Tag Archives: societal standards

The Value of Bodies

This is a topic I’ve been thinking about a lot lately: the value assigned to us, especially to us as queer people. As queer people, we are instantly considered less valuable – since we don’t fit the ideal of heterosexuality. A few things in the interwebs recently backed this up in an interesting way.

First, did you see Rachel Maddow‘s high school year book picture that’s been circulating?

I saw it about a week ago, had the reaction of, “Oh wow! That’s weird, she looked totally different,” and moved on. Apparently, the rest of the world has had a different reaction, with people saying they’d “tap that” and how “hot and sexy” she was while openly wondering why she would “give all that up”. Autostraddle had a really great analysis of mainstream media’s reaction and how Maddow’s gender presentation bothers some people, and how she is called a “man” or “manly”. I would really, really recommend reading it. It’s really well done.

I don’t know about you, but I think Maddow is incredibly attractive, both for her appearance and her amazing brain. She can analyze politics like no other.

The next thing pop culture threw my way that got me thinking about value is RuPaul’s Drag U.

I was a huge fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 1 & 2, especially since a friend of a friend’s was on Season 2 and is now on Drag U. However, I was a little disappointed with the underlying message of this series. The premise of the show is that drag queens from seasons 1 and 2 make over more masculine looking women into drag queens to get them in touch with their “feminine” and “fierce” side. Fierceness, fine, but the show often calls the women “boys” and puts down their style. It really sends the message that women are not allowed to be anything but girly, and if they’re not, there is something very wrong with them.

Only one episode has aired so far (which you can watch at logo.com) so I hope it improves, but it really looks like this is what the show will be – constantly telling women that they need to change.

The last thing I came across recently was this amazing, wonderfully done commentary by Ivan Coyote. It’s kind of long, but it’s worth sticking out to the end. Ivan discusses his love of full bodied femmes and his own experiences of feeling valued.

I, too, am sick of people saying that I’m not valuable or that the people I’m attracted to are not valuable and that I am inherently wrong for finding them attractive. I know there’s a little bit of hippy in me, but there’s beauty in everyone. I see it. Don’t you?