Sep 25, 2010
The Menzinator
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do ya think I`m sexy?

In Thursday’s post on the No Make-Up Challenge I cited providing a good example to young girls as one of the reasons to leave the house without make-up this week. The current cultural obsession with sex as public performance provides a a convincing argument why. Wearing make-up for the purposes of looking good and feeling sexy perpetuates the idea that sexuality is all about looks.
Yesterday I read an article on Jezebel stating that that 40 percent of six-year-olds wear lip gloss or lipstick regularly. Lipgloss? I guess that`s not THAT big of a deal. I mean, what grade school girl didn`t have their favourite Lip Smackers (vanilla frosting, anyone?) holstered in their pocket to whip out at a moments notice and compare with friends? Lipstick, on the other hand, that was always for women.
So what is the big deal if 6 year olds girls are wearing lipstick? It goes back to that whole sexuality as performance thing.

According to Peggy Ornstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter:

“When girls are pushed [into sexuality] prematurely… they learn that sexiness is a performance, and don’t learn to connect it with their own feelings.” Orenstein said, adding that this was the crucial distinction between being “anti-sex” and “anti-sexualization.”

Psychologist Deborah Tolman questioned 30 teenage girls about sexuality. She found that they understood being sexy as being sexy for someone else, not for themselves, showing that, for them, sexuality is all about performance rather than a personal and intimate experience. According to a New York Time article Tolman states “By the time they are teenagers, the girls I talk to respond to questions about how their bodies feel — questions about sexuality or desire — by talking about how their bodies look. They will say something like, ‘I felt like I looked good.’ Looking good is not a feeling.”

I personally don`t see anything wrong with associating feeling sexy with looking good. Knowing that she looks good often gives a woman the confidence that she needs to let go of any inhibitions that might be holding her back from seizing her sexuality.

The problem lies when a woman doesn`t gain confidence from looking good, but rather sees it as a prerequisite to being sexy for someone else (that whole sexy as performance thing again). Women could be missing out on their sexuality entirely if it becomes just an act rather than an experience.

So, when do you feel sexy?


(source)

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  • I must say I find it disturbing that 6 year olds wear lipgloss.. maybe I’m different but I took interest in make up and stuff when I was around 12 years old even though some of my friends had been wearing mascara and stuff for a year before that. I just don’t understand why cute little girls should wear any make up so young. You have your WHOLE life ahed to play with that stuff.

    Rant is over.

    Happy Saturday! :)

  • I don’t take issue with kids wearing lipgloss. I definitely wore it when I was younger. I’m not sure I was six, but I was definitely a kid. I actually hated makeup for a long while because my mom used to put lipstick and blush on my sister and I when we had dance or skating performances — wasn’t a fan. I’m not sure if I ever associated wearing makeup with sexuality, though.

    For me, a good attitude makes me feel sexy. It’s not the clothes — though a great pair of heels doesn’t hurt — but a positive feeling. When my hair feels gross and I’m not full of energy, then I don’t feel sexy, but I do if I’m feeling confident and clean. Happiness is sexy.

  • I will smack my kid silly if she starts wearing lipstick. I know she dabs on some Hello Kitty lipgloss from time to time but I used to as well. Lipstick, however, is a different story!

  • I grew up in the world of ballerinas, which meant constantly wearing make up at a very young age. It took me a long time… like until I was 20… to stop wearing foundation. I never wore lipstick that young unless we had a show, but by my early teens I had quite the collection of lipstick and eye shadow.

  • i was not allowed to wear any makeup till i was 13, and i wish i never started with the lip gloss. honestly, i think it’s addictive. my lips stopped making their own moisture a LONG time ago.:p

    i feel the sexist when i’m running actually, which is weird considering i look absolutely HORRIBLE. my face turns BEET RED, my hair is wild and crazy, yet i feel like i’m the envy of everyone on the sidewalk :)

  • Hmmm… sexy… I think that one eludes me, lol.

    Jenn

  • I think young girls are in too much of a hurry to grow up, I see the evidence at school too often. Luckily they wear uniforms and have standards, but on dress down days, I wouldn’t let most of them out of the house if they were my daughters…..It makes me sad to see them in such a rush to grow up.

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Samantha Menzies
  • e-mail: samanthaamenzies@gmail.com
  • Samantha Menzies is an opinionated young firecracker who just happens to enjoy distracting web surfers with chronicles of her mildly entertaining daily pursuits.

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