Watching men in films and television advertisements shaving their hairs in their head, armpits and other parts of the body appears to be quite a familiar scene. It does not, in any literal or figurative sense, compel the viewer such as the common individual to rise up in arms and protest against it as it may produce a reason for the person to condemn whatever it is that disgraces the society. It all seems normal to think that these manly instances aired in the mass media brings no air of gloom or any hint of an untoward attitude against them.
Quite on the contrary, it seems appalling to view women indecently exposing their hairs and shaving them off like men usually do especially in the broadcast media. Emotions tend to flare up and curse these instances as if it was something new. Indeed, the society’s perception of these cases is something relatively new. Much of these have something to do with the way the society is setup throughout the ages—the patriarchal society has dictated the very definitions of what is acceptable from what is not in terms of gender preferences.
To a certain extent, it does surprise me to be able to watch women parading their hairs right in front of the camera and shaving, pulling their excess hair—whichever way that suits them—as if it was a mandatory ritual needed to proclaim before the society how womanly they are with the way they trim their excess hairs. It is funny to think women behaving that way. But what is even more hilarious is the fact that all these times I thought women were feminine and are expected to keep themselves clean and hairless, so to speak, then here comes a bunch of men doing what women are expected to do.
What do these tell us? These tell us that there is more than meets the eye. The feeling of being surprised indicates that someone experienced something quite bizarre, unusual, or even life-changing. At some point, much of these indicators will tell us that women have become the ‘laughing stock’ or, at least, the basin of the lowliest sensibilities of mankind. This is not to say that women are indeed expected to be that way.
Quite on the contrary, there is no reason to believe that women ought to be that way for the reason that gender should not exclude nor prevent one from freely exercising one’s right to live one’s life. Apart from the patriarchal setup the society has been placed into like a trap, the fainting presence of women in the past days have alluded to a grander and more indicting scenario—we have women cleaning themselves live in television advertisements and programs and we laugh at them, as if purifying one’s self is a laughable mortal sin.
This should not be the case. To my surprise, however, a certain level of intolerance permeates what has become the melting pot of gender roles—mass media. While mass media have broken ancient boundaries which isolate one man or woman from another, it has also widened the breach between what is reasonably acceptable from what is not. There can be no fitting word other than confusion, I think, which best befits the attitude of one towards women merely sanitizing and maintaining their feminine image. What could be so wrong with that?
Aren’t we surprised to see men doing the same thing women are more expected to do? For social intolerance and patriarchy’s sake, some reasons do come cheap. I wouldn’t be surprised anymore to see women doing the same thing these days. I’d be surprised to see men cajoling themselves with scissors and wax in front of national television. It will be surprising, hilarious, and profane nonetheless. I have a feeling somewhere across the globe people are being surprised with what they see in the broadcast media.
Laughing, perhaps, upon seeing a woman cleaning herself, these people shallowly half-realize an empty joke that is never to be found in a world of pure and sheer equality. But women will be women, and so will men be of their kind. Inequality looms in a world surprised to see human nature become as it is. Reference Saltzberg, Elayne A. , and Joan C. Chrisler. “Beauty Is the Beast: Psychological Effects of the Pursuit of the Perfect Female Body. ” Women: A Feminist Perspective. Ed. Jo Freeman. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing Company, 1995. 167-74.