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‘Female actresses should not use their femininity for promotion.’ The sentence already sounds like it was said by a spiteful, jealous male actor. 🙂
It is instilled in children from the moment they are born that anyone who is feminine or embraces femininity is inferior or weaker. Be it, men or women, if (God forbid) anyone expresses a feminine side, they are shamed, gossiped about and mocked at. This mindset of people forces even little girls to be conditioned into hating feminine things for fear of being excluded or kicked out of their peer groups. Therefore, most girls go through a phase of internalized misogyny, where they hate the colour pink, heels, dresses and skirts and instead stick to black or blue, sneakers, baggy pants and even prefer the company of boys over girl friends because that makes them ‘cooler’ and there’s ‘less drama with boys,’ because that’s what they are conditioned to believe.
But there comes a time when most women face their internalized misogyny and unlearn the conditioned behaviour because hating themselves and other women benefit no one. Once they reach the epiphany that their lives need not revolve around men and the male gaze, they start going back to things they thought they hated; the colour pink, the joy of having more girl friends and not conforming to the identity and actions that the society has thrust upon them.
Women finally start being more independent and being themselves rather than the fake mould the society put them in and even start making their own choices uninfluenced by others’ opinions, and that includes dressing the way they want. Being more conservative or wearing more revealing dresses.
This sudden grasp of their own choice being valued over others’ will make people say many vile and jealous things, like, “Female actresses should not use their femininity for promotion.” This hypocrisy of men, where they condemn women embracing their femininity by their own choice, whereas still enjoying it from the perspective of a male, all comes down to the matter of <i>consent.</i>
It is a matter of pride for men, that their choice should be regarded more highly than that of women’s. Additionally, an empowered woman is a phenomenal woman and gains more attention and appreciation for being confident with herself, whereas they do not. Their concept of ‘masculinity’ not gaining more popularity makes them feel inferior to women who do. So, it <i>is</i> a matter of pride.
Well, male actors, if female actresses using femininity for promotion seems unfair, why don’t you start embracing femininity too? Might work. 🙂