I Feel Pretty

I learned a new word recently. And a new way for women to ornament themselves. Vajazzling. Vajazzling is a lot like bedazzling, the diy design craze from the 70s which recently had an ironic hipster return to favor, in which sparkly beads are used to adorn blue jeans, t-shirts, or any number of items of clothing. Although in the case of vajazzling it’s not clothing we’re talking about adorning. It’s the V. Of course, it also requires a blank canvas, so before the sparkles are added, using, from what I understand, a type of hot glue, the area is cleared of its natural decoration with some hot wax.

I’ve not actually vajazzled myself, and I do had a bit of morbid curiosity about doing it, but I’m guessing that if penazalling ever takes off, most of the men I know will not be partaking in it.

It all gotten me thinking about the lengths we go through, men and women, to assert our identity and how much of it is for us, how much is for our partners, and how much is for the many, many people we encounter in our lives and how we want them to perceive us.

As we women decorate ourselves in the many ways we do – shaving, piercing, painting, dying, perfuming and the like – do we see  ourselves as more feminine than those who walk through their days in a slightly more au natural state? Do men see us that way? Do we actually feel more feminine? And if so, then are we less feminist?

And for men, do they get less masculine as they engage in the same activities? Is it less masculine to want to smell good, if not necessarily like their grandmother’s linen drawers? How far can one take “manscaping” before feeling like less of men? Or before we see them as such?

Why is it that for women, the less we do to ourselves, the less womanly we seem, while for men, it’s the opposite – the more than do to themselves, the less manly they seem.

Of course, it would be great if we lived in a world in which we could walk out of the house in any condition that the morning inspired in us, but society dictates a certain baseline to our presentations.

Still, for me, nothing is more attractive than a person who knows who they are and shows that person to the world. So, ladies  go ahead and turn your sacred space into a disco ball or let it grow into a tropical rainforest, but do it because you want to, not because you think its what anyone else wants.

And guys – we like you be both a man we believe can fix the car or cut down a tree, but also one without excess nose hair.


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