Last week at hot topic, I bought a Vault Boy tshirt.
There was once a little boy.
When he was in the third grade, he
held a butterfly on the palm of his hand. He
watched the way the light glinted off its wings.
He watched with delight how the colors would sing
their sweet songs into the blue, blue sky.
But the other boys didn’t like the butterfly.
When they saw the light in the boy’s eyes, they
pushed at him and pulled on his hair. They
called him names and said he was acting like a girl.
Because these boys, they felt that they had the world
held firmly in the grips of their fists.
“You tried to change, didn’t you? Closed your mouth more, tried to be softer, prettier, less volatile, less awake … You can’t make homes out of human beings. Someone should have already told you that.” ~Warsan Shire
For those of you who don’t know, Aerie is a store for teenagers and young adults that sells primarily bras and panties, as well as really comfy, nice pajamas. Aerie is an offshoot/subsidiary/child of American Eagle. Their customers are almost entirely young women (including me !!!) and their ads are entirely targeted toward young women and girls. Their most recent ad campaign is the This girl has not been retouched campaign. And I have to say, I’m liking it a lot so far.
I should stand up for you
In that stupid irrelevant English class
I should explain and aid your argument when
Those who have never felt the need to escape
Say that you’re stupid for even bothering to talk about how suicide is romanticized
Because they couldn’t ever understand why it even matters
And I should speak up
When they make fun of your technicolor hair
(Which, by the way, is fucking awesome)
And I should say something to them
When they ask why you dress the way you do
I should make them understand
And I should cry out
When they call you “she” instead of “he”
When they call you by the dirty name you got at birth
Instead of the beautiful one you chose for yourself
Yes, I know I should stand up
And I should get over my stupid fear
Of not being liked because
My anxieties over the way people see me couldn’t possibly be
Anything compared to yours
And I should declare my allegiance and
Share my love and
I should stand up
And my hope is that in
Some other life you’ll
Be able to forgive me for
Staying silent and sitting down and
To stand up alone
Nope—it’s about periods !!!!!
Remember a few days ago when I said I’m really stressed out and I don’t feel like I have anything relevant to say?
I changed my mind.
I have something relevant to say today.
If there’s one truth in this world, it is this: The majority of teenagers are really really horny, and most are more than happy to engage their urges and mess around with someone else. Flirting is, for the most part, pretty natural and usually harmless. But at what point is flirting seen as harassment? (and, conversely, when can harassment be seen as flirting?) There are plenty of girls I know who feel powerful due to the boys who make stupid passes at them—and other girls who just feel like shit because members of the opposite sex won’t leave them alone.
This is all just copied and pasted directly out of my phone. My auto-capitalization is off and I really hate using punctuation, which is why this sounds kind of like a third grader wrote it. But I really want some other input on this. This post is probably gonna be 1000% stupid, honestly, but I’m just so frustrated. Please, people of the social justice world, don’t unfollow me in droves. If anything, hear me out and then tell me why I’m wrong 😉
As I type this on my phone keyboard, I stand in the checkout aisle of the grocery store, holding this stupid magazine. Every headline makes me cringe. I could go on and on about how magazines aimed at teenagers are just page after page of thinspo and vapid advertisements—but that topic has been done to death and I don’t have anything even remotely original to say. However, this isn’t just a teen magazine, this is Women’s World.
Every tag line smacks of idiocy. It’s all about kids and homemaking and losing weight. You’d be hard-pressed to find a “men’s” magazine (besides one that is marketed specifically for parents) that deals in any of this stuff in such detail.
No, really. I dare you. If someone can find me one then I’ll pay them with all the money I have.*
The taglines just get more hilarious as you read them. If I became “100 Lbs Slimmer” because of some miracle diet, I’d weigh ten pounds. If I lost 25 pounds every thirty days or so, as the headline so proudly proclaims, then at the end of six months I would weigh negative 15 pounds.
Also, does anyone know why is says “God Bless America” up at the top?
Then there’s the stuff to do with shopping and saving money on shopping, followed by the tagline for an article about fun back-to-school snacks for your kids, because we live in Mad Men where a bored housewife has nothing better to do than go grocery shopping and feed her two children.
Okay, I’m being unfair. I know we don’t really live in the 1960s. And I know that being a housewife can be a valid life choice. And I know that it’s probably physically impossible for me to lose 100 pounds.
Wanna hear what else I know?
This magazine is damn stupid.
I skimmed through it, and while I could be wrong, I’m about 99% certain that there was nothing relating to working or finances or (god forbid) some sort of outdoor sports. There wasn’t anything, really, besides kids and shopping and personal health.
I wouldn’t have any problem if this was specifically a parenting magazine, but what this magazine cover (and plenty of others of the same type) seems to be implying is that parent and woman are synonymous.
And yes, we now have American women at high levels of business, academia, and government—you name it. But, as we’ve seen in recent months, we’re still asking age-old questions about how to make women’s way in male-dominated fields, how to balance the demands of work and family.
Sure, this magazine cover is meaningless in the grand scheme of things, but it points to a bigger problem. Culturally, we can accept that women are valuable members of society for more reasons than just our functioning reproductive systems—it’s just that those reasons still have to include our functioning reproductive systems. It forces us to internalize the idea that while we can have some other purpose in life, our primary purpose hasto be for the production of children.
On the bright side, now I know how to make some really cool back to school snacks.
*”All the money I have” is a grand total of zero dollars.