Saturday, October 20, 2007

The "Ideal Woman" vs. My True Self

For this assignment I had to create two collages. The first collage picture is the "ideal woman" and the second collage is my true self. The first collage portrays woman as only caring about beauty enhancements, being pretty and thin, and sexy images. The collage also portrays that fashion plays a large role in woman's life. All these things are done so the woman will attract and get a man. The conclusion we can draw from the first collage is as Anastasia Higginbotham states:
"Be pretty, but not so pretty that you intimidate boys, threaten other girls, or attract inadequate suitors, such as teachers, bosses, fathers, and rapists; be smart but not so smart that you intimidate boys or that, god forbid, you miss the prom to study for finals, be athletic, but not so athletic that you intimidate boys or lead people to believe you are aggressive, asexual, or (gasp!) a lesbian or bisexual; be happy with yourself but not if you are fat, ugly, poor, gay, disabled, antisocial, or can't at least pass as white"(96).
Advertisers and men paint an unrealistic image of what young women should strive to look, act, and be like, but this doesn't necessarily mean all women conform to this ideal.

I am not one of the followers. I live my life not to please and conform to others, but to be comfortable with who I am. I do whatever makes me happy. I will not deny that I enjoy looking nice and rarely will give in and buy a latest trend item, but I will not let it become an obsession or have it control me. I live my life not according to advertisers who want you to work on your image and try to capture male attention, but in doing things that I enjoy. For example, I enjoy and participate in numerous sporting activities such as snowboarding, fishing, working out, biking, hiking, and spending time with friends. I'm very self sufficient; I take care of what can be considered the normative for males. I change my own car's oil and tires, paint my room, and even build shelves. In comparing myself to the ideal woman, expensive designer brand clothes, make-up, and shoes mean little to me. I shop the clearance racks for anything on sale. I refuse to spend a lot on clothing and shoes just to impress my peers; it just bothers me to spend $120 on a shirt or pants just because it has someone else's name on it making the item "special". I believe the idea of the ideal woman has become unhealthy and ridiculous. I am more concerned with my overall health and well-being than sexy images as you can tell from my true self collage. According to Naomi Wolf, "American women told researchers they would rather lose ten to fifteen pounds then achieve an other goal" (120). Women should realize it is what is inside the woman that makes them beautiful, it is their personality, values, and their relating with different aspects of their being that make them who they really are and not what they look like or wearing. I am happy that I'm not the type of person to conform, nor do I strive to be the ideal woman. Doing things for one's self, working toward being a better, healthier person, and being happy with what you have been given is crucial.