For those who may not know who that beautiful woman in the feature image of this post is, that was my wife. Aaliyah Dana Haughton. I was browsing through a few of her music videos (like I do sporadically), admiring how effortlessly attractive she was without having to try so hard. That’s when I asked myself the following questions.
In regards to mainstream entertainment, what “man” told women that being overtly sexual makes them beautiful? And what “man” told women that being overtly sexual is what men want?
I emphasized the word “man” in those questions because men have been driving the machine that is the entertainment industry since the beginning. So society’s perception of women, how women may see themselves, and how men may treat women lies from the influence of some man’s ideology. I asked a few of my boys if they get excited to see a music video, sitcom, or scene within a film that includes a half-naked woman, and the majority of them stated that it’s nice to look at but it’s nothing that they haven’t seen before. I couldn’t agree more. Yes, it’s nice to see eye candy every once in a while but it’s not going to hold my attention any longer than the last video with the overt amount of eye candy; and the video before that, and the scene before that, and the film before that. Society has gotten so comfortable with this “sex sells” mentality that having a woman cover up is an afterthought and it’s often considered prudish. Not saying that women who choose to show more skin won’t gain a large male fanbase, but it’s not the only thing that’s going to make those men buy their product. Why? Because the Internet is full of free websites that offer the same goods and services.
This leads me into another topic that’s relative to this topic, slut shaming.
Slut shaming is defined as the act of criticizing a woman for her real or presumed sexual activity, or for behaving in ways that someone thinks are associated with her real or presumed sexual activity. Amber Rose has been the most vocal in regards to slut shaming by promoting this event called the SlutWalk. From my understanding, correct me in the comments below if I’m wrong, this event is used to promote empowerment for women and to fight against the double standard between men & women regarding their sexual liberty. We are all aware that if a man were to gloat about his “sexcapades” and dress any way that he’d like, he would just be considered the coolest guy on earth and no one would judge him for his antics. However, if a woman were to do the same thing, she would be shunned upon and called every name in the book but a child of God. Is this fair? No, so there is validity behind this event and her viewpoints. Because the only way that we will become a “post-gender” society is if we end this double standard that tries to make one gender superior over another.
Personally, I’m not going to judge a woman or a man based on their body count and sexual liberty, mainly because I don’t care. However, that doesn’t mean that I’m impressed by that or by your power of taking a negative connotation and flipping it into something positive. I don’t consider you to be “the man” or “the woman” just by how comfortable you are expressing your sexuality and discussing what goes on in your bedroom, because we’re all human with the same tools to procreate as much as we’d like. I’m more impressed with the guy who can win the heart of a Michelle Obama, than the guy who can win the advances of a different girl from the bar every night. Likewise for women.
So, just to bring this back to my initial post: Overt sexuality is not the definitive for beauty. Whether it’s in regards to media or real life, being comfortable showing a lot of skin and discussing your intimate affairs doesn’t make you any more attractive or different from the million of other people who can do the same thing. Your character, values, intellect and spirit will have more men and women fighting over your affections than just the physical. Let your business be your business. Besides, having an element of mystery is the most attractive quality that anyone can have, it keeps people guessing.
Until Next Time…
Geek Feminism Wiki. (n.d.). Retrieved March 6, 2016, from http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Slut_shaming