The Gratuitous Shower Scene; Just Say Thank You;
and What Do Men vs. Women Consider Beautiful?
I have pretty much forgotten what regular TV is thanks to Netflix and Amazon Prime (which I can now get Starz through, thank you very much!) So in March I binge-watched: Daredevil (“DD”), Jessica Jones (“JJ”), and The Politician’s Husband. I’ve been watched British shows almost non-stop since January. I’m finding that my inner voice is now speaking with a British accent and my outer voice is using British terminology to people.
(Side thought: Anyone know the easy way to put the closed caption on an Amazon Prime tv show from a smart tv? Netflix is so easy. Prime confounds me!)
In one of my last blogs I discussed a little about gender inequality for female actors and the gratuitous shower scene. And then I watched Daredevil and Jessica Jones. So here’s the thing. DD and JJ are both Marvel characters. Both on Netflix. DD isn’t getting much action in the Teflon suit, but it is inferred that Matt Murdock is. A love ‘em and leave ‘em kind of guy. He comes home nearly every night broken and beaten - where surely a hot, steamy shower would be just the thing to help ease aching muscles. Yet we see none of that.
Cue the female Marvel character, one Jessica Jones, and we see her hop into bed with a stranger, and she does the shower scene. More than once. Jess also has to deal with a terrible villain, gets beat up, the whole nine yards, so what makes her day harder to deal with that only a nice hot shower will ease it, whereas it obviously will do bupkis for Matt. Because he’s a guy? And they just shake it off and go about their day? Not buying it!
Point is - Both Marvel characters. Same network. Neither of these characters are exactly chomping at the bit for commitment. Both have had something happen to them that has fundamentally changed who they are. Yet they cannot be portrayed equally. Does the network feel that JJ wouldn’t work without the sexual scenes, but DD is just fine without them? Or are is it simply resting on its laurels and going full speed ahead with the Hollywood past practice of using their female actors for sex appeal? (Full disclosure: If said network were to include a shower scene or two in the DD episodes as they have done with JJ, this author would not protest too much. I am only human after all!)
A couple of days ago I received a really nice direct message on my Twitter from a fellow blogger on Tumblr. We mutually follow each other. It was really hard for me to just say “thank you” without adding a “Yes, but…” Women in general can’t do this. Why is that? If someone is kind enough to take the time to pay you a compliment, why can’t we simply accept the compliment and let it boost our day just a little. If someone compliments our hair, we have to tell them it doesn’t usually turn out so well. If someone likes our shoes, we have to tell them we’ve had them forever. God forbid someone compliments us on our outfit (“Oh! I feel so fat in it! You don’t think this shirt makes my feet look humongous?!”). We are crazy! Tell a man you like his shirt, and he will a) look down at said shirt as if he forgot he was wearing one; and b) say “thank you.” End of story.
What is in our DNA as a woman that cannot accept a little spotlight glory without the caveat, “yes, but…”? That will then bring up everything you noticed wrong about yourself not only since you woke up that morning, but since you hit puberty. When someone takes the time to tell you how lovely you look the last thing they want to hear is “God, I feel so awful! You really think so? You don’t think it brings out the black bags under my eyes? I tried to conceal them this morning, and ended up being late for work because they are just so dark and big…” Snoooooooooze. I wonder if men think “Oh god. I think she looks nice today. But if I mention it, she’ll bring up the zit that suddenly appeared, as if from nowhere - just this morning - as if it knew it was going to ruin her day which lead her to see that she now has, dear god!, three grey hairs…” and then just hide. Because men love nothing better than discussing zits, grey hair and skirts that make your legs look like an elephants.
So ladies, when someone tells you something nice, just smile and say “thank you!” Let it sink in that someone took notice of you and then took the time to tell you that you are beautiful. Don’t be a buzzkill to their lovely compliment.
And with that being said, I’m going to contradict everything I just wrote about in my quest to discover what men and women consider as beauty and maybe the “Yes, but” caveat is why I can’t accept when someone tells me I’m pretty.
My female friends are really generous with their compliments to me. They tell me that they think I’ve got great eyes or hair or whatever. When I did the bar scene, I would more often than not get hit on by women. And if this did it for me, then I guess I’d be all set. But I’m totally into guys. And yes, I do get looks and smiles and hit on by men, but not as much as other friends I’ve hung out with. Even in my skinny days, these gals were thinner than I. And they were the ones the guys hung on like bees to honey.
Nowadays after over a decade of dealing with fibromyalgia and over five years with Lupus, my Marilyn figure is more like Jabba the Hut. That is the image of me I have. (And I get yelled at for saying it.) I know we women are pretty darn tough on ourselves (hence the “we cannot take a compliment” point above). I look in the mirror and see long blonde hair and nice eyes. Then it’s all Jabba from there.
And part of me is able to say “Must not be that bad if I just was flirted/hit on/etc” with, but it doesn’t sink in. The inner workings of my mind are going thru everything bad I think or feel about myself. I know that there isn’t a woman on earth who doesn’t have at least one insecurity about herself. And I have met a considerable number of guys with them, too (they just seem to be better at hiding them!).
Long story short - I think men and women just have a vastly different definition of what beauty is. Look at what most men fav and follow on SM. The women are twigs. For the most part, they look unhealthy to me. With large breasts. The face doesn’t have to be exceptionally pretty as long as the bod is hot. Women, however, seem to notice that hey - you have eyes! And they are pretty. Your skin is glowy. You do actually have a head on our shoulders! (AND you know how to use it!) Is this a reason why women are so hard on themselves? Because of what we see men flock to? Is it because we look at these other women and realize we will never be like that? I don’t know why it is so much easier to believe the bad and not the good.
But I really hope that someday we can all change that.