Feminism in the U.S. was strong in the 1920’s, when Suffragettes fought for their right to vote. A second wave of feminism was strong in America during the 1970’s and 1980’s when women unapologetically surged into the workplace demanding fair treatment and equal pay for equal work. Many argue that there is a strong third wave of feminism happening now. This time, however, many consider this wave of feminism to be worldwide.
Whether you believe that a third wave of feminism is happening right now or not, you can’t deny the fact that the pressure for women to be perfect is stronger than ever. Some pressure women to stay at home and focus on motherhood. Others pressure women to be career-driven and in the office. The female body is being more commercialized with each and every magazine publication released to the public. Many ads show women being beaten, kidnapped, or dominated. These violent acts are photographed for advertisements selling material things such as watches or a new pair of jeans. Studies have shown that advertisements depicting violence against women are only half the battle. Women are also confronted with images of unrealistic bodies, expectations of having perfect skin, and an intolerance for being overweight.
Being a woman in the 21st century is harder than ever. Females are being pulled in every direction and they’re being stretched too thin. Recently, a friend of mine told me that there is a product being sold in Korea that pushes the envelope on what’s okay to sell to women. The television commercial shows a woman at home with her sexual partner. The woman is ignored and appears depressed about it. She is sitting on the sofa crying, but then her mood shifts when she takes a shower and bleaches her genitals.
(Hold on. What did you say?)
Yes, you understood me. The woman goes to the shower and puts skin bleaching cream onto her genitals. As a result, the woman’s sexual partner finds her attractive again, making the woman happy. The commercial ends with happy music playing and the couple cuddling up for action. All thanks to this genital skin bleaching cream.
For starters, the implication that a woman needs a man to find her attractive in order to be happy is disappointing. Women know that they shouldn’t seek their identity or satisfaction from anyone but themselves. Secondly, of all the places where a woman must “improve” herself, is it really fair to pressure her to improve her bathing suit area? How can a woman stay happy if she is told that every place on her body is unattractive?
This product is also being sold in India, and many people are angry about a bleaching cream for private areas being sold. Many women are saying enough!
However, the problem is not only in India and it’s not only related to vaginal skin bleaching cream. Advertisements like this one are everywhere. Women are shown as sexual objects that will go to great lengths in order to get a man to find them attractive. There’s no argument that this isn’t an epidemic. Now the argument is about what we will do to stop these harmful ads.