"Elephant Love" - A drawing I did a while back.
I’m thinking about buying some suitable version of the handbag for myself to throw all my shit in but I don’t want to waste my money on something which turns out to fall short of my needs and expectations i.e. it must be able to carry all my shit and must fit comfortably on my shoulder. I can’t emphasize more how important comfort is to me. Then it also has to be durable, not too large, not too small, not too brightly coloured so that if it gets dirty, it isn’t so obvious. So I just did a Google search of “choosing the right handbag for your needs.” The first two sites which came up were entitled, “Choosing the right handbag for your body type.” These were two independent sites and were obviously directed towards the females whose first priority when it comes to any functional tool or item is apparently its aesthetics and how it will look on them. The third site was directed towards the males and the contents of it were essentially about choosing the right bag for a man’s various needs. They mentioned style as well but the function of the bag and the things it was suitable for carrying were the most important aspects of the selection process.
This is how it is. Women are encouraged to focus on the aesthetics of an item and how it looks on them rather than what the item can do for them in terms of function and comfort. This is how we are portrayed and brought up. We spend a large chunk of our time focusing on our faces, clothes and hair instead of thinking about what we can do as people, as instruments of change. We invest large portions of our time thinking about how sexy and beautiful we can be instead of thinking about how amazing we can be in terms of what we can do for ourselves, others and the world.
Men meanwhile are encouraged to focus on the functions and uses of an item, with the appearance of it being an afterthought or not mentioned at all (with the exception of their stupid cars - *eyeroll*). This is also how they are encouraged to see themselves. As children and then as adults, their capabilities and talents are treated as the most important parts of them. Their physical aptitude at outdoor activities are celebrated. Their intelligence is praised. Their much celebrated ability to achieve goals which have nothing to do with how they look is also a legitimate and wonderful means of personal fulfilment and joy. Their physical appearance is for the most part an afterthought or at least, isn’t treated with the same level of importance as their other more useful traits. The opposite is true for women.
Women are brainwashed by society and the media and fucking relatives, to chase after beauty and sexiness in the quest for fulfilment, an endeavour which is sure to fail since the moment you have the audacity to feel content with your appearance, another advertisement or magazine cover knocks on your door to remind you that you do indeed still fall short in some way. That is, if you still value your appearance as an important aspect of yourself. If you don’t, then beauty standards shouldn’t have an effect on you. But it’s a difficult thing to detach yourself from when your appearance has come to become a significant part of your identity.
So its handbags, clothes (which are often impractical and uncomfortable), shoes, hairstyles and sadly even our bodies. We are trained to focus on the insignificant parts of them rather than the most important part of them - their uses.