17 December 2007

Women are sexist too?

I recently bought the new issue of Marie Claire featuring that cover photo of Christina Aguilera naked and pregnant. Given that every news agency picked up on the story weeks before the actual issue was released, I can't say that article was surprising or in any way different from the countless pregnant cover stories that have been churned out in the past decade. However, this did occur to me.

In November, I wrote about Maxim's Hottest Pregnant Women, Ever feature as just another avenue for men's magazines to objectify women's bodies. Yet, as I reflect on the avalanche of women's magazines doing exactly the same thing, although perhaps less overt, I'm finding it harder to believe that the public sexualisation of pregnant bodies is forward-thinking or progressive. When it comes down to it, a pregnant naked body on a women's mag is a money-maker. Marie Claire isn't interested in promoting safe motherhood; they are jumping on the bandwagon that men's magazines have already cashed in on starting with the forefather, Playboy. Women want to look at other women's bodies and pregnancy is no different. We call men sexist pigs for expounding the value of a Brazilian wax or size FFF breasts. Yet, when a women's magazine puts a naked Britney or Christina on the cover, we (as women) fail to recognise that it is the women's body on the cover that is the focus, not her mind. Back in November, Us magazine launched a poll asking readers who looked 'hotter' in their pregnant photo shoot. This is no different from Maxim's poll of the hottest pregnant women. As women (and feminists, at that) we are not infallible. In fact, we are also complicit in the objectification of women's bodies.

Source: http://www.usmagazine.com/Us_Poll_Who_Has_the_Hotter_Pregnancy_Cover_Christina_or_Britney

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm sort of with you. You make some good points, but there is a difference between women celebrating the pregnant body and men doing it. Pregnancy is an amazing thing. Women have the unique potential to create and nurture a human life, right inside of our bodies! And yes, of course, we are smart too and can be CEO's, but sometimes men don't want pregnancy celebrated, and would rather see women putting pregnancy down. This helps them compensate for the complex over not being able to do something as profound.

I would always question the motives of men "celebrating" pregnancy; objectifying women may be just another means men demean women over something they cannot acheive. I mean, you never know, while I know for the most part, women think pregnant bellies are beautiful, cool, and powerful!

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