I have to admit, I’ve gotten fairly sick of Jezebel (and I even stopped following them on Facebook. Oooooh what will they do without me? Burn.) due to some of the festering crap published in what may sometimes be deemed their own little pop culture cesspool. Actually, it was mostly one article in particular that put me over the edge and caused me to stop paying attention, unless of course I somehow find my way there from another source (like Miss Representation, which I love and adore. Some day soon I’ll actually make it to a nearby showing of the film…).
The particular turn-off article in question was an opinion piece published by a woman in her mid-30s who was a few months post-partum, and the so-called body snarking and self-hatred were rampant. It turned my stomach and made me feel erm, well, despair. Not at the prospect of having children, but because of that reflection of the pervasive, insidious view that women, when young, are beautiful and desirable, “a tight package” (however you choose to interpret the entendre), and then: they have children. And then they fade into obscurity. Or become MILFs. And THEN fade into the background. Either way, woman as object. Woman as ornament. Woman as once useful and with perceived value, now used up and devoid of value. Retch.
On the one hand, I realize it was one woman’s experience, and self-perception, but it seemed counter to any kind of feminist, body-positive agenda they (sometimes) seem to propagate, and which is of utmost importance to me. Otherwise, it’s just more of the same schlock I can find on any drug store/grocery store magazine rack that puts PhotoShopped models on their covers, and in strange, vulnerable, servile poses. I don’t need to go on about that right now.
Not that I think there should be some overarching denial that a lot of change and really overall transformation occurs after having children, not only to one’s body. And that it is a blow to the egos of many women to suddenly be so different physically. Though arguably not permanently or unalterably or regrettably. As I said, I could go on.
Hillary Clinton, for her part, is unruffled. She told CNN, “I feel so relieved to be at the stage in my life right now. Because you know if I want ot wear my glasses I’m wearing my glasses. If I want to wear my hair back I’m pulling my hair back. You know at some point it’s just not something that deserves a lot of time and attention. And if others want to worry about it, I let them do the worrying for a change.”