So sometimes I read magazines that I shouldn’t really be reading, because as a self-respecting, educated woman I should know better than to allow myself to be immersed in, what is quite frankly, a ludicrous premise for entertainment. However, on the extremely rare occasions that I read said tabloids, I am amazed at the sort of women who are plastered across their pages. And I wonder about the type of women that influence current society.
When I was younger I was obsessed with the suffragettes, (for the record being obsessed with a certain historical period or group does not equal the immediate popularity one would imagine.) In any case, for anyone who doesn’t know, (philistine) this was the collective group of men and women who fought for equal voting rights. Thanks to their tireless campaigning, in 1928 the British government granted its citizenship universal suffrage. This meant that everyone over the age of 18 had the right to vote. The leader of this group was Emmeline Pankhurst. Emmeline was an outstanding individual, not only did she have five children, (back in the day I could recite all their names by heart, a feat which was, I maintain, not properly appreciated by peers), but she also led the fight for women’s rights. She campaigned, went to jail, got involved and was, in my very humble opinion, genuinely an outstanding individual.
Comparatively the type of women who appear in contemporary news are famous for one or a mix of the following: appearing in a reality TV show, having had a sex tape, launching a scent, twerking (an activity I cannot ever understand wanting to participate in), looking good in a bikini, looking bad in a bikini, either losing or gaining an amount of weight equivalent to a small child (and then proving this by posing in a bikini), launching a ridiculous website that espouses an unrealistic and expensive lifestyle achievable only by a select elite (obviously not mentioning any names.)
My point is that when the latest self-proclaimed ‘feminist’ is famous for being “bootylicious” and “putting a ring on it,” I start to wonder about the state of society. Do not get me wrong, I like being a girl: I like wearing heels, makeup and a special dress (though on my salary it is normally a rotation of the only 3 dresses I have in my wardrobe). But, I have yet to feel the need to appear in a music video, scantily dressed (if for no other reason than most of my clothing decisions are based on the premise of covering my upper arms), dancing around a rapper who is voicing his desire to bed as many women as possible.
However, the one light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, the shining star in a dark expansive dearth of inspiration is Mindy Kaling. An exceptional writer, a wonderful actress, a woman whom Hollywood begrudgingly refers to as “curvy” and the rest of the world considers normal. A woman whom does not feel the need to randomly expose naked parts of her body for the sake of being “indy” or “edgy.” Nor does her show give the illusion that no one is ever lonely in a big city. Because, obviously making three best friends, all of whom have completely different personalities. But remain closer than that annoying couple who can’t seem to let go of each other is an incredibly reasonable premise on which to base ten season television series (and two, honestly just horrific, movies.) Okay rant over. (Any allusions in the above sarcastic comment to the Television show Girls or Sex and the City is entirely intended).
Of course, the fact I am inspired by a funny woman is perhaps unsurprising given my personal ambitions. And there are many women whom are clearly offering heaps to society: in the world of politics, literature, media, journalism, industry, technology and, even, music. I guess I just worry that when asked to name a famous woman I suspect most would answer Kim Kardashian. So just for today on this lazy Sunday afternoon, whilst you are recovering from hangovers or eating too much food or feeling guilty about not going to a museum or doing something cultural (as I invariably do) research a woman who has done something more amazing: won the Nobel Peace or the Pulitzer or affected global change. Anything really as long as the woman was able to accomplish their achievement keeping all items of clothing completely on.