In Grade 12, a boy I had a crush on called me a feminist. I took it as a compliment, because it was a sign that he was paying attention to me. He could not have been more wrong. Any self-respecting feminist might have banished me from the movement because of my reliance on his opinion to feel worthy of his affection.
Still, I felt like I had accomplished something. He was not like most boys his age and was very insightful. I had tried relentlessly to get him to notice me. When I spotted him in the room where I was presenting a speech on female empowerment, I told myself that this was my chance to captivate him with my intellectual and linguistic prowess (the speech was in isiZulu). Fortunately, it had been a week since my Matric dance, so my weave was also still in check.
I imagined that after my presentation, we would sit and chat and he would want to spend more time getting to know me. All I got was, “You’re quite a feminist”. And all I could do was mumble shyly about how I wasn’t.
When the blind-fold was miraculously lifted and I realised that I was not the yellow-bone he had been pining for, I distanced myself from him and threw my feelings where they belonged. I no longer have a crush on him but three years later a morsel of rejection still resides within me when I think about how I was not good enough for him. This is getting deep for a post that is simply titled, “Why I love Marie Claire South Africa” but this is a magazine that has certainly been a part of my maturation into a young South African woman and an aspiring features writer.
I count browsing their blogging site as productive procrastination. If I am in need of a thought-provoking distraction, I usually visit marieclairvoyant.com. Don’t worry, you will not be bombarded with “How to Make Him Yours” headlines, nor will you have to set AdBlock to avoid adverts for psychic readings. Marie Clairvoyant has been created purely for your benefit as a woman.
The blogging staff at Marie Claire have created a “Body Politics/Sex” section where you can find a range of posts that surround the issues of body politics. You do not have to be a feminist to have a vested interest in this section, you simply need to be a twenty-first century woman who due to the pervasiveness of the media has undoubtedly had her image judged and scrutinized, by well, everybody.
The blog posts usually critique the fashion industry and communities where woman are often told that they need to be more skinnier or lighter in complexion or not grow out their armpit hair. For a magazine that obviously has interests in fashion, this is refreshing, especially for a community of woman who would benefit from realising that they are not alone in their struggle to conform to certain beauty standards or ideals.
This is not a “Ya-Ya Sisterhood” blog that aims to homogenise women and their issues and inadvertently inject you into some kind of female movement. It is a blog that simply tries to unite woman in their struggles while also embracing their diversity.
For the record, my ex-crush was wrong. I am not a feminist. However, I do support a magazine that rejects the fashion/media industry’s objectification of women and that also intends to celebrate the ordinary woman, flaws and all. After all, it is what we deserve.