Friday, March 16, 2007

Who Does Your Nipples?

Are you worried about the ripeness of your nipples? Me neither. But, apparently, a company called Benefit is selling nipple rouge for women who want "ripe, rosy" areolae. My first response to this was to think "Yeah? Well, stupid is as stupid does." But, according to New York Magazine, this is another "sign of the stripperization of the Everywoman." My response to that was to say, breathlessly, to myself: "My God! They're perfected the stripperization ray! Dr. Ignatius Incognito, you beautiful bastard!"

Anyway, those of us who just assume the Everywoman is too smart to be putting make-up on her nipples first thing in the morning have another thing coming. Sonia Ossorio, president of NOW, complains: "While women are spending their energy, time, and money getting their areolas just the right shade of pink, the Supreme Court is getting more conservative and closer to taking away our long-fought right to reproductive choice." Those poor dears. Apparently, NOW doesn't know any women who are capable of thinking about more than one thing. Happily, men don't have to worry about such patronizing nonsense from our "advocates". I've never heard anyone ask: "How will men be able to fight homelessness when they have to think about wearing pants?!"

And to add well-meaning insult to well-meaning insult, Salon's writer demurs a bit and then adds: "it suffices to say that this is just one small part of the commercial colonization of the Land of Private Lady Parts." A Land I've longed to live in since I was a little boy. But, seriously, isn't capitalism based on a system of supply and demand? A barter system, if you will, in which money is exchanged for goods and services? Why, in such a system, people could make products that other people might willingly buy, if they had a lot of expendable income and wanted nipples the color of pomegranites. No colonization to it really. Sure, it's a stupid product. But, a system of exchange doesn't become colonization until they start mining these women's nipples for cobalt. And besides, can't adult women do very silly things just for the hell of it without everyone worrying that their privates are being colonized, their minds being controlled, and their rights being taken away?


sock puppet said...

Hey, I’m first in line to condemn how women are portrayed in fashion magazines and the like. I’m particularly critical of the tendency to reduce women to body parts. Nipple rouge is just another product in the array of self-improvement goods. No surprise here.

I’m more wound up by Ossorio’s remarks than I am by another product to improve my unacceptable body. As you correctly point out, she doesn’t give women much credit in the intelligence department. Yet after all, she manages to get her nails manicured and find time to think about the Supreme Court and reproductive choice (and I bet nipple-painting is faster than nail maintenance.)

I think she just comes off looking foolish, and doing a disservice to women. But no damage done here. I’ll continue to successfully balance getting my hair dyed and using my brain. I might even get me some of that nipple stuff just for the hell of it. Oh, the thought of trying to meet a briefing deadline with my unseen rosy nipples caressing the inside of my blouse…

Rufus said...

Amen to that! To be honest, I'm all for a bit of frivolity in the daily routine. As an undergrad, I was convinced that most girls who shaved their pubes did so because it's fun to mention in conversation!

There certainly are people of both genders who could stand to be much more critical towards consumption though. I used to live in a lower-class neighborhood where my neighbors were in credit card debt up to their eyeballs in order to own the Hummer that they saw in some music video. But, I think progressives make the mistake of pretending corporations are evil manichean puppet masters, when in fact the puppets pull the strings. The goal should be to encourage people to be reasonable in their shopping; not to criticize their intellectual abilities because they want to have a bit of kinky fun every once in a while. Nobody should have the weight of the world resting on their nipples!