Remix by NKOTB: empowering or stereotyping?
By laurelarockefeller on May 18, 2013
But what is wrong with a woman thinking that she is fine JUST THE WAY SHE IS? Why is "sexy" the benchmark by which we are evaluated? Why not for her inner qualities or her education? Why is the woman who studies hard and becomes a respected professional in her chosen career the woman that no body wants in favor of the woman who risks her life trying to be that "sexy thing" who is really only wanted for her ability to gratify the whims of men? Sorry, guys, but you really do not need a living human to get that sort of gratification; your own hands work just as well for that.
I love the tune for this song. I really like the dancing performance by NKOTB. And in full disclosure, I downloaded this song to my ipod. But as a lady science fiction author, a woman of great education and even greater intellect, I am bothered by the subtext. I am that girl that has never really been wanted by men; I never met their standards of beauty. Not when I was younger and my chest was too flat to get attention. Not now as I recover from four years on prescription migraine medicine that nearly killed me by reducing me to 82 lbs; within a month of changing migraine therapies, my weight surged to 135; an increase of more than half of my previous, anorexic weight. By the standard of beauty we are given, my size 16 clothes make me "fat" when in truth, all the weight means is that I finally have properly functioning internal organs (except for my heart which is still atropied from four years of nearly starving to death).
So I am no sexy creature. I am still ignored. I have nothing men can exploit. All I have is my education, my intelligence, and my talent. All I have is an amazing inner person.
Perhaps it is time that we as women insist on better. We are so much more than our reproductive organs. We do not have to kill ourselves or risk our health trying to look like hollywood fantasies. Instead, we can accept ourselves and focus our attention on being as beautiful as people as we can.
Beauty and the flesh are fleeting. They do not last. No one at 80 is a sixteen year old boy's sexual fantasy. But if we foster our real selves, we grow beyond that. To quote Yoda, "Luminous beings are we, Luke, not this crude matter." We are our inner selves.
Let's say no to this shallow image of what makes a woman worthwhile and show the world that women are not servants to the whims and fantasies of men. We are beautiful and worthwhile -- just the way we are.
Laurel A. Rockefeller, author
The Peers of Beinan series