Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Our value as Women - or lack thereof.

I realise that I don't write much about the tumultuous side of my life; but THIS is something on my mind. Be warned - the curve from rhinestoning to this post is a steep one. But it's been brewing.
The above is me. I am 53, about a size 26, 5' 10". I love what I see in the mirror, because it is what I have to work with. I didn't get to be this way because one day when I was super modelling I thought, "eh this sucks, I'm eating all the pies." I was born and have always been a fat person.
For MANY people, this means I am less than human. I am a drain on the tax payer, lazy, unmotivated blah blah blah. For someone who is clearly MORE than, I am LESS than.
I live with this and am fairly inured to it as a result, however from time to time it cross-ignites with other things in life and I get angry.
Women readers, do you understand and relate to the experience that men make so many decisions about women based on how f*ckable we are? Men reading, please hang in there because this is important.
The woman above is unf*ckable. She is too old now to breed and she's fat so basically, she's almost invisible. Not to those who know her but walking down the street, in the supermarket, just not there.
THIS woman is f*ckable:
Yeah, right...
THIS woman gets hit on all the time. This is by men of all ages and types too. Mostly younger than me. It is not even remotely flattering; really, being hit on by someone who can't see past thick makeup, fake hair and eyebrows and sparkly clothes is like being attacked by a magpie.

SO here's what I am beginning to work out. When I was fertile, I was not every guy's idea of being f*ckable. Fat women or women who prefer to dress and groom in a masculine way (I'm going to use the word "butch" for this), have taken themselves out of trying to be as f*ckable as possible and are treated as LESS all the time. I know a disturbing number of butch women who have been beaten up, I have been threatened myself. From the oiks hanging out car windows driving past shouting out insults just so I am absolutely sure that I am unf*ckable to them, to the physical menacing that can also happen.
HOW DARE a woman of fertile age take themselves out of the game like that?
Since I hit menopause and got old and invisible, I don't get this any more. Age is something that clearly we can't help. Women who colour their hair, get face lifts or whatever and try to push back on age - they risk being judged as having failed in their attempts, although I notice this is a BIG driver for many women. I didn't realise how anxious I was not to be seen as a woman trying to push back, but it appears that I occur like that when I am Constance. Because men hit on me, women want makeup tips and I get told off when I do makeup looks that are not pretty. Like this:
It's not about looking pretty, people!
So where did this all come from? Well, on another blog I read, this image was posted, and the commenters went to town judging and speculating among themselves the relative value of the model Tess Holliday (not that anyone gave her her name as a human being) and WHY the magazine did this.

For me, this is a great example of the purpose of modelling being accurate for once. Fat women find it hard to work out if RTW clothes will fit and suit them if they cannot see them on a model who represents them. Cosmo is helping to market a product to a demographic of women that is underrepresented in fashion publications, to the detriment of the industry.
But what most people see is something quite different. They see an unf*ckable on the cover of a mag and they are affronted. Because obviously a women's magazine cover is there to appeal to men, right?
SO much judgement about "The Obese" about Tess, about Cosmopolitan.
FFS people, it's a magazine cover, not an invitation for sex. WHY oh WHY must everything be about whether men want to f*ck us, how appalling it is to present as unf*ckable, how worthless we are if we are no longer f*ckable, how hopeless we are if we cannnot maintain a level of f*ckability.

I'm not sure I've nailed how I feel about this or the issue at all, but the women I have talked to about it are not at all surprised by this theory. They often hadn't thought of it quite that way but it lands as very real when they do.
To the men in the world, you have a 0.03 second moment when you decide if you would f*ck a woman or not, you can't help it but you are not animals, you can choose how you respond. Please consider that we may not care, we may not be interested, we may have other things on our minds and other intentions. PLEASE mind your own business.


  1. '...being hit on by someone who can't see past thick makeup, fake hair and eyebrows and sparkly clothes is like being attacked by a magpie.'

    All of your post resonated. The above quote provided an especially great visual, however. As a woman in her peri-menopausal phase, or so they tell me, I have started to don the 'invisible cloak' of unfuckability. It's mostly a relief.

    1. It isn't just me is it?! I really embrace my unf*ckability, it feels like being let off a hook I never wanted to be on in the first place. I dno't think I realised it all though until Constance started getting attacked by magpies! But the societal implications of all of this are really freaking sad eh.

  2. Many years ago, when I was one of the top stand-up comedians in Wellington, the producer of the gig I was headlining was approached by some guy who said I shouldn't have been given the top spot because he didn't find me attractive. Sometimes it is that f*cking obvious, but usually this discrimination is way, way more subtle than this.

  3. This really resonated with me. Well said.

    1. It's not news is it but it really struck me how the whole misogyny thing comes back to that split second moment when men make the "call"!

  4. I completely resonate with this Constance. I have never wanted to be classified by men on my f*ckability but on my brain and my capabilities in my chosen profession which is very much male-dominated. I tended to dress down and wear more masculine clothes at work to be taken seriously but to be honest have never given a flying f*ck about what men think. It is bloody hard being a woman sometimes. :( Xx

    1. Sorry Maryanne, my brain has turned to jelly after a week of residential training. Forgive the lapse, just realised I called you by your stage name. :) Xx

    2. Hi that's ok! Constance has very strong opinions about this too! I also work in male dominated professions and I really like that on the whole as I'm taken fairly seriously because I'm NOT f*ckable. And I get to build relationships in those environments. It's out in the word where it does my head in!