Susan Bordo, Wendy Chapkis among other early feminists were obviously opposed to this view and posited that patriarchal culture is to be blamed for women's intense pursuit of beauty.. They claim that it is not biological for women to want to seek beauty above other things but rather because from birth there have been gender roles demarcated for both sexes where girls are bought dolls and dressed in gowns while boys are encouraged to be involved in activities related to display of strength and vigour such as sports.
Why am I going all academic? Well my point is from the word go we all know there are gender roles. We've come to expect the woman to pay attention to her physical appearance while making herself desirable to men. The man on the other hand is expected to be all macho and work hard to get a fat bank balance. As women we are expected to attribute things such as rippling muscles, hard square jaw, hard bodies and the likes to a real man. The closest a man could ever dream to being feminine is to smell nice. Other than this, nothing but an 'alpha male' will do.
Fast forward 21st century, gender roles is beginning to be blurred and it is now commonplace to find women in positions hitherto occupied by men and vice versa. However who could ever think that men would become so effeminate? They coined a new term 'metrosexual' to describe heterosexual men who have a strong concern for their appearance. A good example of a metrosexual man is David Beckham. Some women tried to come to terms with this new soft alpha male with ladies like me even preferring a metrosexual brother as long as he stops short of being gay and vain. I mean who needs a sissy?
Alas last Friday I was reading my favourite evening paper, The Londonpaper and six or seven pages down the headlines blared 'Guyliner or Manscara..? Splashed over the page were men who had applied eyeliner and looked no more than a court jester. I'm like what is this? To my horror the article covered how super drug had released a make up line for men. What for? Why on earth will any real man need a eye liner? I'm all for using moisturisers and perhaps eye brow trimming but eye liner or mascara? As if that was not enough, on BBC breakfast this morning, they unearth how tights are now being made for men and I'm thinking would they need to start wearing skirts too? I certainly don’t wear tights when I wear trousers so why is there a need for tights to be made for men?
I guess the implication for this is that most of the gender theories that have been developed in the past to explain the differences between man and woman may need to be revised. The likes of Freud unfortunately he's dead now would have to go back to the drawing board and re-write their theories. I am thinking the feminists are right on this one, gender roles are man-made and not nature based. I personally think that after God created the foundations of the world everything else that was created including culture, religion, beliefs, norms etc are man-made and if it is manmade it is changeable.
Have a good week everyone.