You know how you sometimes take rabbit trails through social media and end up browsing pages of complete strangers? Maybe that’s just me. I just went on one of those trips and found myself captivated by the posts of a young woman who clearly leads a larger-than-life …well …life!
She rides an awesome motorcycle, she climbs mountains and fights forest fires and travels to exotic locals. She takes amazing photos! This woman is badass and I want to live vicariously through her online postings. She rocks!
So I’m looking at this selfie she took on a mountain top. She’s sitting there, clearly just climbed to this amazing height, and I check out the comments (’cause I’m living vicariously, remember) and I’m shocked by what people are writing there (both men and women alike):
- You look so beautiful!
- Sexy as always!
- Wow! You look amazing!!
It goes on and on like that, with barely a nod to the real point of the picture – she just climbed a freakin’ mountain!
I should point out here that she is, in fact, beautiful. That is indisputable. But people, she climbed a mountain! She rode her motorcycle, fast, down a super challenging road! She hiked up a creek, waist deep, with a 70lb pack on her back, walking straight toward a raging forest fire. And you look at this and all you see is her pretty face, her sexy body?
If she were a homely woman, doing all the same things, taking all the same pictures, would she get this much attention? I think not. And many comments would probably be mean-spirited and the rest would be the same ‘sexy’ drivel from well-intentioned but oblivious women. Because clearly this is still how we judge ourselves. Clearly we’ve reached a point where women are free to do all these challenging and courageous things that used to be reserved for men, but we’re still only impressed if they look good doing it.
I thinks it’s time we change that conversation, don’t you?
NOTE: if you post a picture of yourself in a new dress or with a new haircut, of course I’m still going to tell you how fabulous you look! Just don’t expect me to tell you that you look sexy when you post a picture of yourself accepting the Nobel Peace Prize or standing at the top of Mount Everest. See what I mean?