Monday, June 15, 2009

The minx, the moron and the parasite

All is summed up in the prayer which a young female human is said to have uttered recently: "O God, make me a normal twentieth century girl!" Thanks to our labours, this will mean increasingly, "Make me a minx, a moron, and a parasite."

This quote is from The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis. The persona is Screwtape, a devil who has "expertise" in the art of temptation. Throughout the book, Screwtape writes to his nephew Wormwood, who seems to have just graduated and is now assigned to his first "patient". Sometimes Screwtape praises Wormwood for something he did, but most of the time the uncle lectures him on things he could've done better, and gives advice on damage control or how to make a good thing work for the dark side (e.g. see advice given above).

How true is Screwtape's definition of the modern girl? (Let's ignore "twentieth century" for now.) I know a lot of awesome women and certainly they don't fall under that category, you may well think, and to this I must agree. Because today's women as we meet them in real life are sensible!

But look at the media--what kind of girl are they glorifying? Fashion magazines have a certain kind of girl in mind. Hollywood, another. MTV, yet another. And these brands of women get so familiar to us that sometimes we think that they're the norm--they're what women of today are.

And because this brand of woman is what we're all supposedly trying to be, it's no surprise advertisements are going into that direction as well. You can't even commute home without hearing that advertisement on the radio about a guy trying to sell a cold drink to a girl by calling her sexy. A beauty product company keeps coming out with outrageous ads that work along the lines of "your husband will love you again, only if you look young" or "guys will only notice you (or marry you?) if you have pinkish white skin."

How dumb do they think we are?

If you haven't noticed yet, I didn't use pictures of the "typical" woman that the media insists on. You might even say the women here look a bit outdated, even that one on the cover of Esquire. But I just wanted to show that women are so multi-faceted that you can't box them like that--why should she be a minx when she respects herself? why should she be a moron when she can be bright? and why should she be a parasite when she has skills enough to be useful--even during the pre-feminist movement era?

What the media shows us is not always real (and you probably know that). I just hope that more sensibility goes into what goes on out there. Perhaps the solution to that is to not be swayed by what's popular (or what they say is popular), and to stay true to oneself. And then maybe Screwtape or the likes of him won't be able to redefine us so easily.


WillyJ said...

If you haven't noticed yet, I didn't use pictures of the "typical" woman that the media insists on.

Oh but I did notice. For one thing, I half expected a picture of that "White Castle Girl" so you could portray the "minx" part :-)

Anyway, great insight and post. I did notice that last picture (Belle of Beauty and the Beast?) who was somehow belittled by the
villain who ridiculed her for reading a book "that has no pictures". Bless that portrayal, for the story shows that a lady can see that real beauty resides inside.

sunnyday said...

Super post you've got here! Enjoyed reading it! I agree -- women are multi-faceted and it's impossible and unfair to box them (us).

I also like the choice of photos. Buti walang photo ng girl with shiny, straight hair ;-)

petrufied said...

You know what's funny, WillyJ? At first, I tried looking for a picture to suit the topic so I googled images of the pussycat dolls. Tapos nagulat pa ako na walang decent pic hahaha! XD I didn't want to pollute my blog with those images so I decided to use more interesting pictures.

Yup, Belle has always been my favorite Disney character because she looks beyond the surface, she reads, and she's compassionate. And she doesn't care about what people say about her :D

@sunnyday- hehe! i am quite sick of that rebonded shampoo girl hairstyle. as you can see i am one of those alienated by it (rebellion is short and curly--naturally).

I was thinking of posting a picture of a real woman athlete too but I didn't know who was just as admirable off-court. So i played safe with mostly illustrations :)