I was scrolling through Instagram the other morning, kidding myself that it counted as work, when I came across one of those alleged inspirational quotes.
It was pink and in the kind of shitty font that you see in Powerpoint presentations made by 13 year olds.
‘I don’t sweat,’ it said, ‘I sparkle!’
‘Fuck off,’ I said. (Sorry Daddy.)
I have recreated something similar for you, to give you an idea of how much it made me want to punch my phone in the face:
Can you FEEL MY PAIN?
Aside from it being awful on a superficial, design level, the message is truly terrible. I’m assuming because of the pink and the flowers that it is aimed at women, and it seems to be implying that sweat therefore, for a woman, is a BAD THING.
Um, why exactly??
Sweating is your body’s way of regulating temperature. It’s a natural function, like your stomach digests food or your bladder helps you get rid of excess fluid. In what way would not having the ability to sweat be a positive thing? I sweat like nobody’s business just sitting still, (it goes hand in hand with my beetroot face), but I sweat more when I am exercising – i.e. TAKING CARE OF MYSELF – which I have been led to believe by the experts is a GOOD THING. When I did that old lady aerobics class I was not ‘sparkling’, I was sweating. It’s normal.
And yet here we are, still, in 2019, being made to feel as women as though our basic bodily functions are somehow undignified, like we can’t just go about our business as a normal human being.
I decided to switch it around a bit, and created a new version of the quote:
Not so inspirational now is it?
Or how about taking some other natural, human functions and adding a bit of sparkle to make them more acceptable for the LADIES?
Well that’s just nicer isn’t it? Much more ladylike.
What is doubly frustrating about this picture is that I imagine it was created by a woman. As much as we complain about living in a patriarchy and being conditioned by the media and all that, we do have our own role to play stopping the perpetuation of these stereotypes, and images like this really do not help our cause.
What do you think? Am I being unreasonable to be annoyed by this or do we need to make a stand on the small things in order to change the bigger picture?