A Feminist Speaks Out: “We Women Should Treat Ourselves Better!” by Marianne Raynaud

Marianne Raynaud speaks about how women should defend themselves today by changing habits that put them in an inferior state. As a feminist she is definitely against the "fashion victim" trend that makes women waste money that they should invest in education, training or just making a better life for themselves.

A confirmed feminist

I am willing to admit that I am a feminist. And I believe we must change the role of women in our society both on a political and social level. However, in many ways I feel it is our own fault, since we adopt ideas, trends and behaviors that only work to keep us in our inferior position. We must act in a radically different way to gain access to our rights—the equal rights we are entitled to.

The fashion industry: A form of intellectual and emotional terrorism against women

Today the fashion world attempts to dictate the way we dress and how we spend our money. Women’s magazines keep telling us that as “diligent consumers” we should constantly be out shopping for the trendiest items to wear. Now if you are exceedingly rich and only judge people by their external appearance, you can continue to do this. But think for just one minute about all the money that is spent by women on clothing. We could be spending it on educating ourselves instead. We would have fewer garments to hang up in our closet, fewer to clean and we wouldn’t have the dilemma of having “nothing to wear” when the wardrobe is stock full.

And let’s face it, we rarely make true friends because the other person is wearing something terribly costly or the absolute latest in fashion. When you fall in love, you remember what you felt and the glance in the eyes of your loved one, but not the clothes he was wearing! Often he was in jeans and you were far from being dressed in your best attire. So what’s the point?

One last idea: Find a style of your own and stick to it. If you wear clothes of single colors and not with patterns, you can easily make up different combinations. And by matching the colors you can always be well dressed regardless of how old the garments are!

An obsession with shoes that could result in a health problem

Today the craze is to buy shoes. Women claim to have a hundred pairs of shoes in their cupboards. But let’s be honest. How often do we look down at other people’s feet? How often do we say, "She was so beautifully dressed and had the prettiest shoes." Most often we don’t even notice. Moreover, think of the price of these trendy shoes and multiply that by one hundred, and you will see why women don’t have enough money to set up their own companies, why they can’t do graduate studies or come up with a down payment for an apartment.

Moreover, these shoes have heels that are more than three inches high. It makes me shudder to think what those high heels are doing to the posture of our young women and all the acute back problems they will have to endure in the years to come. In another decade those heels will be considered passé—old fashioned—but the back problems will remain.

Unnecessary cosmetics

As for cosmetics it is the same thing. Not only are women spending a vast amount of money unnecessarily, but they are often unconsciously exposing their delicate skin to chemicals that when used over many years can lead to a multitude of health problems including skin cancer. So if girls start off using makeup at twelve, the chances are they will develop sundry problems later on in life.

Of course the top models we see in the ads are beautiful, near perfect beings as they are displayed on those glossy pages. But remember often this incomparable beauty is not just because of the makeup used but mostly due to the expert skills of the photographer and the fine touches of the technician who finalizes the pictures on the computer screen. When you see a truly beautiful woman in the street, she often has a very natural look with no makeup on at all!

We are being brainwashed

What I am saying is we are being brainwashed into thinking we have to buy these clothes, shoes or cosmetics that are being advertised. A more logical, responsible response would be to refuse to purchase them or at least to restrict our budgets to usable, durable items and products that will not harm us.

On the other hand, we must “invest” in our diets by eating healthy foods i.e. fruits and vegetables even if they may seem costly. If there is financial restriction, limit your consumption of red meat or buy the less expensive cuts that simply have to be cooked longer. And above all do not buy the industrialized products like TV dinners or frozen pizzas that will not only make you fat and ruin your health but will also drain your finances.

Present day addictions

Most importantly don’t get caught up in the present day addiction to drugs, cigarettes and alcohol. You may think you look cool when you are stoned or when you have a cigarette dangling out of your mouth, BUT YOU ARE DEFINITELY NOT APPEALING. These are costly addictions that can ruin your future chances of having a happy life. You may feel more relaxed after a drink or two or three or after smoking, sniffing or absorbing some potent drug but in actual fact laughing with friends for at least ten minutes will do the trick even better, and there will be no hangover from excessive laughter.

The solution is simple

The solution to today’s problems is simple. Never do anything just because everyone else is doing it. Don’t become a billboard giving free advertising to brand names that are exploiting indigent people in underdeveloped countries. Be different! Stand out because you have convictions, because you want to stay healthy and happy and thus beautiful! If your friends don’t agree with you and want to ruin their lives, then go out and find new friends.

The Internet is a fantastic way to find people who are like you, who really want to live in a better world. Lots of pages on the Web are junk or even terribly vulgar, but you will also find the gems, the individuals who write worthwhile prose and have fantastic projects. If you are strong in your mind, you will be strong in your body. In that way women in the future will be able to occupy decision-making positions in education, in business and in politics—positions that are principally held by men today. Just by saying “No” to the dictates of the fashion world, by not giving in to the temptations of the ads shown on television and by not handing over your money to the world of industrialized food products you will be contributing to making this planet a better place to live.

“New women image”

Don’t let us down. Even if you do not consider yourself a feminist, simply be a “NEW WOMAN” in a “NEW AGE.” That’s enough!

Marianne Raynaud

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