Titian, Woman With a Mirror, c. 1515
From The Critic:
For a generation with rising mental health problems, who have spent the best part of the last two years indoors with screens as their only connection to the outside world, appearance has taken precedence over substance. If it proves impossible to disconnect from your phone, why not try to disconnect from your thoughts?
Another young woman featured in the article acts out the “no thoughts head empty helpless woman look we use to manipulate men” while blinking and smiling blankly like a child. The problem being, if you’ve deliberately trained yourself to appear more, and think less, who holds the real power in this negotiation? The liberal feminist line, that self-objectification is empowering, belies the fact that the body is a fragile church. Sex appeal — and the currency you may think you can derive from it — is short-lived. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself turning to those “essentialist” Mumsnet mothers for advice, wondering why you wasted so much time.
Virginia Woolf once said that “women have served all these centuries as looking glasses possessing the power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size.” It’s difficult to see what the version of feminism proposed by Vice does to challenge this historical conception. A man who views women as intellectually inferior sex objects is unlikely to care whether or not the performance is ironic. My own sex, I hope, will excuse me, if I treat them like rational creatures.