This article is a surprisingly insightful look at women and the images we portray and the influence we wield - either in the System of Beauty or the System of Power.

It articulates much of what I love most about Angelina Jolie. I happen to think she's pretty amazing, for a flawed human being like the rest of us; she stands up to the world and sends them a message that, holy shit, women can be more than one thing at once. She doesn't let anyone pigeonhole her and it's an inspiration to the rest of us that we don't have to either.

Sarah Palin on the other hand tries to do many of the same things Jolie does without anywhere near as much success - but she's working within the system of power, which is traditionally a male venue, rather than the system of beauty (traditionally female.) You have to wonder whether it's their wildly differing politics that make the difference, or the spheres in which they operate. I mean, I can still appreciate the things Palin has accomplished even if I spectacularly disagree with her policies.

The difference, in my head, is that while Angelina Jolie tries to reject every stereotype in the book, Sarah Palin almost seems like she's trying to be them all at once. Palin is determined to be The Perfect Hockey Mom and The Perfect International Spokeswoman and The Perfect Face Of America at the same time; Jolie has an attitude that says, "Nope. I'm not a perfect anything. So fucking what? I'm still good at what I do." I think there are a lot more women - and probably a lot more people in general - who can relate to the latter sentiment. Nobody wants to get stuck playing perfect for their whole lives. Not even if it's a role they like.
"Fashion flogs an ever-receding fantasy that feasts on the lie that if everyone thinks they are ugly, they will spend more to send the ugliness away."

The quote, from this article, sums up everything I never understood about the world of high fashion. I could never comprehend it - why in hellfire do women spend thousands of dollars they often can't afford on a dress or purse or shoes that look no different (at least to me) than the stuff you can find at Payless or Nordstrom's Rack? Yes, I know some of you are cringing right now (*cough*[ profile] ravinsky*cough*) but I genuinely can't tell the difference much of the time.

Now I understand it. These items are charms against ugliness. Our belief in their power to change us makes them magic. And because we believe they will transform us, they do.

On the one hand I'm glad I finally understand; on the other hand it makes me sad in a whole new way, and it adds fuel to my loathing of the "beauty" industry. They spend thousands of dollars telling us we're ugly so that we will give them thousands of dollars to make us beautiful. Their very existence relies on hoping that we never wake up and realize just how beautiful we really are.

I will not spend money to send my ugliness away. Partly because I do not have money to spend, partly because I believe ugliness is a necessary thing sometimes... but mostly because I have more power to banish ugliness in one pinkie finger than any thousand-dollar dress has ever had.

I write beautiful things. I draw beautiful things. I make beautiful things - clothing and jewelry and love. Who is going to tell me that my life is incomplete because I don't own a designer dress?



victorianpirate: (Default)
Hic Draconis

Custom Text


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags