February 18, 2005

I thought I could trust Oprah

I was watching Oprah the other day, and she was hosting one of her infamous "make over" specials. There were about 5 or 6 women on the show, and she was helping them "femme up" their wardrobes. Ordinarily I like watching shows like this, but this time I had just finished reading chapter six from our Riki Wilchins text, and I had to wonder, "what was wrong with these women to begin with?"

I love Oprah, don't get me wrong. To her credit, there was no pressure on the women to lose weight, (well, except from one of the fashion experts who called this one girl's thighs "super-chunky"), but for the most part, emphasis was placed on helping the women to find outfits that would be more flattering to their body shape.

Yet, these women seemed perfectly happy and comfortable with their original style of dress. It wasn't until Oprah's fashion police pulled them over and told them they looked like lumberjacks did they feel compelled to change their appearance.

Okay, maybe they felt self conscious about their appearance before the Oprah show, but a good question is: why?

On page 69 of Queer Theory Wilchins writes: "We are subject in daily life to a continuous dressage of gender, each individual's every move is weighted with gendered meaning." Wilchins goes on to say that we join other people in policing our behavior, and this sort of self-scrutiny ensures that we stay within acceptable gender norms.

There just doesn't seem to be much space for sexuality if people decide to deviate from their socially perscribed gender role.

Posted by nort0173 at February 18, 2005 10:40 AM