Rise to Your Standard, Not Theirs (Day 15)

mudflap

Thank you Amazon.  I could stop writing now, and an insanely obvious point would have already been made.

I combined my search results from earlier today into a comparison pic, because that image is worth exponentially more than a thousand words.  Go to Amazon and replicate the search if you doubt me.  It’s pretty stunning stuff (and I’m not referring to those highway hoochies).

sexy mudflap guy results 2

As I am certain that you absolutely must know what all four of your “sexy mudflap guy” purchase options are, here you go.  Please note that two of the four mudflap guy options aren’t even guys but actually more highway hoochies.

A few days ago I was searching for a funny vinyl sticker for the back of my car and happened to stumble across Mr. Mudflap.  It was so ridiculously funny to me that I almost bought it for my car.  Ultimately I came to the conclusion that Suburbia would have torches a blazin’ and pitchforks a stabbin’ before I would even be able to remove it from the backing.  I opted for an alternate funny (a post for another day) but didn’t forget Mr. Mudflap. (He’s pretty freakin’ great, no?)  (YES!)

A few more days went by, and my elementary aged daughter and I found ourselves at the magazine isle at the grocery store.  I was searching for some Mad Libs kinds of game magazines that we could play as a family during tech turn off.  Apparently Mad Libs aren’t a normal thing in stores anymore.  SO.  SAD.  But do you know what is a normal thing?  This….

magazines girls

vs.

magazines guys2

The sad truth is that I wasn’t the person who noticed the stark differences in the magazine section.  My young daughter smacked me to attention when she asked, “Mom, why are all of the women in these magazines dressed like that and why do they all talk about sex?”

We started looking at the magazines together and basically couldn’t stop finding scantily clad babes who looked like they desperately needed a good chicken fried steak.  We moved to the magazines right next to them that were clearly aimed at guys.  Notice all the man nips, shiny sweaty abs, and advice on how they can stay gorgeous and younger looking??  Yeah.  Me neither.  Even the dog magazine was free of tips on “how to stay attractive for your bitches.”

I was thinking about those images earlier today, and my daughter’s questions continued to haunt me.  I was also quite annoyed at the strong possibility that I probably had more in common with the hunting dog than I did with the beach blanket bingo contestants.  Thankfully I remembered my beloved mudflap man.  The memory alone made me smile.  But then I started to wonder how bad it might be, and thus the mudflap search on Amazon.  Admittedly mudflap girl is a pretty specific hoochie, but the disparity in perceived norms for women versus men can be found in countless places.

To be clear, I have no beef at all with sex or sexy.  On the contrary, I’m a fan, and I also completely appreciate wanting to feel attractive and be healthy.  My issue is that feeling attractive and being healthy don’t have the slightest thing in common with the oversexualized plastic pinup that is being marketed as the standard.  I am at a point in my life where I can recognize that the pictures been photoshopped and the sultry silhouette images are merely cartoons.  However my young daughter sees these over and over again in stores and magazines and movies and TV shows.  Although we teach her that this is not normal or real, mass marketing and the world of glamour and fashion tell her that this is exactly what she should see in her mirror.

Physical beauty is most certainly worthy of celebration, but brilliance, bold achievements, and true grit should be the aim.  Those should be the covers we seek.

I don’t fault the magazine companies or stores.  Not in the slightest.  They create and stock what sells.  The part that I can’t reconcile is why does it sell?  Why are these markets thriving?  Why are women so hell bent on achieving a standard that is anything but standard.  Why don’t we address the problem while women are still young?  Ask any parents with pre-teen daughters how much fun it isn’t to go shopping for Halloween costumes.  This is the kind of crap we get to sift through…

halloween women

“I’m sorry baby, but please remind me again which theme of ho you said you wanted to go with this year.”

Do we have this problem with our boys?

halloween men

“Son, I think there’s something wrong with all of these boy costumes.  Based on the girls’ section, these ones must have accidentally been made with three times the appropriate amount of fabric.  Also they are all missing the thigh highs,” said No Mom EVER.

The two pics above were screenshots from my Google searches for costumes for women and costumes for men.  Each group of costumes represents the leading items suggested for the specific gender.

There is a striking disparity in the expectations for achievements and physical attributes for men and women.  I was incredibly blessed to be raised by parents who didn’t ever lead me to believe that my being a woman would be a detriment to me on any level.  As a matter of a fact, my father went out of his way to make it abundantly clear that I should never forget that nothing could stop a smart and fierce woman from achieving anything she wanted.  Decades have passed and yet those words resound in my ears constantly.  I knew that he meant what he said, and that was the greatest gift he could have possibly given me.  Every girl should hear this from the important people in her life, and if at all possible, she should hear it from the important men in her life.

Release the belief that achieving an unrealistic airbrushed standard is the ultimate goal.  There are higher mountains to climb and greater missions to accomplish.  If you want to make those climbs while sporting a string bikini and thigh highs, I say rock on my friend.  If I had the bod and the confidence, I would do the same.

Just don’t confuse the wrapping for the real gift inside.

Know your true beauty.  Own every single inch of it.  And rise to your standard, not theirs.

With love and light always – Joanna

Grit

39 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tracy
    Jul 12, 2017 @ 01:12:42

    This an excellent post, Joanna! It annoys me how the media portrays women. The photographs are airbrushed to buggery. They look NOTHING like their pictures in RL. The models have plastic bits and their diets don’t seem to include food. It’s unrealistic and it’s dangerous. I want to see magazines for real women. Women with fat arses (like me) and rogue hair growth (also me). I don’t want to see women body shamed. I want to see all shapes and all sizes celebrated because that’s what real women are. *breathes*

    Reply

    • MoJo
      Jul 12, 2017 @ 08:12:34

      I couldn’t agree more. Yes I would love to have a six pack, but i tend to have a case Instead! I don’t mind some of it, but it’s completely over the top now and many women take it as gospel.

      Reply

  2. wakinguponthewrongsideof50
    Jul 12, 2017 @ 05:49:47

    Spot on my avenger in training! We spend so much time worrying about how we look to other people, we forget how we look to ourselves! And that’s the only view that matters!

    Reply

  3. inspirationpie
    Jul 12, 2017 @ 11:03:39

    Thank you for this, Jo. Well said, it can be so frustrating that as women we are expected to look a certain way, and then we beat ourselves up because we can’t meet that standard.
    Jo-Ann

    Reply

  4. Blog Andrew
    Jul 12, 2017 @ 11:38:22

    Wow your daughter’s question is an awful indictment of magazine owners editors and advertisers especially when you realise those are women’s magazines, an awful example to set. A fascinating post Jo.

    Reply

    • MoJo
      Jul 12, 2017 @ 14:12:04

      It sounds contradictory but I don’t have any problem with the magazines themselves. I don’t buy them but I don’t mind them. What I mind is that zillions of people do and that’s why there are countless options out there. There isn’t a huge “tractor self help” section (although this is Texas so perhaps there is) in the stores. No one wants that and they don’t sell it. I just wish that the message was more balanced. Young women are told that they need to have 150 ways to keep their men happy while keeping themselves malnourished with a permanent smile painted on. Correct me if I’m wrong (and I know you will!), but it seems to me that beyond overall fantasies and surface interactions, most guys don’t put a tenth of the mental effort into the specifics about what their women wear and do in or out of the sack.

      Reply

      • Jan
        Jul 12, 2017 @ 16:00:36

        Jo … I loved Mr. Mudflap !! This was a great post … accurate, informative, thoughtful, and definitely eye-opening. Bravo for bringing this to our attention. Thanks for sharing. Jan

      • MoJo
        Jul 12, 2017 @ 16:39:53

        Thank you Jan! I appreciate your comments!!

  5. Blog Andrew
    Jul 12, 2017 @ 15:38:01

    😀 I’d agree with the specifics, that’s why women hate taking their man clothes shopping with them, wife to her husband “do you think I look good in this?” Husband “yep” to everything she tries on…….. total exasperation for her, it’s not that we don’t care, just we’re not interested. I’m only pleased those out-dated adult magazines for sad men are now banned from UK newsagents, how do you explain those images of young women away? And again young thin and pretty But let’s not go there just rejoice top shelves are stocked with trainspotting and fishing.

    Reply

    • MoJo
      Jul 12, 2017 @ 16:48:27

      I’m cool with the super sexy and all that stuff. I have zero problems with grown up movies and mags and shops. No problem with it at all. I just wish that it wasn’t the main message on my grocery store shelves by the candy. I feel like Sesame Street is behind the times since they have no T&A and maybe they could consider adding a pole dancing muppet. Honestly, I would probably be the first person to buy that if they did because it would be damn funny. Miss Piggy would kick ass on that, and she would have a big nose and a normal body while she did it!

      Reply

      • Blog Andrew
        Jul 13, 2017 @ 12:44:55

        ‘Fireman Sam’ is our highest rating children’s series, a village hooker in fishnets micro skirt and coloured bra would be so funny, an adult episode for the parents :/ BUT alas she’d spoil the fairy tale so loved by children and quite right so. Wow I’m amazed those magazines are on full view in America, I’m ok with those films because for some men they fulfil a need, but not for me they bore me senseless!!

      • MoJo
        Jul 13, 2017 @ 11:57:56

        Wait – I thought that you guys already had that show and it was called Benny Hill. I looooved Benny Hill. Or Monty Python but that’s a bit different. That one is actual a monster fav of mine. I have the “I’m a Lumberjack” song in my mind now but it’s so funny that I don’t care.

        And I don’t care about the other films either. They don’t bother me at all, but I simply don’t get them. They just don’t appeal to me on any level. Maybe if it was a mega hottie with a brain as big as his…shoes. Perhaps then I would be into it. The other just bores me. Pretty meatheads are still meatheads, and I can’t see past that. And that always have bad tats, too. If you are going to get a tat, think about what to choose before it is parked on your bod forever. Also consider the location so you won’t have it slithering down your arm or hiney a few years later.

      • Blog Andrew
        Jul 13, 2017 @ 12:31:17

        Do you know what I’d forgotten all about Benny Hill! He’s hated by women (and men) over here, very very non PC and hasn’t been on British telly for thirty years, to the point he was banned. Benny died a broken man, he wasn’t nasty but ended up being branded a misogynist? People never forgave the image of a dirty old man chasing young girls around a field to jaunty music (incidentally those young girls dressed as french maids in frilly knickers had a big effect on one small boy!), But branding him a pervert was a shame and untrue, the irony is he died a sad lonely recluse yet made millions laugh and the best of it is the rest of the World love him and I mean really really LOVE him!! Funny how perceptions differ in other Countries…….. 🙂 very interesting comment Jo, you surprised me!

      • MoJo
        Jul 13, 2017 @ 13:31:58

        Are you teasing me or did people over there really dislike Benny Hill? He was so funny. Maybe his dirty old man humor was before his time. That saddens me. Can’t you hear the ridiculous music and imagine him raising his eyebrows at a topless mannequin? He was a riot!

      • Blog Andrew
        Jul 13, 2017 @ 15:48:36

        I’m afraid I’m not teasing, he’s regarded as old fashioned a bit non PC but I think he’ll come back into fashion, his humour will be seen as innocent and light hearted, as a child my mum would let us watch which in hindsight I’m a little surprised at because ‘Hill’s Angels’ were very sexual ladies, I guess she thought his humour outweighed all that cleavage and long legs!

      • MoJo
        Jul 13, 2017 @ 20:02:29

        Well that does explain a lot! (I’m so kidding!)

  6. Blog Andrew
    Jul 12, 2017 @ 15:51:00

    A little confused I just had to Wikipedia ‘Mudflap girl’ 😀 now I understand!

    Reply

    • MoJo
      Jul 12, 2017 @ 16:40:57

      There are no lorries with mudflaps? Maybe they are called “Ye Olde Truck Wenches???” 😂

      Reply

      • Blog Andrew
        Jul 13, 2017 @ 12:00:52

        Haha, all day I’ve been trying to think of our equivalent to truck wenches, the girl with the most similarities would be an “Essex Girl”……nice middle class girls from the county of Essex, pretty, and importantly an easy lay, not a tart mind, just a good time who if you took out for dinner would be a dead cert, google ‘Essex Girl Joke’ you’ll get the idea! (I wouldn’t bother) ………. and they’re not a myth, they exist!

        Here’s an example ‘What do Essex Girls use for protection? A bus shelter! 🙂 You get the idea.

  7. elbycloud
    Jul 13, 2017 @ 08:14:34

    Clearly Amazon has not figured “ironic purchase” into its algorithms. My six-year old uses their free time app on my kindle and I recently noticed a Richard M Nixon biography nestled among the other super hero stories. I actually wrote in on that one and had a nice exchange with the head of kids programming.
    Thank you for fighting this fight.
    Oh, and before you start a petition for adult muppet characters/ don’t forget there was a thing on Saturday Night Live. The Land of Gorch. https://www.howtogeek.com/trivia/jim-hensons-adult-oriented-puppet-comedy-was-called/

    Reply

    • MoJo
      Jul 13, 2017 @ 08:44:27

      Is that true??? Land of Gorch?? Hilarious and I love that link. Very very interesting. Henson’s work was always amazing to me and still manages to captivate my imagination. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend the movie “I am Big Bird.” It’s about Carroll Spinney, the guy who has been Big Bird since the beginning of (my) time. It wasn’t all smiles and smooches as we saw painted on the TV, but it was and is beautiful nonetheless.

      Also what six year old wouldn’t appreciate the world of Nixon?? “Errr…Mom I have no idea what you are talking about,” he responded when asked about what had happened at the table. This would later be known as Milkgate.

      Reply

  8. elbycloud
    Jul 13, 2017 @ 09:29:18

    I am now laughing and snorting in public.
    Will check out the Carroll Spinney movie. Sounds right up my alley.

    Reply

    • MoJo
      Jul 13, 2017 @ 09:31:18

      Few things capture feeling cool quite like knowing that you are the crazy person laughing alone in public. Love it!

      Reply

    • MoJo
      Jul 13, 2017 @ 09:32:38

      And please let me know if you love the movie. I even want to know if you don’t! I’m not 100% certain, but I’m pretty confident that it was on Netflix (if you have that).

      Reply

  9. shalini
    Jul 14, 2017 @ 14:34:20

    What is Mr mudflaps.
    Are amazon exec accepting your calls
    I agree about these unnatural body types that world wants women to be. I am fat and I like me. I just want to be healthy to live another decade or two. But lots of people have a prob with that. Years ago, a surgeon told me that, I just flared back and said eating from my money not yours. And to look at my work not my body… Boyyy that shut him up.
    I wish everyone is taught it’s fun being imperfect, that makes us interesting, all of us don’t need gym bods

    Reply

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