News Flash: Women Are More Than Just Body Types and Sex Positions

Filed under: Opinions

After seven years of blogging about maternal mental health, I suppose it shouldn't surprise me that I ended up on a media list. Some public relations person somewhere decided I would be a great person to contact with all news releases related to health and beauty. This is why my inbox is constantly filled with PR pitches, most of which include headlines like the following:

[CELEBRITY] LEAVES [GYM BRAND NAME] DRINKING [SPORTS DRINK BRAND NAME]

Stop the presses! Women everywhere need to know this! Get me online, quick! It is clear to me that most of the public relations people that contact me have never read my blog. If so, they'd know I don't write about warts or hair implants. Ever.

But what stands out to me the most, even more than people contacting me who have no idea what I write about, is the fact that so many of the health press releases I receive are related to appearance, as if a woman's appearance is the most important thing to her well-being. The category is called health and beauty, but I see only 5 percent relating to health, as opposed to 95 percent focusing on beauty.

Every week I am duly informed about which very skinny celebrity drank what protein drink after she worked out at which gym. I get stories about what you should wear underneath your clothes after you have a baby so that everyone thinks you've lost all the baby weight in the first three weeks postpartum. Pitches tout the newest cosmetic surgeries, the latest and greatest workouts and shoes that will make my legs look like ... well ... anybody else's legs but mine.

It makes me wonder: What are the top health concerns of women? Will waistline be in the top five? Bust size? Skin tone? Waxed upper lips?

Nope. According to WebMD, they're actually heart disease, breast cancer, osteoporosis, depression and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, lupus and type 1 diabetes.

We women are smarter than we look, apparently.

Now, I do care about my appearance. I've shared my reluctance to embrace chin hairs and age spots before. I'm willing to accept a little assistance in the form of a Botox shot here and there to help ease me into the great beyond. If I look collectively at all the messages I receive from PR people and women's magazines, though, I feel like I've been reduced to nothing more than a walking doll.

Why is the preponderance of the marketing email I receive aimed at making sure I look like celebrities, many of whom don't even look like themselves anymore because they've exceeded the acceptable limit of injections, inflations and insertions?

As I grow older, I become more and more supportive of women's media outlets and companies that respect us for our brains, our ideas and our capabilities -- ones that attempt to add to our lives in meaningful ways, rather than making sure we're all, as The Commodores memorialized in the song "Brick House," 36-24-36.

I like reading More magazine, for instance, because its headlines don't scream at me about which sexual positions I haven't tried, as if sex and my ability to attract it with the perfect body should be my chief concerns in life. The magazine covers beauty and fashion, sure, but those topics are balanced with lots of other things, too.

Sorry, but I don't plan to write about lip plumpers and push-up bras. They're cool and all, and I admit to even using them now and then. I'm just not going to focus on them, day in and day out, the way you want me to, dear PR people.

So, get with the program. Women have got more going on than that.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.