The Fashion Industry and the War on Women

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(Photo:formal dresses melbourne)Finally got round to reading this article which is not shocking at all and surprised me not the tiniest bit. As I tweeted when I saw it (without reading it of course), “The fashion industry IS the war on women.”

I’ve had a hard time buying into the idea that there’s a war on women in America. First of all, the word War is absurd. Unless you’ve been in a place where a war is literally going on, I think it’s an unhelpful way of talking about bad things. Most of us do not live with gun fire going on outside our windows, with the threat of big explosions, with death lurking around the corner. If you were looking for actual War I think you would need to go to some places in the Middle East, and some hot spots in North Africa, and certainly some places in Nigeria, and then go all the way into some neighborhoods in Chicago. I’m not trying to be funny, what I’ve been reading about Chicago makes it sound like it has all the qualities of a war zone.

So the very idea that women, in America, who are going to college in greater numbers than men, who peacefully go to work every day, and who are allowed to both wear whatever they want and, I think more importantly, say whatever they think and believe, declassifies their condition as being in a war.

On the other hand, setting aside the word War, I think it wouldn’t be too much to say that there are deep rooted problems and systems that essentially undermine the feminine experience of western women. I say that believing that these forces are not as malign as those of some women in other places in the world. The right to speak and show your face is a critically important freedom and I don’t want any of what I’m saying right now to be thought of on that level. Me not getting to have anything nice to wear is not remotely similar to me wearing a burka. Those are not the same.

Nevertheless, I think Satan hates all women everywhere, and one way that he persecutes and diminishes western women, besides with the Abortion Industry (I mean, how great is that–get women to believe that killing the most beautiful and life transforming thing that could ever happen to them will make everything all better; have them walk into the war zone on their own two feet and call it peace; what is that line? They cry peace peace where there is no peace) is by making the natural and real parts of the female body impossible to live with.

I mean, I’m talking about the body of the mother here. The real body of the mother. The tired and worn out body that has been stretched so much that it then collapses. And I’m also talking about the body of the woman who, even without the wrecking ball of child bearing, still ages, still faces gravity and lumpiness. And the body of the woman who has had to have whole essential bits cut off or removed, who faces the alarming horror of disease that threatens to destroy everything. The body of the woman is complex, peculiar, changeable, prone to trouble as the sparks fly upward.

So, for a man, whose chemistry, hormones, shape, and strength are not the same, are not as mysteriously complex, who cannot bear along the life of another in his very flesh, who has the advantage of strength, and height, and speed, to be allowed to call himself a woman, and clothe himself as a woman, and even look better than most women, it may not rise to the level of war, but it’s as insidious as the satanic destruction of the body’s ability to cope with gluten is on the Eucharist itself.

Bruce Jenner winning an award for being woman of the year is demoralizing. He’s not a woman, and when he was given the award he hadn’t been trying to be one more than a year, or whatever, whereas I’ve been working at it my whole life.

The dismissive attitude of the fashion industry for the bodies of real women is also demoralizing. In the face of constant discouragement I’ve managed to come up with a uniform for myself. I wear the same thing every day–a pair of ill fitting jeans, a black shirt, and two gray sweaters. Oh, and big winter boots, the only shoe that keeps my foot warm in the winter. In the summer I lose the boot and the second gray sweater and just stick to the one because I’m always cold. I wear this every day, day in day out, day after day after day. And I look at beautiful clothes online and feel sad because I know that if I try to buy them, they won’t look like that on me.

There is no, “her dress was right, her stockings were right, her hat was right” for me because as a woman in America I have to shove myself into stuff that was not originally considered for me, but was rather conceived of for a 100 foot tall slender demigod who apparently sometimes can now be even a man. I can’t compete with that, or shove myself into it. I’m clinging to my five feet (dear sweet saints of God please don’t let me shrink yet) and trying to rid myself of my middle, which I can’t do, because I’ve given birth six times.

My body is broken, and sometimes my spirit rejoices, but most of the time it is mired in jealousy and covetousness. I don’t look at my beautiful healthy offspring and then at my own shape and think, ‘this is so great, I’m so glad I have something to show for this,’ I usually think, ‘I can’t believe I’m going to get saggier until I die.’

My spirit could sure be helped to rejoice if my body didn’t have to wear skinny jeans that will never ever ever ever ever gently and beautifully clothe my broken frame. There is no grace for me from the fashion industry, no care, no consideration. If I want to wear something beautiful I have to hunt and hunt and humiliate myself in dressing rooms under bright lights. I have to comb through mountains of websites and then consider whether or not I want to risk the horror of not being able to try something on.

It’s not a war, it’s a gentle unrelenting diminishment of my personhood and soul. It is the undervaluation of who I am by forces more powerful than me. It is the rich spreading themselves over the bright lights of the runway while the poor go away ugly.

But in a little while, you will look for them but you will not find them. You will only find me clothed in the most excessive beauty, making my way down a golden avenue to fling my jewel encrusted crown before a vision so glorious it will take your breath away. My body then, remade, will not be rivaled by any man dressed as a woman. The ravages of disease, childbirth, and care will have been put away, though the glory of that suffering will not be lost. Somehow it will be woven through, will be the substance of those jewels.

On the other hand, today is not that day, and there is a foot of snow on the ground, so it’s back into jeans for me.Read more at:formal dresses canberra

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