Monday, March 25, 2013

Hair Query Has Her Dander Up

By Taryn

Shortly before leaving her post as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was asked about the way she does her hair. That question really irked me. Clinton has accomplished many amazing things and has served as a great diplomat in some countries that the U.S. hasn't exactly had the greatest relationship with in the past. She's also a favorite to be the Democratic nominee in the 2016 election. That interview should have been focused on looking back on her experiences as Secretary of State and looking forward to her future rather than what shampoo she uses to keep her hair so sleek and shiny.

There's no doubt that our news and media is ridden heavily with sexism. The constant degrading of women is something that just makes me sick. I know that I am not alone in the way that I feel about this. The problem is that even though sexism and objectification of even some of the most powerful women in the world is very obvious, it still happens more than most people catch on to.

In my opinion, the most powerful way to degrade a person is to try and shift the focus from their accomplishments and actions to their outward appearance. When we shift our focus to someone's looks instead of actions we are sending the message that this person's appearance is worth more than what they have accomplished in their life. I hardly ever see this happen with men in power. As far as I can recollect, I have only seen this sexist and disgusting behavior targeted at women.

Hillary Clinton is one of the most powerful women in the world. When the media tries to direct the viewers' attention to the way Ms. Clinton looks or dresses it is a deliberate attempt to belittle her. The time and energy that some people put towards picking apart a strong and influential woman's appearance is absolutely disgusting.

All of this needs to stop. Women are more than just their appearance. We also have to think about what messages we are sending to the young people of this country. Are we basically saying that a women is only as good as her looks and that nothing else about her is more important? These messages are toxic for everybody. It teaches girls that they should value their appearance more than anything else. These messages teach boys that leadership is a "man's job," and that women simply can't be as powerful because their appearance should be put before intelligence and leadership skills. The media may be a driving force in our society's actions and ideas. However, the voices of power of our country's people fighting for equality and change are much stronger.