Week 7; February 24th-March 2nd Blog Entry #2 (Done by R).

Objectifying the minorities

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While this fun, flirty and easy to watch movie “G.B.F” directed by Darren Stein is a light and funny movie, it also touches on some extremely important issues in our modern day society. Every character in this film is portrayed by a classic stereotype and the film does a fantastic job of showing the immediate labeling of high school students based on their appearance and sexuality. The three popular girls who ‘rule the school’ are stereotypically skinny, tall and well dressed. There is the blonde haired, blue eyed beauty Fawcett (Sasha Pieterse), the stylish and preppy Mormon ‘Shley  (Andrea Bowen) and the sassy and outgoing Caprice (Xosha Roquemore). Throughout the film, important issues such as racism and homophobia are addressed and highlighted as well as the power that popular culture holds over many high school teenagers.

In this shiny and plastic world in which these girls live in, anything that could possibly boost them even higher on the popularity scale is fought over desperately. In this film, that just so happens to be a shy young boy named Tanner who was forced to ‘come-out’ by accident to his school. The new trend that month was having your own ‘G.B.F’, which stands for Gay Best Friend. Tanner was immediately targeted by these three girls and fought over in desperation to skyrocket to the top of the popularity charts.

Tanner was not treated as a human being, or as a young boy struggling with his identity; he was treated as an object at the disposal of the popular, higher-class society. That was one of the main morals that this movie was trying to get through to the viewers. These fads and trends that claim to make one ‘more popular’ will soon go out of style, they always do. So making one of these fads an actual person who will be used to propel someone higher into the social rankings, then just dumping them when something else comes in fashion is horrible. At one point in the movie, ‘Shley confided in her friend “it’d be really neat to meet one.” Tanner and the other homosexual boys and girls around him were objectified and not treated equally at all. People in this movie saw them as a whole other species, being isolated into their own bubble that made them feel and appear to be so different to everyone else around them. “G.B.F” did a great job of over exaggerating these issues that are common problems in many high school students everyday lives. A Rotten Tomatoe critic Sherilyn Connelly stated, “[G.B.F is a] very funny and thoughtful take on how straights often objectify queers – and how increased visibility in the media can result in an expectation to conform to stereotypes.”

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Identified in this movie were also the issues of racism as well. In one part of the movie, Candice told Tanner of the typical issues that there had never been a non-white or gay couple to win the title of prom King and Queen. Yet there is also some controversy in the portrayal of Candice herself. In the film she appears to dress and have the same outlook as the other two popular white girls. Yet, the sassiness and attitude that overwhelmed her personality took on the stereotype that is placed on black women.

This whole movie is based on the strong popular culture influence that has a hold over teenagers. One of the readings we read for this class, “Same Shit, Different World,” written by Lauren Bans spoke of many peoples constant fear of not fitting in and changing their appearance to seem more beautiful and feel more accepted. In her chapter she spoke of an alternate reality, a computer game, in which people can change their appearance to however they want in order to appear more beautiful and attractive (57). This not only happens online but it happens in our day-to-day lives too. We are constantly forced to read magazines and watch TV commercials of people telling us what will make us seem more popular or appear more beautiful and comparing us to the impossible. In the case of this film, the ‘must-have’ was acquiring a G.B.F. and immediately it was a priority for these girls to hunt down a fellow student to objectify and use in hopes of becoming more popular.

I loved going to the Reelout queer film and video festival because it really opened my eyes to the whole other culture that is not the typical Hollywood movie. I actually went twice and the second time saw Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth, which was very different to G.B.F, but also a fantastic movie. I thought the diversity in films that were being shown was amazing. The films still had the common themes of social acceptance and human rights that I thought came through clear and powerful.

G.B.F. had a very powerful message that I thought was portrayed very well through light-hearted humor and an attention-grabbing storyline. Just because someone identities differently to the majority, they should not be objectified and used to the advantage of these mainstream ‘privileged’ people. The influence of popular culture in many people’s everyday lives is so prominent that it can have major negative effects. No matter how different someone appears to be from the majority, they should never be abused or objectified and G.B.F. showed that very well through their film.

-R.

Works Cited

Bans, Lauren. Same Shit, Different World. Toronto: Pearson Canada, n.d. Print. Vol. 8 of Gender, Race and Popular Culture. 12 vols.

Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster, n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2014. <http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/gbf_2013/&gt;.

Week 7; February 24th – March 2nd Blog Entry #2 (Done by J).

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In Your Pocket: What’s Your Sex?

Through the Lens of LGBTs

Opinions surrounding the meaning of the term “sex” have been closely restrained by society. Sex has been commonly limited to the conventional definition where only male and female divisions exist. In an attempt to break away from this flawed definition, In Your Pocket: What’s Your Sex? successfully opens up the boundaries on the meaning and importance of sex to the LGBT community. Through a series of shorts, each under 4 minutes, filmmakers use smart phones to document their unheard voices surrounding sexuality. While this film addresses the bigger picture of sex as a dynamic term, it also speaks on a personal level, allowing individuals to form genuine views. Its simplicity and modern twist are effective at capturing the true essence of sex.

In Your Pocket: What’s Your Sex? does not follow a specific plot throughout, rather each short consists of a unique view on the theme of sex. While a few shorts have distinct perspectives on sex, most fall under one of three categories: one-sidedness, freedom, and the idea that one is not tied down to their sexuality. Further, all the shorts address the struggle between the stereotypical understanding of sex, versus the newly growing, but sometimes controversial perspective. The first repeated sub-theme is one-sidedness, specifically regarding how society views members of the LGBT community. As the names suggest, Tunnel Vision, Labels, Pigeon Hole and Obsessions each uniquely express how society refuses to see past homosexual typecasts, but instead maintain a narrow, fixed judgement on LGBTs. These films emphasize society’s lack of motivation and desire to stop labelling. Personally, I believe these shorts bring rise to the idea of choice as addressed by Professor Tolmie in lecture. With careful consideration of morals and ethics, one is able to select a stance on how they feel towards other heterosexual or homosexual individuals. The film emphasizes the damaging impact of society’s unfortunate choice to view LGBT members in a stereotypical way – through a homophobic lens. As described by George Weinberg in Gendered Worlds, homophobia is hatred expressed towards lesbians and gay men (Aulette and Wittner 117). Thus, these shorts remind us of the irrational nature of homophobia and the need for it to stop.

A second sub-theme is depicted through six other shorts including Dufferin Mall, Fucking Butterflies, Take it Off, Serpientes y Escaleras, Creature Probably, and A Thousand Birds. Each film incorporates a slightly more hopeful theme: the idea of freedom amongst LGBT members. Creature Probably, Fucking Butterflies, and Serpientes y Escaleras approach freedom from a positive perspective. I interpret the lyrical dancing, the butterflies “fucking” shamelessly, and the men acting carefree with their genitals as indications of their own freedom form societal conventions. However, Dufferin Mall, Take it Off, and A Thousand Birds emphasize the lack of freedom LGBT members experience. Dufferin Mall and Take it Off address the limiting relationship between race and sex. These films show the struggle LGBT members face with whiteness and the overpowering need to conform (Tolmie). A Thousand Birds focuses on the hope for breaking free form the many unjust societal expectations and assumptions about homosexuals. I also think this grouping of shorts addresses individuals’ sexual rights and individual autonomy. The Declaration On Sexual Rights, as mentioned in Gendered Worlds, states that individuals have the right to make free and responsible choices on all aspects of sexuality. Everyone is entitled to a sense of sexual freedom, equality, and dignity (Aulette and Wittner 107). According to my interpretation of the film, I think the shorts display examples of infringements on LGBT members’ rights. Ideally, every individual should be granted equal privileges and freedom, yet the films show LGBT members who still remain trapped and mistreated by society. 

The idea that ‘your sexuality does not define you’ is the third reoccurring topic within the In Your Pocket: What’s Your Sex? shorts. While this is the ideal, society unfortunately perceives marginalized individuals based on the discrimination they experience (Gender, Race, & Popular Culture 73). My Sex is Genderless, Lavender Technicalities, and You Are Not Your Genitals each address this issue by stressing that individuals should not feel restricted by their gender. These clips are more empowering than the former as they emphasize the satisfaction, happiness, and triumph one will feel once they themselves, along society, accept and understand who they are. I see this grouping of shorts as representative of how society should be; no one should be disadvantaged or embarrassed because of their sexuality or sexual preference.

Aside from the content and themes in In Your Pocket: What’s Your Sex?, the technical aspects also contribute to the overall film. As previously mentioned, filmmakers were limited to smart phones to create their short. With the rise of technology, smart phones have become the leading device for self-representation; social media cites, online dating, and ‘selfies’ all focus on the individual. However, this film attempts to use smart phones in the opposite way, rather use them to create stories that represent everyone anonymously in the LGBT community. Further, both the simplistic yet eccentric editing and music contribute to the entertaining aspect of the film. Finally, the short clips kept me enticed because of the stories continually changing to new perspectives on the same overall theme of sex. In my opinion, the technical aspects of the films were executed well. 

Overall, In Your Pocket: What’s Your Sex? effectively combines a variety of shorts that draw upon different understandings of sex. Using only smart phones presents a current style that is easy to understand and particularly relatable to the 21st century. Together, the shorts address the different ways members of the LGBT community view sex as opposed to society’s preconceived ideas. A combination of the emotional content, subliminal messages, and captivating film style contribute to the success of the film. Further, my experience attending the Reelout queer film festival was enlightening. This was my first time viewing personal films about sexuality and it made me further appreciate the challenges LGBTs face. During my time at Queen’s thus far I haven’t directly encountered controversy over issues between homosexual and heterosexual individuals. Regardless, this film reminds me that even though it may not be visible, many individuals are constantly pressured to conform to society’s definition of sex, whether it be applicable to all individuals or not. It is my hope that with more films like this, people become aware of the many misconceptions about LGBT members. In Your Pocket: What’s Your Sex? Shows that the ability to share the message about how homosexuals understand sex lies in the palms of our hands, making it an undoubtedly accomplishable task. 

 

Works Cited

Auletter, Judy Root, and Judith Wittner. Gendered Worlds. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., 2012. Print.

Tolmie, Jane. “Twilight & 50 Shades of Grey.” Queen’s University. Queen’s University, Kingston, ON. 4 February 2014. Lecture.  

Gender, Race, & Popular Culture. Toronto: Pearson Learning Solutions, 2014. Print.

Week 7; February 24-March 2nd Blog Entry #2 (Done by S).

G.B.F; is it Better Inside the Closet or Out?

It all started with a magazine cover; ‘how to win that prom tiara’, ‘the do’s and don’ts of popularity’, ‘fashion trends for this new school year’ that three high school girls took to a new level in an all-out-battle to win the title of prom-queen. The power of ultimate consumerism brainwashes the girls into using the newest popularity-assuring fad that a gay-best-friend would catapult them to the top and they set their sights on their target. The film G.B.F presented at the fifteenth annual Reelout queer film and video festival written by George Northy and directed by Darren Stein depicts the reality of high school teen life; where people are targeted for being different, friendships can be sabotaged overnight and people become pawns in games of power. Filmed in 2013 and released January 17th of 2014, G.B.F is an R rated comedy, chronicling the triumphs and defeats of a group of high school students and a fad that objectifies gay individuals.

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G.B.F main character, Tanner (Michael. J. Willett) and his friends plan his coming out but instead Tanner is ‘outed’ by others. B.F.F Brent (Paul Iacono) and Tanner have a major falling out, opening the door for the three most powerful and adversarial girls in the school to befriend Tanner motivated by their own agendas. A girl-war erupts as Barbie-perfect Fawcett (Sasha Pieterse), angelic Mormon ‘Shley  (Andrea Bowen) and musical diva Caprice (Xosha Roquemore) battle each other for the perfect prom-accessory molding Tanner into their definition of a ‘fabulous and fierce gay’. Enticed by his new status, Tanner faces a personal ultimatum; sell out to the superficial world of popularity or reconnect with his values and friends.

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This is a great movie whether you’re straight or gay, young or old, adult or teen; G.B.F entertains while touching on issues of great social importance and sensitivity. Armed with a super-charged cast who actively deliver wit and wisdom, the message of the movie comes through loud and clear; using people for your own benefit hurts others and in the end hurts you too. While there is no debate that G.B.F will keep you laughing and contributed to the ‘stitch’ I developed in my side, G.B.F is a parody where a fine line separates on the on-screen humour used in portraying events and the reality of the subject matter in people’s lives. In week 4 lecture of Genders 125, Professor Jane Tolmie discusses the risks of using parodies and satire as a vehicle for expressing social messages. If used well the effect on-screen can produce sheer brilliance however, if not, the result can be quite offensive to viewers. While G.B.F didn’t fall into the extremes of either of these categories, as a viewer I often found myself stifling laughs when the parody seemed to jab at sensitive underlying issues.

G.B.F depicts issues related to sexual orientation in an idealistic way. For Tanner, coming out wasn’t that traumatic or stressful, he was accepted by the majority of those in his school, teachers supported him, and a pre-existing school club for gays provided a sense of community and belonging. The consequences at home seemed just as idyllic, Tanner’s parents were accepting of his orientation having sensed it for some time and there was almost a feeling of relief that their son had finally caught up to what they suspected. In reality we live in a binary world where heteronormativity is considered to be the acceptable way to live life, playing into existing regimes of power and enforcing ableism as discussed in great detail in week’s 5 and 6 lecture of Genders 125. Within society certain members or groups of individuals hold power and authority over others based on rules and norms determined by the ruling group. Class readings have shed considerable light on the fact that within western society able power resides in white heterosexual individuals (Aulette and Wittner 80). In G.B.F the gender spectrum is altered, ultimately twisting it from the conventional norm where power and emphasis on protagonist characters include binary sex division and individuals classify themselves as heterosexuals (Week 3 Class Attachment). In G.B.F Tanner may appear to hold power and the upper-hand over Fawcett, ‘Shley and Caprice because of something he has that they want but in the world off the Hollywood screen that is not reality; there are real issues between sex, gender, sexuality and who people associate with.

Despite the movies focus on issues of sexual orientation the ‘whiteness’ of the cast can’t be ignored. Ethnocentrism is alive and well in the white culture that dominates the screen with a token black actress (Aulette and Wittner 83). The character of Caprice fulfills the racial stereotype of the young, black woman, portrayed as a diva, she is the ‘all-about-me-girl’ filled with attitude and sass (Aulette and Wittner 111). As well as racial ethnocentrism, G.B.F depicts ethnocentricity of religion impacting the character of ‘Shley. Singled out as a Mormon, ‘Shley and her church group are openly ridiculed bearing the brunt of the evil oppressor in the school.

Thanks to Stein’s formidable directing G.B.F plays to some very strong technical components including settings, costumes, and mainstream music that contribute to an air of lighthearted spirit energized through a well-stacked cast that delivers fast-paced dialogue surrounded by flashy glitz and beauty. While I found it very entertaining, aspects of G.B.F seemed to parallel the film Mean Girls written by Tina Fey and directed by Mark Waters, released in April of 2004. The story of a teen leading a double life and trying to balance between two groups, caught up in the consequences of power and authority, the reality of objectification, finally reaching the moment of truth where all is revealed in a highly public setting for everyone to see and hear.

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The Reelout queer film and video festival opened my eyes to the diversity of film providing an opportunity to explore social issues through this media form in a thought-provoking and meaningful way. Movies are made to watch, share and discuss whether it happens with a small group of friends sitting at Tim Horton’s or Starbucks or more formally in a tutorial. Films and film festivals can be a great catalyst bringing people together over social issues. My hope is that movies like G.B.F and other gender diverse films become mainstream, breaking through the barriers of social dictate into the full view of the public eye. They have a lot to say and we, as a society have a lot to learn.

– S entry.

Sources Used:
– The Movie G.B.F
– G.B.F cast and director information: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2429074/
– Mean girls cast and director information: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0377092/
– Reelout site: http://www.reelout.com
– Reelout G.B.F page: http://www.reelout.com/event/7pm-g-b-f/
– Lecture Material: Tolmie, Jane. “Week Slides” . Queen’s University. Queen’s University, Kingston, ON. January- February 2014. Lecture.
– Class Book: Auletter, Judy Root, and Judith Wittner. Gendered Worlds. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., 2012. Print.
– Week 3 Class Attachment Site: https://www.genderspectrum.org/understanding-gender
– G.B.F Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6DJSGrfNbk
– Picture #1: http://d1oi7t5trwfj5d.cloudfront.net/c1/fe/31be3b464e579190325ceedaad8f/gbf-1.jpg
– Picture #2: http://www.thefilmcollaborative.org/_images/slate_images/gbf/gbf-web/gbf-slo_mo_strut.jpg
– Picture #3: http://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/gbf_12_87511989.jpg

Week 4; January 27th- February 2nd Blog Entry #1 (Done by J).

Director Roman Polanski attends a news conference for the film "La Venus a la Fourrure" during the 66th Cannes Film Festival

Criminal, Genius, Or Both?

Crisis in the media is often controversial. In fact, the most famous scandals are faced with moral and legal questions that must be considered in order to make appropriate, fair judgments. However, for celebrities, decisions aren’t always rightfully based on both law and morals. Too often their fame dismisses them of their inappropriate actions, leaving society unsure of how to view them as former role models. In the cases of Woody Allen and Roman Polanski, I struggle with accepting the crimes they committed, their inadequate punishment, and separating their crime from their talents. Questions arise such as; is it appropriate to consider these men artistic geniuses, or do their criminal pasts trump their achievements? Opinions vary surrounding this controversy making my personal perspective one of many.

Woody Allen has been a respected filmmaker, actor, and director for decades. His movies are dynamic, full of truth and reflect his passion. He continues to have a very successful career and receives recognition for his work to this day. In my opinion, he is undeniably gifted in the film industry. When focusing on strictly his talent for producing films, I see him as an artistic genius. However, I find it challenging to respect, admire, and especially award Allen knowing his criminal history. I must consider this case from a legal standpoint and perhaps, more importantly, from an ethical perspective to classify him as a potential criminal. According to the law, Allen allegedly molested his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow and participated in incest by marrying his ex-wife Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn. I view the alleged sexual abuse as a legally punishable crime, and the incest as a morally corrupt offence. Even so, Allen has yet to accept his legal felony or receive any form of punishment for it. Thus, I would also consider him a criminal, raising the question: does criminal status overpower his recognition as an award winning genius? In my opinion, yes. It is one thing to simply applaud his good work at the end of a film, but for Allen to receive the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award for his many films at the Golden Globes this year is despicable. Society and Hollywood shamelessly ignore his criminal past simply for art. Therefore, a large problem surrounding this case reflects society’s contributing role and the intersections between classes, which I will expand on later.

It is also questioned whether Roman Polanski should be considered a genius or a criminal. While he is many things such as; an international film marker, a highly accomplished director, a producer, an actor, and potentially a genius for his artistic work, but altogether he remains a criminal. Polanski’s crimes include the rape of 13 year old, Samantha Geimer, and failing to serve time for his conviction. Instead of rightfully serving jail time, he fled the United States to enjoy a first-class, luxurious life where he continues to produce films and receive awards. I feel both of these offences are morally and legally wrong. Yet, some suggest that Polanski’s talents must be kept separate from his personal behaviours, but I tend to disagree. Not only did he commit a capital crime and fail to accept his punishment, but it’s the fact that he continue to receive and accept awards that is inconceivable. His fame makes people perceive him differently, even when in the wrong. Again, society is partially to blame for this corrupted behaviour.

Society’s flawed role in these cases involves our distorted, conventional images of abuse. Allen and Polanski are two old, famous men with whiteness in their favour. The poor victims happen to be young women objectified and highly sexualized into being characters for abuse. But imagine the roles flipped, a coloured female raped a man, society would be appalled. Why is this? We have become accustomed to associating rape as a normal act when it involves a white man as the perpetrator and young women as the victims. Adding to that, the fame Allen and Polanski have make us further dismiss the case because they are held to different standards – they are seen as a superior class. Their upper class status provides them with ‘get out of jail, free’ cards, something anyone of a lower class would never receive. Moving forward with these cases, class intersections must be broken down. This is a dominating problem where relationships of inequality are created within society amongst the upper, middle, and lower classes. It is an unfair advantage and deceitful way of avoiding proper punishment for an ethically and legally wrong crime. Therefore, as a society, it is our responsibility to see past the fame, properly address intersectionality among the oppressed middle and lower class groups, and treat this rape, abuse and incest case like any other. The award distribution process is based on decisions made by committee members and the people’s popular vote. We, the people, are awarding Woody Allen and Roman Polanski with a blind eye to their past. I think it is morally unfair to praise Polanski and Allen, thus it must be stopped to eliminate this detestable inhumanity.

While society has a job to fulfill in moving forward with this case, Allen and Polanski must change, as well, by accepting and repenting for their crimes. As a related example, consider Lance Armstrong. Following the reveal of his criminal offence, involving performance-enhancing drugs during multiple Tour de France races, many fans and supporters did not condone his actions. His awards were revoked and he was prohibited from participating in future races. Though, unlike Allen and Polanski, Lance accepted his actions and punishment. Once he took responsibility he could rightfully gain the support of his fans again. While Allen’s and Polanski’s crimes may not have directly affected their career as Lance’s did, their criminal actions may have provoked ideas for films or plots. It is uncertain what they took away from their crimes or the impact they had on their creations. However, the problem is Allen and Polanski have yet to accept or serve time for their crimes, and continue to be rewarded and admired in the film industry. A large congratulation goes to Woody Allen for recently winning the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award, and to Roman Polanski for his dynamic film productions, but I think these men need to pay for their crimes and society must withhold further tributes. They may be artistic geniuses, but that does not dismiss them of being criminals. Until they are able to take ownership for their actions, there are numerous other talented and inspirational, film writers, actors, and directors that deserve to be praised and spoken about.

Week 4; January 27th- Feb 2nd Blog Entry #1 (Done by L).

Don’t Beat Around the Bush

My ears are pierced, I’m wearing nail polish, and my hair is braided…..my legs are not shaved; it’s winter, give me a break. Have I lost all control over my own body by doing these things? I don’t think so, but it is difficult to determine how much free will we have when it comes to all of these areas because we are the ones who ultimately choose to wax, pierce, cut, hide, shave, and cover ourselves. I’m not going to blame somebody else for me going out, buying Veet, and literally burning the hair off of my body, but  considering how much I dislike actually doing it, there must be a greater reason for why so many of us modify their body’s natural form.

We have control over what we do with our own bodies, but I think we feel more pressure to do what is considered the popular thing because of what we see portrayed as desirable. Most of the things that we do cut, shave, pierce, wax, hide, and cover are normally copies of things we see in media and popular culture, specifically in ads trying to sell a product or lifestyle. The thought process is, if we mimic the images that we see of women and men who are considered beautiful, we will be able to attain their level of perfection.

According to a recent poll done by Huffington Post, 52 percent of women use 1-4 products when getting ready for their day in the morning and 54 percent of men don’t use anything (Rebecca Adams, “This Is Why It’s More Expensive to Be a Woman”). It is literally more expensive to be a female, and unfortunately buying all the products for one’s hair, skin, and nails, doesn’t end there. It’s still expected that people will get their hair professionally cut, their nails done, and other “necessary” things such as facials. These things are all enormous pains to deal with and take time, yet we do them because it would be socially unaccepted to see things that are regularly shaved, plucked, or waxed with hair on them. The only reason that American Apparel’s mannequins were so conspicuously noticed, blogged about, and on the news is because they were sporting visible, bushy pubic hair, which is an unquestionably uncommon image “(Gothamist, American Apparel Now Sporting Full Bush”).

The case of the American Apparel mannequins is far more personal than an ad about shampoo because there is a greater focus on people’s intimate preferences in a more taboo body location. I think that this article is relevant because it sparks the question, do we do alter all of the things that we do because of our agency and control over our bodies or is it because of social pressures to alter them? I think that there are a certain amount of specific options for people to choose from and they have the free will to make their choice from the social accepted options. Have you ever thought about the correlation between almost never seeing bush images or advertisements on models and the fact that it is socially unaccepted as a style?brazilian

Now it might not be considered complete free will if the people making decisions can only pick from socially accepted ones, but they could grow their hair if they wanted to, it’s just not as common. When people make their decisions, I don’t think that they say,” What’s the most accepted and gender specific way for me to groom myself? ”, but they may unconsciously present themselves with styles that answer that question. An example of this is if a gorgeous girl is out and all of a sudden she raises her arm and she has the equivalent to a beard under her arm, it is an instant turnoff. This girl has the choice to shave her arms if she wants to and by not, she is acting on her free will, but she is also making a choice that is not socially acceptable and is instantly deemed effeminate.

Although it is arguable that it’s easier to be a male because they have less to alter about themselves in order to be accepted, I think that many men feel the same social pressure to pick an accepted style for their “manscaping”. As far as I understand, bush isn’t a popular trend for women OR men. One positive quality about manscaping and waxing pubic areas is they are generally cleaner afterwards, but if you don’t want to pay thirty dollars minimum to have hot wax spread on your vagina and then ripped off, it’s understandable. I realize that the positive qualities, such as confidence that comes from what we do cut, shave, and wax can make us feel that way because of its connection with the images that we are surrounded by every day that are associated with sexy. What we want to do with our own bodies should be one hundred percent up to us, and not just what we think will be socially accepted. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case in reality where if you don’t select one of the accepted styles you will be judged and considered unusual. Manscaping and waxing, whatever and however you choose to alter your body, or not should be one hundred percent up to you, as should all things that pertain to one’s self, regardless of what is the accepted norm.

However, I would be stoked if women shaving their legs would go out of style. I fully support that.