Happy Women's Day!
To mark the occasion I'd like to share some thoughts on something I've been pondering for a while.
It struck me that when women share images of other women, perhaps daughters, sisters, mothers, friends, on social media something interesting happens. Their friends and followers want to engage and to say something positive - which is great. More often than not however, the commenters end up saying something about the depicted woman's appearance and how lovely they look.
I love that the commenting women want to connect and to say something positive about the depicted woman and her relationship with the posting woman.
BUT! It saddens me that women are so quick to comment on each others' appearances. We all know that we get judged this way in a patriarchal culture. And it's not surprising that we to some extent externalise those judgements and end up using those criteria ourselves. It's also not surprising that we'd want to counter the conventions of negative judgements about appearance and say something positive to each other. It seems to me however that continuing to prioritise appearance as the most important aspect of a woman is tragically limiting.
So today I'd like to take the opportunity to encourage you to be aware of what aspects of a woman you choose to focus on in your comments and to urge you to dig a bit deeper and find something that has more to do with the content of the character and less to do with the contours of their skin. I've started the ball rolling with some words to describe some of the women I know. All of them are wonderful in their own ways. All of them are more than beautiful. All of them deserve to be recognised for what makes them special!