All Women Are Beautiful

Women's internalized oppression involves training females to agree with disrespecting women. (That makes it systematic.) We were trained to collude with our own oppression. Part of what we were "taught" was how to make use of (translated: get ahead in the world by using) -- our looks. We were given definite ideas about what we must do to be considered attractive. We were conditioned to believe that if we didn't fit into the narrow definition of what it took to be considered pretty or cute or beautiful or sexy, we really weren't worth very much. We were told we'd be lucky to find a partner if we didn't conform since everyone else was being trained to judge women by the same standards. We saw that being "alone" could invite pity or homophobia from friends, family, or the general public. Above all other rules of beauty, we had to be thin enough. It didn't matter if you had "a pretty face" unless you had the body to go with it -- namely, one that weighed less than most of the rest of the women in the world. No wonder we now constantly compare ourselves to each other and often feel bad about how we look.

The stereotypical ideas about what is beautiful need to be shot down just like the stereotypical ideas about any other oppressed group. The rigid rules about what is acceptable are determined by commonly held patterns; they don't exist in the reality of our human attractiveness. It is possible for people to begin to see what women are really like, instead of an artificial image that everyone's patterns are trained to be drawn to. Women, and all their body parts, come in as many different sizes and shapes and textures and configurations as there are women -- and they are all beautiful.

How differently would we act if we knew that? What if women really knew that, and didn't just take the direction of being beautiful as a way of trying to convince our patterns? (See Judy Kay's comment about the Reality Agreement in the latest Present Time.) What if all of our allies, male and female, knew that? Even deciding whether or not our beauty fits into the "traditional" sense of the world seems to be pointing in the direction of the oppression. Let's start a new tradition. When all women know they are beautiful, the oppression of women will be on its way OUT!

Stephanie Sepaugh
Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
reprinted from "RC Exchange" newsletter

Last modified: 2015-07-21 09:58:05-07