Women, men, children...we are all human. We all have our own distinct characteristics and flaws. Yet women are conditioned to constantly scrutinize themselves and other women. We see flaws nobody else would notice, and try to hide them, or we fret over them silently. Women spend millions on cosmetics, clothes and an increasing amount now on cosmetic surgery. We are now allowed to be sold the idea that we should go under the knife, at the risk of our life, to change our natural appearance!

It's not only money we spend, it's time: applying products, worrying about spots, reading about the latest 'look'. We are so pre-occupied with it all, is it any wonder so many of us are tired, stressed, depressed?

Not only do we isolate ourselves from a true freedom (that in which we can live our lives, seek our goals, in the actual comfort of our own skin), but we isolate ourselves from each other. We feel threatened by other 'beautiful' women, and we are programmed to immediately evaluate the threat whenever we meet another woman. How are we ever to rise up, together, and overcome the issues that hold women back when we are being pitted against each other on a daily basis?

I say all this, and know that some may not see it all as true, but scratch the surface: sure, not everyone has an eating disorder, or feels especially insecure...but look around, how many of us truly lives without any influence from those images and 'ideals' that surround us?

So, here's where maybe we can make a start. Women and men. Let us break the chains of this imagery by filling up our minds and hearts with the pictures and stories of women who are strong, powerful, inspirational for reasons other than being born in a particular body, or having spent money enhancing themselves.

And let us also use this space as a friendly place to discuss other ways in which to highlight the issues at hand, and spread the word.

Suggestions, comments, stories all welcome, as long as they are within what I concede to be a and fair and relevant vain.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

MALALAI JOYA : Afghan politician & human rights campaigner.

Guardian article on this amazing woman.

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