(note: if you're reading this on Facebook, you might have to click on "see original post" to go to the actual blog to see the video).
I'm kind of a playful person, if you haven't noticed. Actually I admitted to one of my classes yesterday that I never really grew up. But I try to start every class off with a laugh of some kind, because it puts us all in a good mood before we get down to the "important stuff." I particularly like it when whatever we're laughing about directly relates to the important stuff.
Here's what we did today. First, I showed them this Youtube video of Jennifer Love Hewitt admitting publicly that she had had her lady-bits vajazzled:
Then I went to a website (www.theluxuryspot.com), in which a young woman takes a camera crew along with her to record for posterity her nether regions being...well, prettified. I don't want to steal their entire page, and if the website comes back up (it seems to be down), I'll provide a link so you can go see it for yourself, but here's one visual just so you can get the basic idea:
It's a complex process. First you have to be completely waxed. Then the vajazzler lady sticks rows of rhinestones around your cooter, using a tweezer for the more complicated placements, and voila! Your vajayjay has been vajazzled.
We speculated about how much it cost and then wondered if the cost was worth it, considering that a vajazzled vajayjay lasts for only five days. And, you can't have sex the first day it was done. After five days, we supposed the rhinestones start falling off, and then this led us to speculate about where they go and if they might not get jammed up in places you don't want them to go.
Then we talked about what motivated women to do such a thing. It's as if women aren't acceptable just the way we naturally are. We shave our legs; we shave our armpits; we pluck our brows; if a hair appears elsewhere on our faces, we pluck that off; and lately we've taken to not merely trimming our pubic hair, but shaving or waxing virtually all of it off. Now we're compelled to make "it" all pretty with rhinestones!
The men in the class chimed in that now guys are jumping on the bandwagon, too: now men have to have six-pack abs, a gorgeous body, and a handsome face, so men are getting plastic surgery and even getting abdominal, pectoral, and calf implants.
The women snorted and said that's much rarer, though, than what women experience: the constant changing of hair styles and color, the constant upgrading of outfits as fashion changes, the false eyelashes, the constant manicures and pedicures. Now we're even paying for designer nails. It's the message women get, day in and day out, over and over and over, that our bodies are not good enough, that we have to prim and flaunt and do whatever we can to attract a mate. "Peacocking," one woman called it. If you don't do this stuff, you're considered downright weird.
Yes, I agreed, although Jennifer Love Hewitt also seemed to find the vajazzling to be empowering. Note, though, that she did it after a break-up...was it a way of taking back her own body and making it pretty for just herself? Perhaps. If that's the case, I sort of like that. It's fabulous! I said, "It's like putting 100 pink flamingos in your front yard!" Yeah, fuck you, world!
I segued to how this relates to their next paper--we'll be looking at advertisements and considering the messages we receive from them. It's a chicken or egg question: do advertisements reflect society's norms, or is society influenced by what advertising tells us?
I ended the segment with another joke: "Tell ya what. Men should get into this vajazzling stuff too. We can call them Disco Balls!" I added, "And when that happens, I'll truly believe we really have equality of the sexes."