People who know me say I’m relaxed and laid-back. I’d agree…for the most part. I have a no-nonsense approach to life, and a lot of what I say and do is based on practicality.
“Does this make sense?” I ask myself often. “Yes? Okay, self. Proceed.”
Sometimes, though, it’s harder for me to sort through practicality when it comes to making decisions that set an example of feminism (or perhaps not) for my kids. This is especially true for my daughter, but also for my son. I mean, when’s the last time you spent six months contemplating what does and doesn’t make you a good role model for your child?
And by “what” I mean getting your eyebrows waxed. Highlighting your hair. Being extra cautious with semantics when it comes to talking about things like dietING vs. A diet.
It’s complicated, right?
I’m being completely serious when I say that I’ve not been waxing my eyebrows, simply because I’m struggling with the example that process sets for my 10-year-old daughter. I mean, neat and tidy brows aren’t natural. We should embrace our differences, including stray hairs and all! Why isn’t natural okay, especially for women? Right?
So about six months ago, I stopped waxing my eyebrows.
I know, I know. In terms of sourcils au naturale, mine aren’t terribly out of control. (Not that it should matter though, right?) Trouble is, I miss waxing. I like my brows neat and tidy underneath. I think it brightens my face. I love the way it looks.
If it’s my choice, based on things that I like – as opposed to making a choice based on what others think of me – then I shouldn’t worry about setting a bad example of a strong female role model for my kids. Because it wouldn’t be a bad example. My body, my choice. Feminism!
Jen over here would say, “Liza, just wax your damn eyebrows.”
I recently read an article that talks about the three waves of feminism. You can read it for all the details, but the part that struck a chord with me is this:
The third phase of feminism began in the mid-1990s and is informed by post-colonial and post-modern thinking. In this phase many constructs have been destabilized, including the notions of ‘universal womanhood,’ body, gender, sexuality and hetreronormativity.
Hetreronoma … … … what? Okay, read on:
An aspect of third wave feminism that mystifies the mothers of the earlier feminist movement is the readoption by young feminists of the very lipstick, high heels and cleavage proudly exposed by low cut necklines that the first two phases of the movement identified with male oppression. Pinkfloor expressed this new position when she said: ‘It’s possible to have a push-up bra and a brain at the same time.’
It’s about simultaneously embracing femininity (whatever femininity means to you, ladies!) and feeling empowered and confident. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized none of these feelings come from anyone else but me. I’m responsible for, well, myself.
Being a good female role model entails helping my 10-year-old daughter understand that even though she hears other girls talk about diets at school (Yes. In elementary school.), it doesn’t mean it’s normal for women to be dieting. That eating a healthy diet isn’t, in fact, the same as eating diet food, or cutting out carbs, or drinking low calorie beverages – despite what media, friends, and other “role models” might lead her to believe. MADNESS.
It’s also about showing my 6-year-old son what it means to be a strong, bold, self-assured woman. Someone who’s equally empathetic AND assertive.
It’s about understanding that it’s okay to wax my eyebrows, which has nothing to do with being un-feminist or being a bad female role model to my tween girl. It has everything to do with making a choice that’s only about me.
SO. THERE. I’m back to my practical self, after a six month lapse.
(Brow appointment is set for next week.)