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Sexy professionals

06/06/2009

I haven’t posted in a while, but there’s something that’s been nagging at me, and I want to get it out. I think I started mulling things over when I watched “Bride Wars” on a plane this week. Bad choice! OK, it did make me realize that I’m totally awesome and sane – but only compared to the caricature that society paints (yeah, both halves of the gender line) of how a typical woman lives her life. Maybe she’s a sexy lawyer, or maybe she’s a sexy teacher – but really, what does she live for except getting married? This is totally outdated, banal, offensive, and stupid.

Anyway, it got me thinking about other movies and shows starring women, especially those not so overwhelmingly catty and obnoxious. There have been women in action movies, in thriller crime shows… those women pretty much kick ass. But I realize that it’s always a SEXY crime fighter, or a SEXY vampire hunter, or a SEXY pencil-pushing scientist. Wait, seriously?

I feel as though girls are encouraged to be awesome – go ahead, fulfill your dreams! You can be smart, funny, dangerous – as long as you’re also sexy. There is no movie with a powerhouse, roundhouse-kicking, gun-toting woman that isn’t, you know… Jennifer Garner or Denise Richards. At least, if there is, she doesn’t get much screen time.

Nor is there a detective or a scientist who doesn’t also have perfect makeup, teeth, skin, hair and boobs – at all times. I can count on one hand (maybe zero?) the number of times I’ve showed up to the office looking like I put in that kind of effort, even discounting the plastic surgery. And why should I? Just like a male scientist, my job is not to be sexy AND smart – just to be smart!

I guess that’s the crux of it. Men can be just action heroes, or just detectives, or just dads* or scientists or whatever. Yeah, the average male actor is better looking than the average guy, but the distribution for women is ridiculous by comparison.

So maybe I feel like I’ll never be a truly amazing overachiever if I’m not smart AND sexy AND athletic AND good in the kitchen (although I’m friends with these miracle-women!). But I’ve got to start getting it into my head that it’s not due to my failing, but rather the insane expectations. I’ll settle for just being smart, a little athletic, and the preparer of pasta and canned soups, thanks. Or, if society would just widen its definition of “sexy,” maybe I could fit in there and be a female role model, too.

* Does anyone else ever get seriously ticked by commercials showing a family, I don’t know… going to soccer practice, buying a TV, whatever…. The dad is always about 60 lbs. overweight, balding, but jovial, and the wife is in excellent shape, with a pretty face and well-kept hair and clothes? So unfair! Are we raised to expect to marry Frumpy McSlopbag, but to never “let ourselves go”?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. 06/11/2009 1:34 pm

    With regards to your last point, this stereotype is backed up by statistics. The divorce rate shoots up for couples where the woman gains weight after marriage but the man does not. However, if the man gains weight but the woman stays the same, the divorce rate goes down. Oddly, if they both gain or lose roughly the same percentage of weight, the divorce rate stays the same. The couple that weighs together stays together (…or the woman that stays thin gets the win ?). I’m not saying it’s fair, just accurate.

    And if you’re looking for sexy, smart female role models, check out Skepchik and their associated calendar that comes out every year.

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