The other day, I read an article about a woman who is angry about the way she was treated by her apartment management in relation to her attire at their community pool. This woman, who was accused of wearing an inappropriate bathing suit at a pool visited by the families in their apartment building, claims her one-piece bathing suit was perfectly decent and that the apartment management is “body shaming” her. You see, this woman has a larger posterior and the suit appeared to others as a thong-style bathing suit. The other families in the apartment community complained to management, and this woman is outraged and considering a lawsuit because, of course, her rights have been violated. Which right is that? The right to bare skin in front of God and country?

Please forgive me if I am being too snarky. I, too, am a curvy woman, in both top and bottom. I understand the nightmare of bathing suit shopping. I remember when my much smaller friend tried to get me to wear one of her bikinis to the pool. It was obscene. There was no way I was going to go out in public dressed in this fashion. You see, I looked in the mirror before I went outside and plainly saw that my bathing suit was inappropriate for a community pool. My sense of modesty, I understand, is not the way of the world these days. Other women see no problem in revealing all to anyone and everyone.

I do see a problem, though. The problem I see is that women feel like, not only is it okay to show as much skin as possible, but that it is a requirement. This is not about body-shaming. This is about respect for ourselves and the people around us. There is no reason why any woman should feel compelled to wear clothing that is immodest. And, taking the attitude that others should just look away if they don’t appreciate what they see is simply self-centered and inconsiderate.

If you are walking around your home with the curtains drawn, completely naked, that is your prerogative. Once you take it outside your walls, you are now infringing on the rights and comforts of others. I certainly do not want to see your naked behind or uncovered breasts as I lay at the pool, and I sure as anything don’t want the young men in my family to see it either. The goal is to get the next generation of men to look at women as equals, valuable for our intellect, ingenuity, creativity, and perseverance. Instead, we continue to fuel the cycle of female objectification at every turn. Magazines, television, movies, etc. all encourage women to disrobe to gain attention. Not only is this humiliating to women, but it is fleeting as these women who succumb to this method become just another body in the crowd.

Please, can we try to distinguish our gender by the advances we make in science, art, teaching, technology, and not the extent of our flesh. We have become a society focused on bodies and beauty instead of brains and talent. We are worth more than our bodies and it is time we send that message…to everyone! Men will not stop objectifying women if we don’t stop objectifying ourselves.

 

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