The Burden of Beauty

Women are at constant battle with the exploits of globalized media. They are subjected to an infinite stream of scrutiny from male Homo sapiens. Treated like pieces of meat hanging at a butchers shop. Bred to be bait. Belittled and besmirched. The constant stereotypes created by mass media, fashion, and the social pressure of peers condemns women to continuous criticism and judgement. A young European woman explains to Sensa Nostra her never-ending torment with being a pawn of unwanted infatuation.

The influence of media had created the idea that love has endless happy endings. As I became the woman which had seemed to be only a picture of a teenage dream, I began to realize the complications, disappointment, and deception associated with this enigma. When I was eighteen years old, I had began to grow into myself and my aspirations. I recognized how I was all of a sudden becoming an imminent target of male attention. My initiation into the ‘heartbreak phenomena’ began through friendship. In most of these situations, I felt as though the initial companionship blossoms for one individual into something deeper, whereas for the other the string of friendship became a noose, suffocating every last breath out you.

At the time, this person was my closest friend of many years who I confided and trusted in. At first there were no signs that he would be interested in me in any other way other than as a friend. Things began to change when I continued to spend more time with my other friends who were also male. The majority of my friends have always been male. I generally have better friendships with men over women; even though, in recent events, I have great trouble sustaining these friendships.

There were times when I would have around ninety missed calls on my mobile phone. I thought his disturbing behavior was a result of me not giving him enough attention. This began to interfere with my personal life. I found his actions totally bizarreat this time, it did not occur to me that he may have developed feelings towards me. The friendliness and trust in the relationship came to a standstill when he broke into my house to find me. I was on a date with a guy I had met. He wouldn’t stop calling me and I was forced to answer by threatening to call the police because of his aggressive attitude. He used this to emotionally blackmail me, claiming that I did not trust him any longer, as I had resorted to such drastic measures as involving the police.

Every time we would have a disagreement about me being interested in someone, he would end the discussion by bullying me and even threatening me by claiming that he would commit suicide. He would repeat this whenever I tried to abandon him. In his insanity, he eventually resorted to violence. A short while after he confessed to being madly and undeniably besotted with me. The whole relationship became tainted. I had to put an end to him stalking me; I changed my number and even moved. This didn’t stop him. Due to the expansion of social networking,I must have been mistaken to think that freedom would come so easily. I was subjected to an endless defeated predicament of online harassment. I felt depleted…like a free bird whose wings were clipped.

He would write me a ruthless chain of disheartening emails and messages, even using his grandfather’s death which had occurred five years previously to make me feel guilt-ridden and condemn me to eternal sadness. This course of menacing manipulation was only the burden of beauty which was to be repeated in the upcoming future by other male friends and acquaintances I met along the way. These horrendous acts of admiration created an array of perpetual misery, especially due to the continuous over-bearing magnitude of suicidal threats. I was driven to a point of desperation. I could no longer differentiate between true and unrealistic emotions. I live in constant terror and fear of meeting new men.

I feel as though attractive, vibrant, and beautiful women are an object of male exploitation. We are made to feel subordinate and disposable to men. I am finding it difficult and impossible to embody my own gender. Refusing to adhere to male attention makes me feel powerful, and I feel like I have more control over the social constraints that oppress women. These factors of male domination are established further everyday through various components of the media.

One of the most ridiculous incidents of being an object of male badgering occurred when I was hunting for a new flat. Little did I know that during my quest I would catch more than I had bargained for. As my contract was coming to an end, I didn’t have much time until I had to leave my flat. I was in a position where I had to take whatever was offered to me. I applied for many flats; however, due to the high number of applicants I had no luck. On one of these applications the owner had asked for a link to my Facebook page, and to increase my chances I complied. I thought I had hit the jackpot when he added me as a friend and arranged a viewing for the following week. During the visit everything seemed ordinary. The same evening he wrote me a message, asking me what I was willing to do for him to get the flat. I was truly disgusted. I turned down his sexual advances and the offer of the flat. At one point he even offered to reduce the price of the rent, thinking he could buy me. He insisted on distressing me and hasn’t stopped pestering me since. He will not take no for an answer. After everything that has happened, I feel as if there will be no liberation. I will always be a main act in the perverted theatre of male debauchery.

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  • Tom Kershaw

    That is certainly a haunting account, and a great perspective on female beauty–something we most often consider to be greatly advantageous. Well done.