Each morning, millions of women around the world take many minutes and sometimes even hours to get “pretty” (or “prettier). Although I pride myself in being able to “get ready” quickly, there’s still a process: cleansing, dabbing, spraying, applying, curling, brushing, lining, shadowing, and powdering. Then spraying to make everything “set.”
And even after all that, I feel compelled to use filters for enhancement. Like this.
It’s not that makeup is bad or fixing our hair is bad or waxing is bad. Many women enjoy these things. What is important, especially for young women, is what these things might represent about our value system. That these things might be considered more important than intelligence, kindness, creativity, leadership, grit, strength, thoughtfulness, smarts, or beliefs. That these things might be motivated by something other than the woman’s own desires or values. Even then, we might question how a woman’s desires and values are constructed and formed through social conditioning and practices.
What we say to our girls is important. What we show our girls is important.
Poetry can have a role in that. Poetry can tell a story and teach a lesson. Poetry can strike a chord. Poetry can offer perspective. Poetry can create a spark that becomes an explosion.