I enjoy watching these commercials in which some Hollywood starlet is inviting women to buy a particular product in order to be “worth it” or to “feel like a woman”. The products advertized range from mascaras to shampoos, lipsticks and moisturizing/firming creams. What is the message? That this product will give us star power; that each woman can aim at looking like a star; that women need some pampering once in a while; that this product is our ticket into an elite club in which “worth-it” women rule…
When does a woman feel like a woman? Or when does a woman think she is “worth it”? I guess that the answers to these questions depend on whom you ask. A stay-at-home mother who is on duty 24/7 needs to pamper herself once in a while in order to feel sexy and feminine. In this case, putting on a gorgeous lipstick might be a good self-esteem booster. A career woman might need to try that shampoo for her frizzy hair. Or a teenager might think that she needs the whole line of products in order to have the Jessica Alba look. Or a 60+ woman may feel that she needs these products in order to fight the clock…But can a product alone make a woman feel like a woman?
What about the women in the Third World who don’t even wear make-up? Women whose days are an ongoing fight for survival; women who spend all day in the scorching sun selling bottled waters, juices, food, clothes because their families depend on them; single women who have never heard of such things as “child support” or “government assistance” but who manage to give the best education available to their children; Women who don’t even know how to read and write but whose children grow up to become global citizens! Thank God, these women don’t have the time or the luxury to watch these commercials. These women are the pillars of Third World. And, until their struggles (illiteracy, short life expectancy, unavailability of health care, domestic violence, discrimination, low representation in government) are faced, there won’t be any viable, sustainable development of the Third World.
To all women whose shape the dream of their surroundings, to all women whose invisible hands are working to make life better, to all women who have the courage to hope, to all women who dare, I’m wishing a happy International Women’s Day. I hope one day I’ll get to “feel like a woman”.