3 January 2012

body image (or: my magic training pants)

So I was again in this same group which made me want to scream last time. But this time we had a really good session. We discussed body image – what we like about our appearance, how important is it to us, the stereotype that all feminist women neglect their appearance, what is beauty and by whom is it defined, the perfect body and by whom is it defined, culture and society in relation to body image, and what not.
Anyway, as we were concluding the session, moving from our own private bodies to the public sphere of society and how it perceives beauty, I thought of one microcosmic example for how much society puts emphasis on external appearances.

They’re doing some construction work in my neighborhood, so it is literally teeming with young men bursting with hormones. I take the dogs out in the morning in my training suit and in my black jacket. I walk past the working men. I am air. Invisible.

Later on, I leave the house for the office – dressed in skinny jeans and boots. The same black jacket. My face and hair are exactly the same as in the morning, as I don’t use any makeup. So – practically the only difference is the clothes on the lower part of my body: skinny jeans and boots instead of baggy training pants and crocs. All men stop working. All heads turned in my direction, their eyes following me down the street. I am amazed how a pair of skinny jeans and boots can turn me from completely invisible to the center of their attention – for a few moments, at least.

The next morning, I put on my training suit, black jacket and crocs – and head out with the dogs again. I walk past the working men. And I am invisible again. I smile to myself. My baggy training pants are magical, having the superpower of making me invisible – well, in certain situations at least and for certain individuals. But. Nevertheless.

(c) by khulud kh. all rights reserved (2012)


  1. i just want to correct the saying "feminist neglect". simplicity is not neglect.neglect is dirty etc.. it is a form of antifeminism to call it neglect when i decide to have my curly hair open and not to pluck my eyebrows and have outside also sportcloths cause it is compfortable. quite often i get reactions: if only you make up and pluck and put nicer cloths you will be so much prettier. so i object to the use of the word "neglect" . i shower once or twice a day.

  2. no need for correcting darling, as I was referring to "stereotypes". And as such, they are always wrong :)


Comments are your footprints. I'll never know what impression you were left with if you don't leave any footprints behind you. Please share your thoughts. You're also welcome to drop me a personal line at khulud.kh@gmail.com