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Woman, Not the Sum of Flawed Parts

anistonpubis[1]By Linda Bakke

Star Magazine. Full of faces covered by question marks, bodies sliced up. Women diminished to the details of their flaws, circled in bold. A dissection of celebrities’ body parts.

I was working as a receptionist at a hair salon when I discovered Star. I picked it up and paged through. It was awful. I could not put it down.

One article divulged a star’s “hairy secret,” detailing the frequency of her waxing regimen and suggesting her pubic area was overly hairy. A two page spread highlighted shameful “sausage fingers.” Another asked who had the worst toes.

It all oddly evoked the serial killers who keep articles – or worse, dismembered body parts – as trophies.

And what is the triumph here? A sensed superiority over the goddess’ faults as we lie in judgment?

And who can blame us? Their supposedly error-free bodies stress us out! Destroying them and their presumed perfection just might lift our spirits.

But maybe scrutinizing them only returns scrutiny to us, as the judgments tell us we must correct our own “blemishes,” whether buttocks, breasts, fingers or toes.

The message: women’s imperfections cannot be tolerated.

As we eat it up, we fail to see how we become victims, too, unconsciously nodding agreement that this treatment of women is acceptable.

While the pictures and text underline our preoccupation with facade over character, men’s bodily foibles are untouched by these tabloids. Who can imagine placing a man in such light?

Hopefully one day we will take on realistic and healthy expectations so that women will no longer be seen as the sum of flawed parts.

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