Thursday, June 4, 2015

Will The Real Caitlyn Jenner Please Stand Up?

 

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On Monday, the new Vanity Fair cover introduced us to Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner – husband, father, Olympic athlete, reality tv star. There’s been all sorts of conversation about the idea that Caitlyn is Jenner’s real self, that Jenner is finally being honest.
I’m not going to question the validity of Jenner’s choice. I just want to have a real and honest conversation about her debut image. Just the magazine cover. Here are three initial thoughts -
  1. Does she look like a 65 year-old woman? Nope. She doesn’t even look anything like the 65 year old woman who is taking her picture. She is a highly sexualized creation, such as are produced by Hollywood, Photoshop, cosmetic surgery, porn and so on. Katrina Fernandez comments, “It’s pantomime. Sexist black face.” 
  2. The hyper sexualization indicates the manipulation of women – the idea that women have to have certain proportions in order to be “feminine.”  What about real women?(Cue the Dove campaign.) Women who have lost their breasts to cancer? (Megan Heimer makes a good case, arguing that cover photo has objectified women everywhere.)
  3. It takes more than hormones, breasts, surgery, and heavy makeup to be a woman. A lot more. But the cover photo suggests that a woman’s identity is based on whether she’s able to arouse a man. And it’s not original in that regard.
Now, there’s a lot of manipulation going on here – Caitlyn Jenner’s image, our ideas and notions of women and beauty, but also the manipulation of men.

Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/piadesolenni/will-the-real-caitlyn-jenner-please-stand-up/

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