How do you know when you are truly a woman? When you’re being objectified like all the other ‘girls’.
It feels cruel, doesn’t it?
To pick at a negative from the overwhelmingly positive reaction to Caitlyn Jenner’s “coming out” this week.
Because it has been, almost entirely, a supportive reaction.
It’s a beautiful thing. BUT.
And yes, that’s a BUT in a story about transgender woman who has been extraordinarily courageous in becoming her true self under the gaze of millions.
There’s something in the tsunami of gushing coverage of Jenner’s transition that wrankles.
Because it will not last. The enthusiasm for fawning over a new, brave celebrity icon will soon morph into ruthless critique.
The clues are already there. Because now that Caitlyn Jenner is a woman, there is only one discussion:
And it’s about her appearance. Her boobs, her hair. The effectiveness or otherwise, of her surgery choices. Her wardrobe. Her UNDERWEAR.
As Jon Stewart so brilliantly squewers in this video, it’s as if, when Caitlyn was a man, we talked about what he did. Good and bad. He was an Olympic athlete. He was a motivational speaker. He was a sometimes lack-lustre father. He was the patriarch of arguably the world’s most famous family.
Now Caitlyn is a woman, there is only one thing up for discussion. What she looks like.
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Because the important thing about being female is how attractive you are at any given moment.
Right now, the media is full of praise – and rightly so – for Caitlyn. Her carefully stage-managed, surgically-airbrushed appearance and her old-Hollywood wardrobe has been hailed as “hot”, “classy” and “beautiful.”
But they will turn on her. Soon, what the craning lenses of the paparazzi will be doing to Caitlyn will be what they were already doing to transitional “Bruce” – trying to find ways she is failing at being a woman.
Because in the eyes of the mainstream media, you don’t have to be new to being a woman to get it wrong.
Soon – somewhere right now, in fact – Editors will be zooming in on neck wrinkles, and make-up mistakes, and dresses that might be too short, or too tight. The game will go from rooting for a brave hero, to willing her to look ridiculous.