on caitlin jenner

CGbVow8W8AAp0csCaitlin Jenner’s coming out is a huge inspiration and support for the transgender community – may we all express our insides on the outside so beautifully ;>) And yet, her first comments in her new Documentary Series, I Am Cait (watch promo) makes me sad. Women ARE under pressure to “look” a certain way. A professional came in and “did her makeup” – now ‪#‎CaitlynJenner‬ feels better with a mask on. So many women can’t leave the house without “putting on” their face, and the cosmetics manufacturers are raking in the dough because we all bought the hype.

A friend responded to my post on Facebook: “I think she is excited to play in the dress up and glamor and beauty associated with female adornment she deprived herself of for so long. And, like it or not, her glamourous look helps neutralize the judgment in this scenario. That’s where we humans are today, and the trans journey needs the help her attractive personage lends to opening the door a little wider on this subject”

Agreed. And yet… This just goes to show how deeply embedded “makeup” has become in the daily lives of women – it’s more than adornment – it’s the pressure of meeting standards of “beauty” set by the cosmetics industry, and it’s emptying our pocketbooks and polluting our bodies. It’s pervasive. It’s why so many girls have self-esteem issues. And it’s very possible that all the makeup we’re “playing” with is making us sick and screwing up our environment with microscopic pieces of plastic and nasty toxic chemicals. It’s one big nasty ball of wax wrapped with a pink “girly” ribbon.

My issue is the PRESSURE on women in our culture to look a SPECIFIC way – an “acceptable” way. It’s not artistic, like the depiction of the female form in paintings and sculpture. It is an artificial camouflage to meet a cultural perception of beauty. And that perception in *today’s society* is created by the Beauty Industry, not by the Artist. Women are being brainwashed by Media MadMen and feel ugly and unacceptable unless they “got the look.” I’m afraid it’s much deeper than sex and the desire to appear “desirable” – many women judge each other on looks alone, thus perpetuating the Myth. We have bought into an artificial dream created by men who are making Big Bucks off women’s need to feel accepted, and they’re laughing all the way to the bank. :>(

The definition of beauty keeps changing per the next gimmick Industry comes up with. This has been eating away at my psyche since Teen Magazine told me in 1965 that I needed to be a 5’6″ blonde with minimum 6″ length straight hair and no glasses or braces in order to be considered a “Surfer Girl…” What are young girls being told today? It’s got to STOP. Even Jon Stewart agrees with me.

How do we create change? It’s all about raising awareness – we each have to closely examine those little thoughts running through our minds that effect the way we feel about our Selves, and others. Methinks it’s time for some good old-fashioned “consciousness raising” again. Instead of bra-burning, let’s start setting toxic makeup and glamour magazine bonfires. While dancing in the streets.

It’s gotta be MASSIVELY more difficult for transgender women – they feel female on the inside, and appear male on the outside. Now they have to deal with the cultural perception of female beauty as well. What a rat’s nest.

556cc5f54ae56e586e4586a9_t-caitlyn-jenner-july-2015-vf-01ADDED June 6 2015: Caitlin Jenner could embrace being female without posing in underwear. There’s another image of her sitting on a couch that I think shows off her new identity with grace and style: one doesn’t need to publish boudoir photos in order to express femininity – bedroom shots belong in Playboy or Playgirl, not on the cover of Vogue.

3 thoughts on “on caitlin jenner

  1. Definitely a rat’s nest! I would further the net to include cosmetic surgery, diet food and drugs, fashion, etc. Adornment need not be expensive or harmful – a spring of roses in our hair, a bit of sun on our cheeks. Beauty is an inside job, pure and simple. Our beauty radiates from within – what we see in magazines and ads is external beauty – with empty eyes and vacant hearts. For me, it confuses the transgender issue. Fro Caitlin I imagine its an evolutionary journey that requires an ongoing deep transformation of her self-image and concept. I completely understand why she would behind in her evolution relative to those of us who have been navigating this world for better than fifty years. I can let her slide personally, but feel its worthy of conversation and some awareness around the issue. It gets far more play from the other side! I enjoyed reading your post.

  2. My feeling on this, not being in the position of having spent my whole life aching to be a woman, is that Caitlin is like a kid in a candy store…but has never been allowed inside. So she’ll go on a binge. Makeup, hair, dresses, the works! Then it will tame down. Reality of all that upkeep will settle in and she’ll feel increasingly more at home in her new, outward facing identity. That cover is designed, like most media to get people to look, to be curious and to get someone to think what they might not dare say out loud of seeing a once man, now a woman, noticeably without his manly appendages and her new womanly ones. That sells magazines. I’ve seen many gender bending photo stories (of both men and women) that were tastefully/provocatively done. As an artist of beauty, I can say that some of that isn’t industry driven. The worst offenders I see lately are youtube’ers (young women) promoting false standards of beauty to each other. It’s more convoluted now than ever. Paintings from artists never portrayed people exactly as they were and idealized them for the time of what was considered most beautiful…I’m afraid that we will always need to work towards promoting self confidence apart from societal standards, but no matter where and during what time, those have existed since we have recorded art.

    • Love the “kid in a candy store” metaphor Kristen! But I still feel – deep down – that an image showing Caitlin in her everyday dress would do more for the LGBT movement – and for her own acceptance into society – than a bedroom shot. Vogue cares about selling magazines and making a buck, *I* care about raising awareness and changing attitudes in our culture. Not sure that the two twains will ever meet. :>(

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *