Photo: Wikimedia Commons
I often wonder why so many people freak out whenever they see certain female body parts. I notice that many people have a lot to say when a woman is naked or dressed in revealing or tight clothing. I thought about the tribal women of some other countries who are naked or nearly naked most of the time. I feel like a lot of people don’t react to them the same way they react to women who are naked or dressed in revealing clothing here in America. Why is that? What is the difference between those women’s bodies and American women’s bodies?
I believe so many people freak out about women’s naked bodies today because women’s bodies are extremely sexualized in this society. Many of those tribal women from other countries aren’t portrayed in that same manner. We are constantly bombarded with overly sexualized images of women’s bodies on the daily basis, whether it’s through strip clubs, pornography, magazines, TV shows, movies, or advertisements. They are all around us. Women’s bodies are depicted as something that is only used for sex or sexual satisfaction. So, when someone sees a woman’s body, that’s exactly what they think. They think sex and start freaking out.
Women’s bodies are even sexualized long before they’re even adults. It starts when they’re little girls. I remember a picture I saw on Twitter where someone was calling out people who were commenting on a picture of Skai Jackson, saying things like, “Where’s her ass?” I’m thinking, she’s thirteen! Why are you worried about her body?! And I’m pretty sure a lot of those derogatory comments about her body were from grown men and that makes it even more disgusting! (Even if they weren’t grown men, that still doesn’t make it any better that her body is still being judged at such a young age.) I also remember looking at comments on Willow Smith’s “Fireball” video featuring Nicki Minaj, where people were wondering “where her curves were” because she was dressed in a body suit, and comparing her body to Nicki Minaj’s and wondering why her body “didn’t look like Nicki’s”. Willow Smith was eleven years old, I believe, at the time. So, not only were people comparing a little girl’s body to a grown woman’s, they compared her to a woman’s body that isn’t even realistic, being that we all know Nicki Minaj’s body has been surgically enhanced. And Nicki Minaj is even oversexualized herself, as we see how she is portayed on a regular basis! I also remember the comments geared towards Maddie Ziegler, the little girl dancing in Sia’s “Chandelier” video. The pedophilic comments coming from grown people just because she was in a body suit utterly disgusted me. Whether they were jokes or not doesn’t matter because even if they were, the fact that people think making pedophilic jokes about children is funny should tell everyone that there is something really wrong with this society! Everything isn’t a joke! Even shows like Toddlers & Tiaras look like they oversexualize little girls. The little girls are wearing makeup and dressed in over the top dresses and put on display for their looks when most of the girls on these shows are barely any older than ten years old. I also remember being in one of my seventh grade classes and the boys were comparing the sizes of the girls’ breasts in the class to the sizes of different fruits. I don’t think any girl in the class were older than thirteen or fourteen years old at the time. There are many other stories like this of people, young and old alike, talking about young girls’ bodies this way. It is disgusting and something should be done about it!
The oversexualization of women’s bodies is so bad that women are even shunned for using their breasts for what they are actually supposed to be used for. How many stories have we heard over the years of women being shamed or kicked out of places for breastfeeding?
All I want to know is, why is this happening? Why is this society so bent on sexualizing women’s bodies to the point where they begin targeting little girls? Why is it still being allowed or accepted, as a matter of fact?
I believe women’s bodies are being sexualized in this manner because this society is built on sexism. Women have been the victims of sexism for many, many centuries. We’re still looking at the residue and after effects of when sexist tensions were at its highest; when women couldn’t work certain jobs, when women couldn’t vote, when women couldn’t make the same wages as men on the same job, etc. We’re still looking at that and it hasn’t gone away.
Because I think the oversexualization of women’s bodies comes from a centuries-long battle with sexism in this society, I believe they’re trying to send a message saying, “Women are good for nothing more than sex and their bodies. And that’s all they should be used for”. And they start sending this message before they’re even teenagers.
A woman’s body is a natural thing and it should be viewed and accepted as such. No one should freak out just because they see a woman naked or dressed in clothes that reveal some skin. We have been conditioned to react to women’s bodies this way. It’s time to break away from that conditioning!