Women finally have a seat at the table...at all levels of government, police, broadcasting, journalism, science, law, and education. It's about damn time, as my Navy chief used to say. I truly believe that women are going to make a difference in the future of our country. My reasons? First, women had to work harder, overcome more challenges, and in many cases, be better than their male counterparts just to have a chance to compete. Second, every woman who enjoys any significant accomplishments has had to endure or ignore misogynistic policies and attacks (both subtle and no-so-subtle) from insecure males. So, women have empathy for people who have been repressed or silenced for generations. Third, working women have had to develop good time management skills in order to balance their personal and professional obligations; so, they have little patience for the kind of time-wasting, back-stabbing, ethically questionable behavior we have witnessed in our male-dominated Congress. For all those reasons, I am hopeful.
SO, I am bewildered and concerned about a growing trend: strong, intelligent, capable women -- especially female news broadcasters -- squinting and blinking into the camera due to their huge, heavy, clearly fake eyelashes. Several years ago, I noticed this new fashion trend among my high school students. And I noticed the problems those eyelashes caused - eye infections, dry eyes, irritation, inability to read easily or see the white board clearly. And I couldn't help thinking that those young girls looked like a cross between Miss Piggy and Tammy Faye Baker who were both famous for their long lashes.
I have a request for women, especially those in positions of prominence where they will influence other women and girls. PLEASE ditch the fake eyelashes! They don't make you look beautiful. They don't make you look intelligent and accomplished. They make you look insecure about your appearance. They imply that you can be swayed by pointless fashion trends. They undermine your professionalism and your power. And fake eyelashes can be dangerous. Here's a link to just one of dozens of articles about the risks of dry eyes, allergies, and serious infections.
American women and girls need to see role models who are strong and confident. We need to be able to look you straight in the eye while you are talking to us. We need to focus on what you are saying -- not on your clear discomfort due to those mascara-coated lashes.