Up with YOU, Anne! I'm glad to share a planet with you. n/t


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Posted by Lauren on October 11, 2002 at 23:33:29:

In reply to: A product release party and "womens' views of themselves" posted by Anne Beltestad on October 11, 2002 at 16:10:52:

: hi all,
:
: some time ago I was contacted by someone who got my card at
a "Modern
: Bride Magazine" pseudo-bachlorette party back in late spring. She
: said she was a party planner, it was a corporate event for this
past
: Wed. I didn't think much of it but she wanted all sorts of things
I
: never provide, such as an invoice and my social security number(?!)
: and was businesslike to the point of unfriendly on the phone.
: Whatever, I thought. this is Manhattan after all.
: Well, I got there on Wed. night and walked in the door of the bar,
and
: it was, of all things, a release party for Tampax's new product,
: "Tampax Pearl"! Apparently this new tampon is revolutionary not
just
: because it's more comfortable than "the plastic you have been
using"
: (huh?!?) but because it's pearl-colored, and thus "more feminine".
It
: even comes in a scented version (I thought that was BAD for
you...?).
: The woman in charge of this new product made a little speech and
: showed a video presentation. I was fortunate enough to be hennaing
: someone, with my head down, so I missed the latter, but it's the
: speech I want to share with you here.
: "Tampax Pearl" apparently is significant for the New Woman who can
be
: described as "Power and Pearls." Apparently two scientists from the
: University of Michigan (women, no less) had conducted a study about
: women today, and our views of ourselves. This new woman feels
: confident in herself, is independent and successful, and yet "not
: afraid to be feminine." So far so good, right? Well, the examples
: used to describe this phenomenon were, for example, feeling
: comfortable wearing makeup to an 8am chemistry class (note,
chemistry,
: not French!) and being independent and spontaneous enough to
decide,
: on a whim, to get a manicure during a shopping trip!
: I couldn't help myself. I laughed out loud. I did refrain from
: snorting food all over the table (they did feed me!), or making too
: many comments, or allowing my brain to even BEGIN deconstructing
this
: crap.
: The really sad part was that as the henna artist I was trying to
bring
: a breath of fresh air and an idea of some more holistic beauty
ideas
: to this event. I believe that every person I henna gets a little
bit
: of a blessing, something to make them feel special and calm. I
even
: told the beauty editor of Cosmopolitan that where I come from,
women
: don't necessarily shave off all their body hair. ("Really? How
: Quaint!") I did tell several people how old henna was, and that
: trends may come and go but that this "womens' art form" lasts.
: My point is is that as a feminist and a henna artist, as a scholar
and
: a human being, this is the tide I'm swimming against. Henna honors
: all people, from the person with disfiguring scars to the
: flat-stomached teenage beauty queen, from the six-year-old to the
: crone. I want to share something of beauty with these people,
: something different that, even for a moment, makes them feel calm.
: Yet it's hard when I hear that "being independent and *still*
: feminine" means caring about beauty. No mention whatsoever of
women
: athletes, doctors, artists (oh, sorry, the girl from The Sopranos
was
: their spokesperson for the evening. NOT the sharpest knife in the
: drawer to say the least), scholars, stateswomen, lawyers, spiritual
: leaders, single moms, advocates, etc etc. Not a mention. The
: achievements were in terms of being feminine, being pretty.
: I believe with all my heart that it is my duty to combat this.
: Needless to say I arrived dressed like Indian meets Post-Punk meets
: Nordic Witch, riding my bike from Brooklyn in this all-black jangly
: getup with a weird Icelandic sort of hat, and I must say when I
left I
: was proud of myself, of my mom and all the strong women I know who
: don't buy the party line about what a woman is supposed to be. Now
: let's keep it up!
:
: up with REAL women!
:
: Anne

 


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