Daily Archives: April 7, 2015

Damned If We Do, Damned If We Don’t

The average American woman is a size 14. But according to Hollywood, most of the Fashion industry and Madison Avenue, the ideal woman is no bigger than a size 4.

Recently, Kelly Clarkson has received some very public criticism about her weight.

Lily James, star of the newest film adaptation of Cinderella, has received her own fair share of criticism. Some have accused the actress and the filmmakers of perpetuating the idea that only skinny girls can have a happily ever after.

Damned if we do, damned if we don’t.

If a women puts on a little weight or is naturally curvy, she is told in more ways than one that she need to loose weight. If she is naturally skinny or loses too much weight, there is concern that she has gone too far in the other direction.

The media and Hollywood have been telling us for decades the size of the clothes that you wear dictates your happiness and how your life will turn out.

For once, I would like to hear that every woman, regardless of her size and shape, told that she is beautiful, just as she is.

The people at Lane Bryant have the right idea. If only the rest of the world could catch up.

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Filed under Feminism, Movies, Music

Heroines Book Review

We all need heroes in our lives.Β  They are the ones that we admire. We aspire to follow in their footsteps.

Kate Zambreno’s 2012 book, Heroines, is about the female authors who overcame the title of “female author”, to become successful in their own right.

The origins of the book come from the author’s blog, started on December 31st, 2009. Entitled Frances Farmer Is My Sister, Ms. Zambreno wrote about authors such as Jean Rhys and Zelda Fitzgerald. These women, whose abilities as writers equaled the male writers around them, were only thought to be muses. Because they were women, no one believed that they could write as well as a man. They were silenced, institutionalized and erased (thankfully for us, only temporarily) from literary history.

The format of this book is not written in the traditional format. Retaining the blog style of writing, the author lays out the difficulties that previous generations of female writers had to overcome.Β  One of the qualities of the book that caught me off guard was how angry I got. Zelda Fitzgerald is not just the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald. She was a brilliant writer in her own right. Jean Rhy’s novel, Wide Sargasso Sea is the highly acclaimed and respected prequel to Jane Eyre. She dared to flesh out the character of Bertha, Mr. Rochester’s first wife. In Jane Eyre, Bertha Rochester is a one dimensional madwoman who nearly kills her husband and burns Thornfield to the ground. Jean Rhys made Bertha an empathetic character whom the reader feels for because of the circumstances forced upon her.

Gloria Steinem once said the following:

The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off.

This book pissed me off. But it also set me free. This is one of best feminist non-fiction books that I have ever read and I highly recommend it.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Charlotte Bronte, Feminism, Jane Eyre