I watched a skit Amy Schumer did with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey and Patricia Arquette about aging actresses being deemed "no longer fuckable" by the media, and therefor, no longer fit for consumption by the US population. Shortly after, Sandra Bullock was named Most Beautiful Person for People Magazine, making her the oldest most beautiful woman in the history of People Magazine.
I don't think I need to go out of my way to say this, but clearly, this has no bearing on the shit that goes down in the real world. Beauty is subjective. No matter how many scientific studies we run, no matter how many people vote on who is most beautiful, prettiest or sexiest, in the end, your body is just a skin suit. In some cases, an altered skin suit. The last time I was in an environment where that type of beauty truly mattered, it was in high school. The place where everybody who was considered important had not yet developed their adult brain. Evidently, the media sees the value in prolonging the hell of a high competitive, anxiety-producing environment where characteristics over which you have little to no control determine the level of your success and happiness.
I don't live in that world. I live in the world where personality, joy, and compassion are beautiful. Where you are attracted to a person for indescribable and undefinable reasons. You either feel a pull, or you don't, and this pull is not determined by beauty. Well, in a sense it is, but not beauty as we have been fed. The beauty I am speaking of comes from a mix of different traits; smell, smile, laugh, world view, etc.
Dustin Hoffman said that after he dressed up as Tootsie for his movie he came to realize that he had turned himself, visually, into a woman he would not spend time with, solely based on her looks. He said it broke his heart because he had created this character; he loved her and felt horrible that in so doing he had revealed to himself his vanity and short sightedness.
The rest of us are not so lucky. We see idealized versions of human beings on screens, magazine pages, billboards and on soda cans every day. We are being sold an ideal of a person by a machine which scaring us into buying one version of beauty or another, because beauty determines happines, wealth, and success in the real world.
In order to stop doing this to each other, we must stop doing this to ourselves. We must see ourselves as beautiful, valuable, strong, and confident. We must know our value, no matter what our skin suit looks like. The more you can see yourself wholly and accept that person, love that person, embrace the entirety of that person, the more easily you can do that for others. The more easily you can accept others, the better your life becomes, because there are fewer barriers to getting to know and care for more people.
You might wonder how this can be done. I can only tell you what I have done and what has made the biggest difference in my life. I am as honest as I can be about the reality of me. My acne scars, my fear of abandonment, my big nose with black heads, and my abnormally large head are all as much of what defines me as my amazing sense of humor, my adorable smile, my sparkly blue eyes and my gravity-defying badonk. They are all worthy of my acknowledgement, attention, compassion and acceptance. They are what makes up me, and the sum of my parts is miraculous.
We are all miracles, and reducing anyone to what their skin suit looks like is not fair to them and not fair to you. It might seem like it saves time up front, but in reality, it is a huge waste. Unfortunately, and this is something that was not mentioned, but is in all ways alluded to, that sex and love are the same thing. That a woman who is no longer fuckable, is therefor, no longer lovable.
This is pure bullshit, but it gets to the heart of why this idea is so scary and so dangerous.
We believe this shit because we fear we are not lovable, and the media plays on this almost ubiquitous fear by using idealized people to convey messages about the value of beauty to us.
I understand the argument. It sucks that women, after a certain age, are sold by the media as no longer believably fuckable. The reality, as anyone who seeks out sex knows, is that this is far from the truth. The media is a machine created to make people believe a lie. This is one case where reality is better than myth. Where the fairy tale is actuallly a night mare and the cold, harsh light of day garners great fruit! The truth is that women of all ages get plenty of sex, with plenty of people, sometimes even with people who work in and run the media! Yes! Those people have sex too!
I have my own form of "no longer fuckable", but it is more functional in nature. I do believe that at a certain point, I will cease to be able to have sex. For whatever reason, either old hips, unavailable partners, or simple geography, sex will become more and more scarce as I age, leaving me to compile an even larger pile of sex toys to choose from as my body slowly returns to dust. This seems to be a reality of my life, but inn no way have I seen evidence that I will stop having sex because someone else believes I am no longer worthy. Nor have I seen that it will have any bearing on how lovable I will or will not be.
One of the things I hope to remember on my deathbed, soon after I have had my last mind-blowing orgasm, is all the amazing and wonderful people I have had sex with. I want to lie there, knowing that I got all I could while I was able. This is an entirely different meaning to the phrase, "no longer fuckable," but it does hold value in my world.
I hold sex as a valuable resource. Yes, a resource. It feeds me, gives me energy, brightens my outlook, and brings me closer to the people I share it with. It is one of my favorite things and I intend to do it for as long as my body and environment will allow.
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