Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Gay marriage and big boobs

I don't normally read the Huffington Post, its layout somehow annoys me - but I followed a link there for some other reason yesterday and ended up reading Brian Normoyle's piece on Miss California (her of the not-being-a-fan-of-gay-marriage fame) and her breast implants. I was actually in California when this whole scandal erupted and was watching too much TV news, so lets say it was this that grabbed my attention, not the thought of Miss California's breasts more generally.

His point is superficially rather silly, but there is a deeper point. Years ago when I had more time, I wrote something vaguely similar here about cosmetic surgery in western societies and the issue of the veil for Muslim women. I've been thinking a lot about America after visiting the other week; I'm still getting over how foreign it is in many ways, despite being so familiar. But there is something rather American about a beauty queen who was paid by a commercial organisation to have her breast pumped full of silicon, basically for the titillation of men, holding forth on the morality of the private sexual lives of others. Regardless of the rights or wrongs, it is just plain weird.

1 comment:

KGS said...

Hi Toby, Actually it's an interesting view point. I for one have never taken an interest in beauty pagents, and I believe that they have not the appeal as they once had in the 40's 50's and 60's.

Feminism in some small measure played a role in diminishing the interest, but I assume it was just a natural trend based on more open awareness of sexuality...before then, having 50 women in bathing suits was a big deal.

While it's tempting to compare and question the relation between the two extremes of the veil and boob jobs, and I agree that they are, but nonetheless, I deem the veil to be the far more religiously and culturally oppressive of the two.

Let's face it, no western female has had acid thrown on her face or been murdered for *not* having a boob job. The most a women can encounter in the West is the feeling of dissapoint for not getting the role or promotion due to one's own looks.

Again, while I admit that the two phenomenons are *in some ways* the almost exact extreme of the other, the veil by far is the more oppressive and patriarchial of the two. Both involve societal pressure, but outward appearances in the West, at the end of the day, is by choice, which is something many a Muslim woman in the Islamic world can only dream of.