Anna, Christianity, feminism, insecurity, shallow, Skin deep
I go to the gym regularly and it makes me angry.
I like having music to work out to and telly to watch to distract me so the time passes quickly. But I have a problem. The problem is the music videos. I can never understand how the male and females characters in the videos are in the same place. The men are always dressed for winter and the women are invariably in a bikini. There’s just something not quite right about it. And if that wasn’t enough it seems to be a common theme for the bikini clad women to be basically shaking their rear ends in the general direction of the over dressed men. And I have to ask myself, ‘where did feminism go so wrong?’.
I thought women had fought to be strong so that they were no longer subservient to men, but were equal. Somewhere, someone has managed to take and twist this so women now use their ‘power’ to draw all men unto themselves through their irresistible sexual allure. Somehow I don’t think that’s what was intended when women were fighting for equality. To me it looks more like the women are the men’s play things. And yet, girls and women everywhere seem to be conforming to this.
Outward beauty and allure has become the be all and end all. As women who are seeking equality shouldn’t we wish to show that we are about more than appearance? That we have much to offer society in terms of expertise, knowledge and skills? To want to progress and move forwards in our personal development? To be taken seriously.
And all around I see girls and women being duped into thinking they will gain more self-esteem through attention brought about by demonstrating their sex appeal than they would through demonstrating intelligence, strength of character, standing by their beliefs and convictions and working hard at whatever they do. But it doesn’t work does it? And more and more girls and women feel insecure and lack self-esteem because they’re searching in the wrong place, working to the wrong goal.
And I say to you – women and girls – don’t be fooled by what the media feeds you. Instead look to your creator. See that he designed you – every detail. That makes you perfect in design. Someone once told me that if I look in the mirror and complain about what I see and how I wish I could change it, I’m insulting God because he designed me as I am!
If your time was up tomorrow what would you rather be remembered for: how great you look in a bikini and how many heads you turn, OR, would you rather be remembered for lighting up a room with the love of Christ exuding from you as you reach into people’s lives with his love? Wouldn’t you rather ‘become blameless and pure, children of god without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life’ (Philippians 3:15-16)? And here’s some good advice: ‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men’.
From now on, when I see these images and videos that make me angry my plan is to pray for womankind because I don’t just want to be angry – I want to care.
lovdapost. I agree with evrything you say but think that there is something natural for a woman to want to be attractive and thus affirmed … but because of our insecurities it has been warped and exagerated – (see my reposnse to nicks last post re our tendency to worship and that which has been given for our use) and so we see all the flaunting etc. Of course in us poor men it causes a tension … I like it but I know I shouln’t kindathinggg! But as you imply i am sure there is alot to be said for simply letting go of our insecurities, and need for approval for a more enduring and satisfying relationship with God which will for a woman manifest itself as attractive but not alluring and provokativvv demeanour … suchasyourdearselfAnnnnnna!
Great post Anna.
Its definitely a big issue these days! I think there is a subversion of masculinity wound up in this too. Men are portrayed as lust-filled and sex-driven, and values like faithfulness and cherishing are forgotten. When all it takes to turn men is a wiggling bikini it caricatures them as being of weak character and having no resolve. I think this was summed up for me a recent RnB song which said “I wanna be faithful but I can’t keep my hands out the cookie jar”.
Is this in reality a struggle for power, with some members of each sex perceiving themselves to be in a weak position? Some men want to have power over women and so pay them to dance around scantily clad for mens ‘delight’ – in response (as you say) some women attempt to subjugate men by using “their ‘power’ to draw all men unto themselves through their irresistible sexual allure”.
I think your conclusion slams a home run – we all need to revise our self-image and our understanding of others in light of who God is.
Thanks for your comments Bruce and Oli. These are interesting and challenging issues.
I totally agree with Bruce that there is something naturally within us that wants to be attractive and affirmed – the issue is how we seek to achieve this. Perhaps I omitted to add a more personal note in what I wrote and that is to say that I find myself drawn into this as much as the next person. I guess that’s one of the things that makes it so annoying!! For example – if I see someone else drawing attention I can’t pretend there isn’t a bit of me enviously thinking – I wish people noticed me as much as that person over there.
So I think those feelings and thoughts will always be there but I hope we can encourage one another that being attractive because of Jesus changing us, and us being affirmed because of his love for us, is infinitely more important. And I hope that we can become convinced of this in order to help us resist those other thoughts and feelings when they come.
Oli your angle re weakness on both sides is an interesting one that I had not so especially seen it from until you pointed it out.
Pop Thy Collar said:
And there was me thinking that women and their self worth was a strange topic for a thirty year old, chilli nacho eating bloke called Nick to be writing on…!!
Yeah one of my concerns was the ‘posted by Anna’ is a bit too subtle! She’s written a good one though. Is it wrong to be jealous of your wife?
Pop Thy Collar said:
Ummm, I don’t think so.
I’m frequently jealous of mine – she brings all the good temperament, optimism and good looks to the marriage…
A talented duo you two are… keep the bus, rolling.
heather joy said:
Amen. “attractive” without “attracting” – that’s what my mother always taught me.
I like it.