To live in a culture in which women are routinely naked where men aren't is to learn inequality in little ways all day long. So even if we agree that sexual imagery is in fact a language, it is clearly one that is already heavily edited to protect men's sexual--and hence social--confidence while undermining that of women.
I argue that we deserve the choice to do whatever we want with our faces and bodies without being punished by an ideology that is using attitudes, economic pressure, and even legal judgments regarding women's appearance to undermine us psychologically and politically.
Healthy and diseased, as Susan Sontag points out...are often subjective judgments that society makes for its own purposes. Women have long been defined as sick as a means of subjecting them to social control.
From 1970 onwards, our culture told both sexes that individual expression was paramount. And for women, that was defined as the right to choose an interesting a career, a high-status mate, the desirable handbag or vacation, the perfect family size, and a definitionally fruitless quest for 'perfection.'
For I conclude that the enemy is not lipstick, but guilt itself; that we deserve lipstick, if we want it, AND free speech; we deserve to be sexual AND serious--or whatever we please; we are entitled to wear cowboy boots to our own revolution.
As soon as a woman's primary social value could no longer be defined as the attainment of virtuous domesticity, the beauty myth redefined it as the attainment of virtuous beauty. It did so to substitute both a new consumer imperative and a new justification for economic unfairness in the workplace where the old ones had lost their hold over newly liberated women.
Is the beauty myth good to men? It hurts them by teaching them how to avoid loving women. It prevents men from actually seeing women. It does not, contrary to its own professed ideology, stimulate and gratify sexual longing. In suggesting a vision in place of a woman, it has a numbing effect, reducing all senses but the visual, and impairing even that.
Women, by nature, are a certain way; they think a certain way. Women are web thinkers. We think wide... Why? Because we have children. Why? Because we were born as women to have children and to be able to take care of them. We do so many things at once.
When you're female working in a male-dominated industry, there are unfortunately extra things you need to do - for example, couch opinions in a way that sounds palatable and not threatening. That's a skill I developed.
People at agencies and studios, including the parent boards, might look around the table at the decision-making level and feel something is wrong if half their participants are not women. Because our tastes are different, what we value is different. Not better, different.