Lately, I’ve come to realise, that although we are well aware that mainstream media dictates an unrealistic standard of beauty, we are still letting it affect how we see ourselves and each other. The same goes in mainstream porn, with both sexes abiding by standards which tell them they must me hairless, tanned, muscular and well endowed.
These ideals can make casting difficult for my own films when I want to find someone different, someone natural, someone authentic. This is something incredibly important to me, just look at the XConfessions performers page.
I for one find these standards unforgiving and toxic, making women and men feel inadequate. But why are we not accepting everyone’s image as beautiful for their own quirks and idiosyncrasies? We don’t have to live up to the image of Jennifer Anniston on the front of the latest magazine.
But this image is associated with success. You will get noticed, find a great job, a man and live a fulfilled life. I’m bored of it. For me beauty is in being natural, we don’t need make-up, hair extensions, thin frames or plastic surgery to make ourselves feel beautiful or successful.
But of course, I don’t like to play judge as anybody should do whatever they like with their body. But they should think why before. Ask themselves: “Do I really like this?” Do some personal research. Make a meditated and informed choice.
Recently, I came across StyleLikeU, a video platform founded by former stylist Elisa Goodkind and her daughter Lily Mandelbaum, that aims to celebrate all forms of beauty, breaking down the barriers made by mainstream media.
It’s an incredible idea. I love seeing how each individual expresses themselves through their clothes before stripping off and revealing incredible personalities. As a project created by a former stylist, you realise how important it is to recognise that it’s the attitudes of each person that makes them beautiful, not just their image.
As a feminist I do not believe in any dictatorship, whether it’s women and men in mainstream media or the bunch of uninteresting and distasteful men in porn imposing a whole ideal model of a women in her looks, conducts and values. It is inhibiting women and men being able to express themselves individually and liberally, without fear of judgement. We need to stop fulfilling the expectations of others. We need to look beyond the make-up, the clothes and the hairless vagina’s. Then we’ll notice the interesting and beautiful individuals who deserve as much attention as someone who is the “ideal”.
The sooner we realise this, the sooner women and men can be truly liberated.