So, I was sent a link to a joke on reddit the other day where the “joker” (not the batman character, but the one who was telling the joke) explains how much he hates his job because of his co-workers.
Spoiler Alert: Essentially, it is supposed to be Fred from Scooby Doo complaining about Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby Doo. Daphne is self-absorbed, never doing anything (Which is so not true. She was very active in the series), and unintelligent (Also, clearly wrong to anyone who has seen the original show). Shaggy was a stoner and he and Scooby Doo ate everything in sight– blowing the cash of the team (Shaggy was dopey, but probably not on drugs).
But, what really set me off was the description of Velma.
She supposedly needed to take more showers, wear more make-up, and “Fred” even made an untasteful comment about how she probably didn’t keep her lady parts shaved.
Now, you may be thinking– this is just a joke. Chill out. Just laugh.
But, what we laugh about as a society shows what we take seriously and what we don’t.
If you laugh at the description of Velma, you laugh at the idea that expectations about a woman’s body– even something so personal and private as her pubic hair– is up to public dispute. You laugh at the fact that in order to be considered even someone worth looking at Velma needs to wear make up.
Even in the newer Scooby Doo episodes, we see the media sneaking in expectations for women’s beauty.
Now, there are many men and women who treat women and men with respect and dignity.
But, as a woman, it infuriates me to think that people laugh at this joke– that they find it funny when a woman is judged by personal details that are nobody’s business.
Yes. It’s a joke.
Yes. Velma isn’t actually a real person.
But, Velma in this case stands for women everywhere who are held to beauty standards that are honestly no one’s business but their own.
And it doesn’t matter if we (men and women alike) say the (supposed)opposite such as, “I like you without make up” or “Go natural”. Again, society is making it about others’ expecatations and what others like and what others want– not what the individual woman likes or wants for herself.
So, let’s stop making everything about us and just make us about us. Deal?