Media-generated images and cultural stereotypes of ideal femininity and motherhood have fostered negative and destructive perceptions women hold of themselves in their attempts to achieve and maintain these ideals. This of course has been much discussed in many fields and with references to countless examples, and these complex issues clearly necessitate further probing. I wonder though, if we will eventually take a closer look at what happens in the online world, not just in the obvious examples of the fashion, beauty and sex industries, but in the blogs of women themselves. There are countless blogs that are wonderfully inspiring places to wander around. What is particularly striking though, is how neat and ordered these sites are. The pages of the beautifully gifted and talented mum-of-seven-artist-bookwriter-fashion-designer-philosopher-veterinarian-astrophysicist who keeps her home and garden immaculately pristine, her relationship and sex life as unproblematic and exciting as the days before children, domesticity, and exhaustion; who has never heard the term tracksuit and chipped nailpolish – well, those pages leave a whole heap of mess off of the screen. Each picture tells a story of never a thing out of place, of a constant supply of uninterrupted time in which to complete thousands of tasks and in which to create and achieve zillions of fabulous things.
But where is everything else?
The nights of broken sleep? The nights of no sleep? The moments of sheer panic when things are falling around you and no-one wants to co-operate? The days when there is barely enough time in the morning to crawl out of your pyjamas and into something vaguely resembling day-time wear, let alone galmour makeup and ‘lookbook’ outfit??
How about the times you are grateful simply to have a shower, a single slice of quiet time to yourself? Why don’t they ever show the piles of dirty washing and other daily dross without an ounce of aesthetic appeal, no matter which way the camera is angled and which kind of light you snap the picture in?
The absence of these daily truths, of the imperfection of every woman’s life, perpetuates the most dangerous lie we have ever been told. That superwoman exists.