Sometimes I feel like my feminist aesthetic choices are holding me back.
Like having a shaved side of my head or not being consistent about shaving my legs and armpits. These things are very movable pieces. I can change my hair. I can buy new clothes. I can shave my legs or armpits. And up until very recently, I thought I could lose weight.
There are lots of little compromises we make within the patriarchy.
We give up a lot in capitalism (time, taxes, sleep, love, meaning). Many people are used to making a few compromises when it comes to our lives. We give up our time so that we can eat. We work long hours so we can afford to buy a house for our family. We take a few jobs we don't like because we don't want to face the difficulty of trying a new path or a harder path. What choice do we have? The revolution isn't coming hard and fast.
We can't just refuse to pay our gas bill anymore because we don't believe in fossil fuels. Moving "off the grid" would also mean moving away from lots of jobs. How do you stick to your guns and still feed your family?
Instead of starving our children, we take the path of least resistance.
For a woman's image, this experience is especially pronounced.
When we're little girls, we spend time braiding our hair instead of getting a pixie cut. We would rather not have to explain to every adult that we're actually little girls.
When we're teens, we learn about makeup and shaving our legs. We take the extra time to get ready. It's easier to do it instead of being a weird outcast. Being a teenager is hard enough.
These expectations pile on more and more as we age. We spend more money on dying our hair, expensive clothes, shoes and bags. We get waxed. We buy weight watchers. We pay $10 for green juices. We spend $200/month on boutique fitness studios. Some of us even obsess about how cute our living room is. That Pottery Barn catalog is not usually addressed to your boyfriend.
Part of the reason for all this is that we're taught that our appearance is what people value most about women. There's this #leanin mentality of using our appearance to get ahead.
Some people believe that buying a pair of shoes will make you more likely to get a promotion. That shaving your legs will be the tool to dismantle the patriarchy.
It's the reason why #pantsuitnation was the slogan for Hillary Clinton's campaign. We thought wearing a pantsuit was an important component of getting the presidency.
There a lot of little compromises we feel like we need to make.
And I just don't think we should.