I recently wrote a blog about the fascination we have with breasts… at least from my personal experience and perspective, (read Are Your Breasts Real? to get caught up). I have to say that the reason I decided to write about the importance of breasts in our society – the final straw so-to-speak was the article, It’s 2013, and Women Are Still Their Breasts. The writer spends a lot of time criticizing Justin Timberlake’s video, Tunnel Vision, (the version I linked is the explicit version). My main issue with the video is that he’s singing to one woman, (or so it seemed to me), and has multiple dancers; however, the dancers are all built like his wife who I’m sure appreciates the artistic expression behind JT’s videos since she’s an artist herself in her own right. The author of the article expressed concern over how this type of entertainment affects society and its view of women. Does she have a point? Sure. But I think that there are people who are going to exploit whatever a person creates or does to express themselves in order to suit their own agenda. Take the Bible for example, how many versions and interpretations of these ancient writings are out there? And we’re going to throw a fit about a music video that in my opinion is pretty artistically done. And to insinuate at the end of the article that there are bully, woman hating men using women as an inside joke is ridiculous. If that were the case, the writer wouldn’t have so much to say about it in the first place.
I have a feeling the dancers in JT’s video got paid well for their appearance in the video. Who am I to say that they aren’t embracing true womanhood or their inner “goddess” by choosing to participate in this video? How is it that the assumption is made that the men involved in this video were the only ones with a say on who was in the video and what they did? Are we assuming that women have no choice at all? It seems to me that this assumption is more dangerous than a woman appearing nude by choice in an artistic endeavor. If I was one of those dancers I would be thrilled to know that the female form was being celebrated in such a tasteful way, (because for a popular music video, this is the most tasteful way to introduce full nudity I have ever seen). When I see this video I see an appreciation not an exploitation but maybe that’s just me and the fact that I don’t see the need to assume the worst in everything.
I wanted to give another extreme of how breasts are used to “manipulate” society, (hypothetically assuming that’s what is actually happening). Is anyone watching what’s going on with the female members of FEMEN? These women are being thrown in prisons for protesting topless; they use their breasts to make a statement. Are they a little extreme? To some, yes but they know the power of breasts and they’re using it to their advantage, (at least from their perspective). I am not interested in getting into the political details of this topic I just want to prove a point; everything has exactly the type of meaning and the amount of value that we give it.
I understand the power of seduction and I know the difference between being seductive, sensual, and sexual. Maybe the problem our society really has is that the common assumption is that these are all the same but they are not which takes me back to a vlog and blog I posted on my website about sex and intimacy, Is Sex The Worst That Can Happen? Instead of focusing on the media and entertainers, why not spend that energy on empowering our children? Or educating anyone who will listen the value of “the dance” within attraction, the artistic beauty of the human form, what intimacy truly is as well as what sex is and what it isn’t.
In summation, I am a bit mystified by some women that assume other women do not appreciate or respect their bodies just because they make different choices with them. Maybe the choices are from a lack of respect but criticizing it certainly isn’t going to give them self-respect and what if your wrong and a woman loves and respects her body so much she feels confident showing more of it than others? How do you know the difference? Do you even need to know the difference? And lastly, it’s foolish to start bashing on men regarding this, that’s only going to perpetuate a whole other pattern that isn’t healthy. If we as women want to be respected than we need to respect ourselves and one another and give men a reason to respect us and stop whining and playing the victim.*
I will leave you with this video released of a young girl who is brave enough to appreciate her own beauty and self-worth despite what her family has planned for her. If an 11 year old girl can take responsibility for her own life, (even though she shouldn’t have to), how much more so should we as adults be doing the same and stop crying about how other people express themselves and exhausting energy into criticizing other people who aren’t likely to change but instead take responsibility for our own lives and bodies and be an example to our children and other people… After all, actions do speak louder than words.
*As someone who has suffered abuse and victimization I can say with confidence that I am obviously speaking in generalities and any cases of abuse, manipulation, exploitation, and the like are not included in my argument.