2013 03 Styled Shoot Anna Karenina Wintry Days
A woman may be fleshy from high self-esteem or from low; she may cover her face in makeup out of the desire to play around outrageously or the desire to hide. All women have experienced the world treating them better or worse according to where they rate each day: while this experience wreaks havoc with a woman’s identity, it does mean that women have access to a far greater range of experience than the snapshots “beauty” takes of us would lead us to believe.
We may well discover that the way we now read appearances tells us little, and that we experience, no matter what we look like, the same spectrum of feelings: sometimes lovely, often unlovely, always female, in a commonality that extends across the infinite grids that the beauty myth tries to draw among us. Women blame men for looking but not listening. But we do it too; perhaps even more so. We have to stop reading each others’ appearances as if appearance were language, political allegiance, worthiness, or aggression.
The chances are excellent that what a woman means to say to other women is far more complex and sympathetic than the garbled message that her appearance permits her. Let us start with a reinterpretation of “beauty” that is noncompetitive, nonhierarchical, and nonviolent. Why must one woman’s pleasure and pride have to mean another woman’s pain? Men are only in sexual competition when they are competing sexually, but the myth puts women in “sexual” competition in every situation.