Choose you battles

June 9, 2013

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When this photo was first published, my heart stopped for a moment. OMG, the baby died! Then I realized that of course, that wasn’t what had happened, what we saw was just a heavily made up mother with a not so made up infant.

This is not an unique example, I’ve seen several pictures of human men seemingly marrying life-size Barbie dolls, like these two Image

Or watching a couple of figure skaters leave the ice where the man looks like a pimpled, anemic teenager by the side of the extremely made up dance/athlete/queen-partner.

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Now , the people in the pictures are all royalty (yeah, but that’s the subject for another text), and the pictures are not random snapshots. I would assume that whoever took the pictures are professionals, the people in printing are professionals and for God’s sake the royal families must have professional managers/press advisors.

I’m sure we have all been in the situation where a professional gives advice but the customer still wants his/her way and the result is crappy. But still. It would have been really interesting to hear the conversation in the shooting of these:

“perhaps we should put some powder and blush on the baby/husband to be”

“make up on a baby/man- are you out of your mind?”

“then perhaps slightly less on the princess?”

“but the princess want to look good on this very special day”

If two people are to be in the same picture and one of them is wearing heavy make up, the other one will at best look insignificant, more likely ill or even dead. That’s sort of the idea with make up- you put it on to look healthy and beautiful and whatever. Especially on photos. And it’s understandable that in a beauty contest you want to outshine the other contestants, but in an engagement picture? Or one showing off your newborn baby to the world?

And if make up on anyone but a woman is impossible, how about photoshop?

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With or without beards

April 11, 2013

I wonder why false hair in different forms is considered ridiculous on men but not on women.

Is it because vanity is ridiculous in a man but not in a woman? Or perhaps because women are ridiculous anyways, so a little more makes no difference?

Men have the options to use false hair on the head, or in the face. It’s not like false moustaches and beards don’t exist, it’s just that they’re only OK to use at masquerades and in 1930´s detective stories, as a disguise. ImageWigs to hide baldness are laughed at if you’re a man. On a woman it’s expected.

I think the vanity-angle is the most useful here. Men are allowed to, and even expected to, look good, but only in a “natural” way, such as nice clothes, clean skin and hair, facial shaving and after shave. Maybe even some hair wax. Working out is ok. A well-trained body on a man is usually considered attractive, and one of the few vanity traits that doesn’t evoke laughter or anger, as long as it’s not too excessive.

Since men are OK, no matter how they look, going out of their way to look better is just stupid. Women, however, need their looks to matter in other areas, and thus vanity is to be expected from them.

Perhaps on a man it’s obvious how superficial the faked look looks, while on women we’re so used to seeing it that we don’t notice.

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Perhaps the false facial hair isn’t of good enough quality to look like the real thing, and this is the reason why it’s only used for farce?  But then again there are false eye-lashes so long that they’re obviously not real and that doesn’t seem to matter. On a woman, that is.

I don’t wish at all for men to have the constant worry over looks, weight and aging that seem to take up so much of women’s time and minds. I do, however, feel sorry for men for being considered so ridiculous when  trying to look good and for having such few options in terms of looks.

Hairy men, pink women

November 9, 2012

In one of my work places, the men are encouraged to grow a mustache during the month of November. Apparently the company will donate money to research on prostate cancer, the sum depending on how many men enroll in the campaign and grow some hair.


This got me thinking about how extremely laid back the view on men’s body hair, and  appearance in general, is.

Now, I have noticed that mustaches are growing (!) back into fashion among young men, so perhaps not all men feel stupid wearing one. I would assume, though, that those who were children in the late sixties and early seventies connect mustaches with their dads and their dads friends = not sexy.

My point in this is that it’s obviously completely OK to ask men to look ridiculous for a good cause, it is also OK to ask men to grow visual body hair although it is out of general fashion. Women, however, are expected to always look good and pleasing. Not taking care of your looks is in fact quite often seen as a sign of depression. And body hair (except for the kind that grows on top of your head) is for some reason viewed as not pleasing and thus taken away. It’s not like women don’t have hair in their faces, under their arms or on their legs- they’re just expected to take it away whereas men have the option to just leave it there.


In the breast cancer campaigns I’ve seen, participants are asked to wear a small pink bow. The idea of asking women to grow some body hair seems for some reason extremely unlikely. Unshaved armpits for breast cancer? No? Hairy legs for uterus cancer? (I’m leaving the most obvious out here since private parts are usually kept, well private, and thus can’t be used for showing support in the office).

Of course, none of this is news. Still I can’t help being surprised time after time, of the absurdity of it all.

I was recently asked what I thought was really the difference between paying for a full body massage and for someone to give you an orgasm manually, assuming that they both involve one human touching another and resulting in deep pleasure on behalf of the receiver.

Although the services may seem similar, I would gladly pay for the one but not the other and I think there are several reasons for my unease. There is the problem with buying other people’s personal services and there are gender issues which probably are important, but leaving that for another post let’s just talk about this specific question.

I think part of the reason for my thinking that buying sex is not OK, is intimacy. We usually don’t deal with other people’s body fluids. Cleaning snot, sweat, urine/feces and throw ups from another is perhaps OK if the producer is a small baby (preferably your own), getting gradually more gross depending on the age, physical ableness and emotional closeness to the person you’re dealing with. I wouldn’t say semen or vaginal juices are much different from the bodily fluids mentioned above.

Unless you’re sexually attracted to the other person.

But there’s more to intimacy than body fluids. It is also about personal space and boundaries, security and feeling close to someone. Going into orgasm is (in my experience) a state when we’re not quite ourselves, for a short while the mind is left behind and the body takes over. Like falling asleep or going unconscious, this is a state that might be embarrassing to share with a stranger, because you let go of your mask. More importantly, it’s also a security issue, you need to know that no one will take advantage of your temporal loss of control. This is probably why men seem to be less disturbed by the thought of buying sex; at least heterosexual men assume the sex worker will be a woman they can easily control, but I said I’d leave the gender issues for another post, so I won’t go into this.

The person selling a massage most likely do not expect body fluids, nor for the buyer to become someone else, not even for a short time. My experience with professional masseurs is also that I keep my underwear on, thus indicating some sort of privacy on my part and distance on theirs.

The intimacy issue is not about what the buyer thinks. Obviously if you find it ok to buy sex, your own intimacy is not a problem. The problem is that you are asking someone else to be intimate with you. Because you pay them.

In theory like paying someone to come with you to the toilet and to clean your butt after you’re done, not because you can’t do it yourself, but because you don’t want to. Sure, you could probably find someone desperate enough to do it, but should you?

On my recent trip to Dublin, Ireland I spent a fair amount of time walking it’s streets, and I made the most peculiar observation; the streets seemed to be free from dog poo.

Now I can think of three possible explanations to this

1. there are no dogs in Dublin
2. there are dogs in Dublin but they don’t poo
3. there are dogs in Dublin and the owners of the dogs are very careful to always pick up the poo their dogs produce

If the first assumption is true, I would like to congratulate the  people of Dublin. I must admit that I’m not particularly interested in, or even fond of, dogs. But if they are to exist, let’s agree the city is not the place for them.

If the second assumption is true, I would like to congratulate the people of Dublin.

If the third assumption is true, I would like to congratulate the people of Dublin. A city where the residents show such respect, consideration and compassion for their fellow inhabitants must be lovely to live in.