Isn’t it interesting how women themselves want to make their men feel like “men” and men want their women to feel like “women”? What does it even mean to be masculine and feminine and can the two ever be equal? Are they equal?
I’m no gender studies expert, but it’s something to think about.