2013 04 Styled Shoot you are my Cup of Tea

This movement toward a noncompetitive idea of beauty is already underway. The myth has always denied women honor. Here and there, women are evolving codes of honor to protect us from it. We with old easy criticism. We shower authentic praise. We bow out of social situations in which our beauty is being used to put other women in the shadows. We refuse to jostle for random male attention. A contestant in the 1989 Miss California Pageant pulls a banner from her swimsuit that reads PAGEANTS HURT ALL WOMEN.


A film actress tells me that when she did a nude scene, she refused, as a gesture to women in the audience, to discipline her body first. We are already beginning to find ways in which we won’t be rivals and we won’t be instruments. This new perspective changes not how we look but how we see. We begin to see other women’s faces and bodies for themselves, the Iron Maiden no longer superimposed.


We catch our breath when we see a woman laughing. We cheer inside when we see a woman walk proud. We smile in the mirror, watch the lines form at the corners of our eyes, and, pleased with what we are making, smile again. Though women can give this new perspective to one another, men’s participation in overturning the myth is welcome.