“You Don’t Have to Be Pretty. You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked “female”.”
“And, you know, Robert, when you teach women that they need to be objects to even qualify as women, then why are you surprised when they start to literally integrate with objects?”
This is hilarious.
"Or maybe what I really want to tell him is ‘Um, brainbuster? Next time you work with a female? Ask her which city her body is. Or ocean. Give her poetry books written by women. Like Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton and H.D. and Adrienne Rich and Mary Oliver and Emily Dickinson. Let her draw or paint or sing a self before. You. Say. A. Word.’"
— Lidia Yuknavitch, Dora: A Headcase
"I roll over and off my bed to one of the last corners of my wall without my lifestory on it. I write, ‘Dear Francis Bacon: the best canvas is the body.’ I mean, I’m not Francis Bacon. I’m a girl. For sure I can’t paint, so I’ve had to use my body for most everything.
I stare at my girlwalls.
It’s taken exactly seventeen purple Sharpies to write my girlstory on these bedroom walls."
— Lidia Yuknavitch, Dora: A Headcase
God, I am in love with Lidia Yuknavitch. And Dora is fucking fantastic.
"Worse, the bodies of women, minorities, children, disenfranchised bodies (prisoners, so-called nut cases, etc…) and their truths don’t ‘count’ as either present and important in society or worth Pulitzer prizes as characters in literature.
Well, fuck that. You could say I think the body is the first novel. I take my cues about form and content from her."
— Lidia Yuknavitch
"Better say that I’m bored of what it means that we are still here talking about it: it means that nothing has changed."
— Kate Winslet on whether she’s bored with talking about body image, Vanity Fair Italia
"I’d never considered that hair removal is part of my identity—just like a tattoo or a piercing—and if I stopped doing it I’d challenge my definition of who—and what—I am."
— Cherry Healey: Could you give up waxing, tweezing and shaving? - Telegraph
"When I was walking around wearing my glasses the other day (in public! gasp!) and not caring a whit about how I looked, I had a thought I’d never had before. It is so elementary that it’s embarrassing to let you know that this thought had literally never, ever crossed my mind before, but here goes: You don’t always have to be pretty.
Mind you, I don’t walk through life always believing that I am pretty. But I do walk through life believing that I should be, always, without exception. I’m not talking well-groomed and hygienic; I’m talking pretty. Every day, to some degree, involves considering how close to my standard of personal prettiness I get."
— Autumn Whitefield-Madrano
"Constantly worrying about your reflection and criticizing your body, shape and size is an act of violence against yourself."
— Emma Thompson (via revolutioniswhen)
the trouble with advertising and magazines - especially women’s magazines- is that they have to give us problems in order to sell us answers. i bet you never thought about your eyebrows being ‘too bushy’ before someone (be that an advert, friend, sister, whoever) suggested tweezers were the answer. it’s probable that you wouldn’t be worried about looking THE BEST at prom unless magazines were promising they could help you do so. i’ll be perusing magazine covers and suddenly will come across a headline saying something like ‘101 steps to rid yourself of your ankle fat’ and i’ll be like ‘oh my god… i never knew my ankle fat was a problem. obviously i should be very ashamed of my chubby ankles because this magazine is telling me so, i’d better buy it to find out how to improve myself.’
i think for a lot of girls, the search for perfection isn’t so much about wanting to be the most beautiful person in the world - it’s more about the fear of what will happen if youdon’t fit the mould of beauty. we see it all the time: women being ridiculed by men, and other women, because they aren’t quite what we’re programmed to think of as ‘pretty’. there are entire websites for women to pick apart other women’s bodies and make fun of them for having a little cellulite or for wearing the wrong jeans for their figure. and women are so objectified in the media that some men begin to believe what they see is real, and expect normal girls that they meet to live up to the standards they’ve seen in films or magazines. this is especially terrifying because women are now being picked apart because of their looks by both women and men, which is a lot of pressure to be under. often it feels like our bodies don’t even belong to us; they’re public property used by people to judge and demean us. that needs to stop.
i think we’re all guilty of this to some extent, i know i certainly am. it’s really scary to think what people will say about us if we don’t look how we’re supposed to. it’s even daunting to admit that we feel this pressure, because we’re meant to be beautiful and perfect and sexy all without trying, which is pretty much impossible and will only leave us feeling worse for failing to live up to the standards we have put upon ourselves
in my opinion, the answer is knowledge. i try to educate myself about this issue as best i can, so that when i’m stood there in the aisle at tesco ponderting whether or not i should buy cosmo to rid me of my overweight ankles or whatever, i can stop and think about what’s going on. do i really care about this, or am i just acting in the way that i have been trained to by the media? this vicious cycle of women putting down other women in order to make themselves feel better needs to stop, because we are all facing the same issue, and resorting to that only plays into what the media wants: for us to all be self conscious and insecure so that we’re easy prey for advertisers and magazines. be as skeptical as you can with regards to the images that you are shown; they are pretty much all altered to ensure that you will never ever reach the level of perfection they show you, so that you will keep on buying forever to try (but always fail) to reach the goal they give you.
and most importantly, remember the values of sisterhood. don’t put down other women for not looking a certain way- they get enough of that from other people. and likewise, if you think someone looks smoking hot, you don’t need to try and bring her down to make yourself feel better (don’t hate; appreciate!) because you are great just the way you are. you don’t need your ‘perfect summer body’ or ‘lashes up to 3x their normal length’ to be a beautiful person - that comes from having a good heart (which cannot be bought with cosmetics or found in the pages of glamour magazine). remember: we’re all fighting the same battle, and a little love and appreciation for your fellow women goes a long way.