Activist Mommy

{June 19, 2007}   Helpless women in media take center stage

I read the article The Image of Helplessness by Naomi Wolf in the Washington Post. I love Naomi Wolf, I really do. The first book of her’s I read was Promiscuities: The Secret Struggle for Womanhood while I was in college. Then while I was pregnant with my first son I read Misconceptions: Truth, Lies, and the Unexpected on the Journey to Motherhood, which really planted to seed in my head on looking outside the norm.

I read Naomi Wolf’s article and could not stop myself from raising my fist and shouting “Damn-it!”. Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan. These are the central female figures in today’s media. Does anyone else want to ask what the hell is going on? Why aren’t women like Laurie David or Somaly Mam making headlines for their work and achievements instead of drugged up, half-crazy, sobbing rich girls. The image of helpless yet sexy seems to be everywhere.

Last night I watched as a parenting board that I love to visit, one full of powerful, strong mothers almost erupt over images of a sickly thin Nicole Richie. Is she pregnant? Or is it just her stomach sticking out like the starving children in Africa? Or does she just need control top underwear to pull in the pooch? Wait, what? Oh yes, you read that right. Despite her bones sticking out from a deathly thin frame there are still some who can point out where she doesn’t fit into society’s image of the “perfect woman”. It was at this point when words like “misogynist” and “anti-feminist” began being thrown around.

Can we really live in a society where beautiful, powerful women like Queen Latifa are talking about empowerment, but Nicole Richie’s stomach pooch is more news worthy than the rest of her weak and fragile body?

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