Despite being an undergrad, the more time I spend on facebook, the more and more I see my peers (from high school and college) getting engaged, getting married, and starting families of their own. Many girls my age are starting to think of planning weddings (let’s be real, most of us have wedding pintrest boards) and trying to settle down with a significant other.
I came across an interesting article saying that if a woman keeps her last name she is going to be more successful. This study found more women who are getting married at a younger age (in their 20’s) are less likely to take their husband’s last name than women getting married at an older age (in their 60’s). The study also cites that women in higher prestige jobs (such as medicine, entertainment, or arts) are more likely to keep their last name, which is one reason they’re more successful. Most women also get married at an older age when they choose not to take their husband’s last name, so they already have a career and an identity fully formed.
The study cites that women who don’t take their husband’s name are perceived as not being committed to a marriage and end up being paid less than if they took their husbands last name. I think this is problematic. I think that women should not be forced to take the name of the man she chooses to marry– I think that it should be her decision or a decision she makes jointly with her hubby-to-be. I think choosing not to take a husband’s last name just indicates that that person already has a developed identity and doesn’t feel the need to change it. I also think on the flip side, women who choose to take their husband’s last name shouldn’t be perceived as weak, or dependent on a man– I think both of these decisions are a personal choice that a woman decides how she wants her identity to be (if she wants it to change or not) post-wedding.
It’s (somewhat) near the beginning of the year and most women and men are concerned with their New Years resolution of dropping a few pounds. A controversy recently occurred when Cosmo posted a picture of a plus sized model doing a bikini photo shoot in Australia for one of their upcoming issues. This usually wouldn’t be much of an issue except this girl is far from plus sized. Comso’s picture received hundreds of comments but the most interest one read:
“Dear Cosmo, Kindly take your ideas of ‘plus size’ and shove them up your ass sideways. Sincerely, Every man on the planet who has had to reassure his perfectly healthy and proportioned woman she’s not fat because assholes like you perpetuate this idea in her head that she’s ‘plus sized’.”
Another problematic issue that has errupted over social media is the “bikini bridge” picture. These pictures are posted on profiles such as facebook and instagram an only
show the bottom half of one’s bikini, which is elevated by protruding hipbones. This is just one of the many ways in which the culture of “Thinspiration” is being perpetuated. Thinspiration is a new wave of websites and blogs that are dedicated to advocating weight loss at any cost and market towards young women. These types of pictures emerged in the nineties but the blogs and websites solely dedicated to this message have emerged more recently in the past decade. These websites (many of which are on social media sites such as tumblr, pinterest, and instagram) include pictures of emaciated girls who have clothes hanging off their frail looking bodies and have ridiculous diet tricks to help you lose weight fast.
Last month was Victoria’s Secret’s Annual Fashion show which everyone either loves or hates. Most girls and men love to see the fit models wearing extravagant lingerie however, many disapprove of this show because it gives women a false idea of what “sexy” should be. Most of these women are on extreme diets, eating nothing but protein shakes the week before and having to abstain from water 24 hours before the show and then binge on burgers and fries as soon as the show is over, or these models have a type of body that allows them to be super tall and naturally skinny. The problem is that we glorify these rare body types that are unattainble to most of the population and say “This is beautiful. You have to be like this to be pretty in our society” and that is asinine.
I have continuously seen pictures like all of these above and question what sort of values are we teaching to the young women of our society. We shame girls who are a healthy weight but they have curves, and we instill ideas that if your bones are protruding then you’re not thin enough to be pretty. I’m personally guilty of not being happy with how I look but I think that it’s important that we remember as women that there is no correct body size. There’s also sort of a double bind that people face, we are told by the media, fashion companies, and each other to be extremely thin like fashion models and are told by men that we should be voluptuous like Kate Upton. I think instead of being bothered by the constant bombardment of messages of what we SHOULD look like, women need to learn acceptance of our bodies and love our bodies for what they are.
What do you think about body size? Do you agree or disagree?