Saturday, August 14, 2010

Cutting your bangs in a commercial means you are empowered.

There are currently two commercials wherein a young woman, as a gesture of agency and freedom with just a dash of whimsy, cuts her own bangs. The first is for the birth control Yaz, and the second is for Dove clinical strength deodorant. In both of these ads the young woman, empowered with the confidence and spontaneity inherent in a good smelling armpit and a vacant womb, decide the perfect expression and celebration of their acquisition is to cut their own bangs! Such free spirits!

I mean, it's great-- bangs...I have em, I support em... what have you...I just don't appreciate that they have become a symbol for female empowerment. I mean watching a lady leap triumphantly out of a voting booth probably wouldn't sell as much birth control , and seeing a woman freezing her eggs to pursue a career in engineering probably wouldn't inspire many teens to buy floral anti-perspirant but there must be a middle ground....sigh.

I just finished reading Women Food and God by Geneen Roth.

I was reluctant to read it, but Oprah insisted and I didn't want to be on her bad side again, so I bought it. It was unreal. It was the most moving, challenging and insightful book I have ever read that deals with women and their relationship with consumption. I normally shudder at the thought of new-agey self-helpy books, but Roth split my mind open. I often think that women, myself included, spend too much energy trying to fix something that isn't broken; worrying about weight. Roth reminds us that we don't have to go to India to be more mindful, and that our relationship with hunger and satiety is a direct correlative of our core beliefs, attitude and relationship with life.

So, instead of cutting your bangs- pick up this book and start a truly empowering personal coup against the diet industry. Eat when you are hungry- stop when you are full. The new feminism.

1 comment:

mjbogdanov said...

Kate, you are a breath of fresh air! Courageous, too, to admit publicly that Oprah strong-armed you into reading a book about women and food by an author who has been writing self-help books about the subject since at least 1983 with titles such as "Feeding the Hungry Heart." Could it be there's new insight here? Thanks for the recommendation. I will read.