Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Look a Beauty in the Eye

Let me start by saying that I am not thinking of anyone in particular's just something I've been thinking about.  My husband hasn't been looking past me in restaurants to ogle scantily-clad women (or if he has I haven't noticed it, and I think I would notice), I don't think my son has been chasing short skirted co-eds across campus, and my dad, brothers, uncles,  and friends' husbands have all kept their eyes nicely set in their sockets as far as I know.  So if you read on and think that I have some certain misbehaving male in mind as I write this, you're wrong.  However, if you are some misbehaving male who is about to feel really guilty or really outraged, well, so be it.  Stop misbehaving.

  There is a phenomenon going on lately, a blame shift.  It's the idea that women are to blame for men's behavior.  Particularly, the way women dress.  Apparently, a man cannot control himself if he sees too far up a woman's leg, or if her shoulders are bare, or her top is low-cut.  Apparently, if a man sees these things, he will abandon all of his will and should not be held responsible for his actions.  HE is not to blame, because HE is just a poor ol' guy and that's just HOW HE WAS MADE.  I even read an article recently, written by a man, that explains how the way women dress has contributed to his 'lifestyle of sin'.  In the comments to that article, a reader agrees, and goes on to say that 'evil' women who 'dress that way',  'deserve what they get'.  Wow.  

  Come on, men, is that really what you want to put out there?  That you are all a bunch of infantile, animalistic idiots who lose all function at the sight of a woman's flesh?  That you are able to have self-control over everything except the wiles of a woman, even if those wiles are accidental?  

  I prefer to have higher expectations for the men in my life.  I will not allow them to blame the women they happen to see for bad choices they might make...and I don't expect them to make the bad choices in the first place.  I expect them to be gentlemen, no matter who is around them in whatever state of dress (or undress) those people are in.  I expect them to look women in the eye, not lower.  I expect them to control themselves, be polite, and most importantly, to see each person as another human being...not an object to be sized up.  And I don't expect them to make comments about it later to their friends.  

  How about Matthew 5:27-29:  'You have heard that it was said, you shall not commit adultery, but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  If your right eye makes you stumble, TEAR IT OUT and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.'  Whoa!  Sounds like men shouldn't be looking at women lustfully.  Sounds like, if he does, he should deal with HIMSELF, harshly even.

  Women are PEOPLE, not objects.  Women make choices, same as men.  We do dumb things, same as men.  But the way we dress does not mean men are then free from responsibility and human decency.

  Now, here's the part where I write a bunch of different things about how I'm not letting the women who dress inappropriately off the hook, then I delete it all and try to write something new, then I delete all that.  Because I don't want to do a 'BUT'.  You know what I mean...BUT women really shouldn't dress that way and BUT some women do dress like that to get men to notice them and BUT and BUT and BUT....Yes, all that is true, and modesty should be her goal.  But that's not my point here. 

 My point here is just this:  Men, control yourselves.  You can.  You only have YOURSELF to answer for in the end.  

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Beautiful Halloween

    I walked into the Halloween store the other day.  Bad idea.  I actually went in for some white hair color spray for a Christmastime photo shoot, but I looked around a bit first.  It wasn't the headless bodies and body-less heads and zombie babies that bothered me, though.  It was the costumes for girls that made me shake my head in amazement.  

  Oh, some of the costumes for guys were cringe-worthy, too.  I saw a 'Boob Inspector' costume and a genie costume with the lamp to be rubbed strategically placed for optimum inappropriateness.  But, at the very least, these were in the adult section of the store and the costumes only came in adult sizes.  

  Scattered throughout the rest of the store were the costumes for children, and the costumes for girls of all ages.  This is where I found the playboy bunny costume, the barely-dressed nurse costume, the barely-dressed policewoman costume, and the Dorothy's dress patterned underwear (yes, just the underwear) from Wizard of Oz.  There were also costumes for barely-dressed firefighters, barely-dressed librarians, barely-dressed cheerleaders, and...well, you get the picture.  

  I know, I know, this is an old rant.  But I think it's worth a re-rant!  Because it's not only the store that is to blame, it's us.  Women.  We're buying this junk, we're freezing our barely-covered bottoms off on Halloween night.  And apparently we're buying it for our daughters, too, because very many of these costumes came in junior sizes.  Why?  Because on a night when women and girls can be anything, we want to be pole-dancers having a career day?  

  Ok, I'll climb down now, and just show you a few pictures of our little Halloween beauties.  Ava (at the top of the post) as Wonder Woman. Now the original WW herself wasn't a big fan of covering up, (and have you seen the new WW?  Sheesh!) but Ava's mom (and the photographer) made sure Ava displayed the power and fun that is Wonder Woman with age-appropriateness!  

And here's our little Grace as Peter Pan, worrying about that crocodile!  Super-cute!

And Abigail as Hello, Kitty!  

  Anyway, ranting aside, tell us, what were you for Halloween?  And if you don't agree with me about the barely-there career outfits, tell me why.  I'm open to hearing the other side! 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Beauty Stealing the Show

I just had to share this picture of our beautiful little girlfriend, Abby.  Her little brother was the focus of this photo shoot, but Abby is a confident and fun kid, and she wanted some of that camera action!  Aubrianah was happy to oblige.  

  As I looked through the pictures after the shoot and noticed how much Abby-cuteness was represented in her brother's shoot, I wondered when exactly it is in our lives when our confidence wanes.  Is it our age?  Is it events?  Is it words from others?  When did we go from wanting to be seen to wanting to fade into the background?  

  I think it happened to me pretty early.  I actually don't remember a time when I was comfortable having people pay attention to me, much less take my picture.  I'm actually way more comfortable in my own skin now, at 39 years old, than I was when I was little. 

  As a kid, I was always trying to just blend in, fly under the radar.  Can you blame me?  My stepmother made my clothes...polyester bell-bottoms with matching tops.  I wore corrective shoes.  My dad kept my hair cut crazy short, highlighting my already prominent cow-licks.  I was allergic to mosquitoes, so my face was always swelling up and my eyes swelling shut. I had an unfortunate last name.  All these factors made me prone to being made fun of, so I did what I could to stay invisible.  Invisible until I hit high school, when I suddenly became very visible, along with uncontrollable and rebellious.  But I digress...

  My point is, I love these little camera-hams like Abby.  She's confident, she's silly, she's beautiful, and  I hope she never thinks anything different. I hope she sticks her little face into any photo shoot she happens to notice.  

  By the way...when did you lose your confidence?  Or did you lose it?  What was it that made you realize that you weren't the focus?