1. Yesterday, I wore a pair of jeans, a baggy T-shirt, my hair in a messy bun. The guard at VTC didn't let me in. He was just doing his job, because I haven't got the " ID green card" hanging on my neck like other employees yet. He got mad at me when I asked whether he had my ID already (you have to leave your ID at the desk if you haven't got the card). He insisted that someone "from the inside" must come down to pick me up.
When I finally went upstairs, into the technical room where the editing takes place, the men there wondered out loud if I was there unwanted. They asked me to move, to leave, and to get out of their chairs. No one actually looked me in the eyes.
Today, I wore a flowery skirt, my hair falling down gracefully. I even put on body mist. The guard (another man though), not only let me through without any verification, but also smiled at me. The men in that room brought me chairs, left me alone to do my work, teased me leniently.
Not a surprise! Beauty pays, in terms of attention, affection, good treatment and higher payment.
2. Recently, my boyfriend complains a lot about my posture. He sets his mind on fixing me. “Girls shouldn’t sit like that”, “girls shouldn’t walk like that”. He is not the first, won’t be the last, so I just ignore him. But the funny thing here is most complaints come from the men. Brothers, male friends, uncle, now boyfriends. Not many women care to tell me how to act like a lady. I wonder if they are laughing and don’t bother to express their concern, or if they don’t feel like they have the authority to comment. Men judge women. That is the case.
3. Investment in beauty is a smart decision. Spend so much money on your appearance; you will get the subtle advantages which eventually will accumulate into material values. Generally, attractive people are perceived to be smarter, friendlier, and more successful. In a group where no one knows each other, if you are beautiful, people are more likely to make friends with you. In a workplace, if you look good, your mistakes tend to be ignored and forgiven. Not to mention that beautiful women are those most successful in marrying up, namely a man whose social position and income are placed higher than themselves. You don’t want a rich husband. Fine, but do you want a husband with secure income, who can make sure your children won’t go hungry? Then make sure you look good next time you go out.
4. Feminism is about equality for women. Equal with whom? With men. Or with women themselves? I don’t know if we could ever make all women equal as long as the concept of beauty and all its consequences still exists. But to admire beauty is such a fundamental part of being human that I don’t think we can ever get rid of. If some women are more beautiful than the others, the only solution I can think of is to force people to treat them all the same. How can you be attracted to those who are not attractive?
But what defines beauty always shifts. Just like what constitutes equality always changes. Fat or slim, tall or short, dark or light, small or big eyes, what do you consider beautiful depends on the society you live in. Yet, the main distinction remains. There will always be some people more beautiful than others. And they will be treated nicer.