I thought it was somehow against the rules of feminism to conform yourself to arbitrary beauty standards in order to please the males in your lives. Evidently, there’s something I’m not getting.
When U.S. Senate majority leader Harry Reid proposed a five per cent levy on elective cosmetic surgeries and procedures to help fund the US$848-billion Senate health care bill last month, a Robin Hood-style logic appeared to be at work: let those who can afford Botox or facelifts subsidize low- to middle-income citizens currently without health care to the tune of US$6 billion over 10 years. What he didn’t foresee was that those very low- to middle-income Americans would take to the streets to protest the so-called “Bo-tax” as an infringement of a perceived enshrined right to smooth foreheads and surgically enhanced breasts.
“Washington leave our boobs alone” read a placard at a rally in New York’s Times Square organized by a Park Avenue cosmetic surgeon. “The tax directly affects me,” Irma Cadiz, a 33-year-old hairstylist saving for a US$7,000 tummy tuck, told the New York Daily News. “If I have a heart attack, will they tax that, too?” she asked, revealing how conflated elective cosmetic procedures have become with necessary medical intervention. Opposition to the Bo-tax from the American Medical Association further muddled the matter. As did its denunciation by the National Organization for Women (NOW), the largest feminist lobby in the U.S. NOW’s president Terry O’Neill argued the Bo-tax unfairly targeted women, who comprise 90 per cent of cosmetic surgery recipients—especially middle-aged women facing workplace discrimination who rely on sometimes risky cosmetic procedures to “freshen” their image.
I’m confused. Am I supposed to care what I look like, or not?by