Defending Vajazzling

“To me, Beauty is the wonder of wonders…It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances.” -Oscar Wilde

This piece appeared in the City Paper about “vajazzling,” the art of applying jewels to one’s vagina. Then this piece appeared, also in the City Paper, as a follow up to the first. 

Let’s be clear, I think vajazzling is stupid as well. I’d mercilessly mock any one of my friends who choose to do it. I’d mercilessly mock strangers who choose to do it. 

But I’m also going to mock the writer of these articles. Because she makes about as much sense as sticking little plastic diamonds on my crotch. 

“Well, for one thing, capitalism hates to lose a consumer. And at some point, it figured out that this feminism stuff that was helping to put women into positions of power could also be used as a tool to sell thing…”

Um, what? “Capitalism” isn’t a thing. “Capitalism” didn’t get up in the morning and decide to stick sequins on your vagina. It doesn’t have it’s own life-force. Some person came up with this idea and some people are buying it. Don’t blame an entire economic structure because you don’t want your twat to glitter.

“When it comes to personal appearance, it’s no coincidence that femininity is marked by performance, while masculinity is just as often defined by men not performing things. Shaving your body hair is feminine; not shaving is masculine. “

There are tons of huge logical problems here. Let’s start with the most obvious. Do most of the men in your life look like Santa Claus? No? So they shave their face every single day? Yes? Does that make them women? No?

In the shaving department, I think women sometimes come out on top. Men can’t hide their faces under an cute pair of jeans. Their stubble is displayed for all the world to see where as my stubble is hidden underneath jeans and a tee shirt.

Yes, it is more socially acceptable for men to have a beard than for women to have hairy legs. But the vast majority of men don’t. Society pressures them into shaving their faces every single day. OH THE HORROR!!!!!!!!!!

She goes on to list other things like 

“putting on make up is feminine, while not putting it on is masculine. Dying, styling, blow-drying, and curling your hair is feminine; keeping a low-maintenance hair cut is masculine.”

Yes, doing those things is considered feminine. And we certainly tease males in our culture who do engage in those activities for being “feminine.” But the absence of those activities isn’t automatically masculine. I don’t look less like a woman because I don’t wear mascara or because I let my hair air dry. These behaviors aren’t diametrically opposed. Yes, men get it easier in the hygiene department. However, women don’t have to have it as hard as this article makes it out to be. 
So after all of that tripe, we get to this. The author explains that she loves to wear lipstick and shaves her legs.

“Look: I don’t begrudge women who make the choice to perform the behaviors of femininity. I perform many of them myself, on a daily basis! Resisting engaging in these things is almost impossible. But I don’t kid myself into thinking that I just love wearing lipstick because I was born that way, or that I shave my legs because I have somehow independently decided—without any influence from my culture!—that that’s the way I personally prefer my legs to look.”

Ok, so you accept that you’re influenced by culture. If the women vajazzling themselves acknowledged they were influenced by culture, would it be ok? Perhaps the answer to that is yes, but I doubt it. 

The author says she does stuff that society makes her do and she likes it! Why doesn’t vajazzling fall into the same category as her love of lipstick? She has arbitrarily determined that shaving your legs and wearing lipstick are ok activities to engage in but vajazzling is not. Why should anyone care about her assessment? 

The truth is, we shouldn’t. 

She’s correct when she says that “this shit is fucking ridiculous.” My shoe collection is fucking ridiculous. I bet the author’s lipstick collection is fucking ridiculous. Is Jennifer Love Hewitt more ridiculous because she choose to vadazzle? Am I more ridiculous because my shoes can costs upwards of $200 a pair rather than the author’s lipstick costing, on the high end, $12 a tube? Who gets to define ridiculous?

Let’s all agree that we, as women, subscribe to things that society tells us to. I’m not going to have an internal debate about whether I shave my legs because society tells me do or because I prefer it. I have better shit to spend my time doing. I like shoes and I like smooth legs. I also love dresses, patterned tights, my liquid blush, absurdly large earrings, my long and difficult to care for hair, and painted nails. I’m not going to spend any time agonizing over those decisions. As women, we have better and bigger issues to combat. 

Rather than criticizing vajazzling, every time someone you know does it or you read about it in the news, donate $10 to the local women’s shelter. That’s going to do more for women than indignant articles. 

Which means I’ll go be donating now. 

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