On January 1, I shared a video of Monterrey, México meteorologist, Yanet Garcia, half as a lark and because it featured what I considered to be, Mexico in a good light on my personal Facebook page. I knew it was going to illicit some comments and I expected it might get me into a little trouble with a few of my friends. What surprised me, but in hindsight it should not have, is a recurring theme that has been bothering me for some time now. It seems that commenting on the female form, pointing it out or illustrating it, raises comments about degrading women. Another issue that goes along with this theme is the Mexican macho attitude. For those of you who do not know who Yanet Garcia is, she is a meteorologist in Monterrey, Mexico that has attracted worldwide attention because of her dress that accentuates her body. If you’ve ever seeing a Mexican telenovela or game show, then you get the gist of her body style and dress.
As expected the men on my Facebook responded with male comments and a lady argued that it degrades women. I’m not picking on the lady, as most women who saw my post mostly agreed with her, although some women expressed their opinions via emoji’s. The sentiment that scantily-clad women and the response that it elicits from men, sometimes crudely, is degrading to women has bothered me.
It bothers me because I do not believe that I am disrespectful to women just because I appreciate the female form. As an illustrator, I have always drawn the female form because I appreciate it. To me, all women are beautiful and each has someone that responds to them. I believe that each of us recognize beautiful things around us every day. It could be as simple as a puppy, a great meal, a gorgeous flower or even a lizard. There are beautiful things all around us.
So, when I happen to notice a woman that catches my attention then I believe that is a good thing. It remains a good thing up until the point where I disrespect my significant other by taking the attention too far. Looking and commenting is not disrespectful to my loved one or to the object of my attention. It is what follows that would make it disrespectful, if I choose to take it too far. For example, I would disrespect my loved one if my interest turned into an obsession or if I made my partner feel bad by my actions. I would disrespect the object of my attention by making it into something that it is not.
Throughout history artists have been obsessed by the human figure. Look in any museum and you will see the human form represented in its many forms. The great artists of history have been obsessed with the female form. Does that degrade women? I do not believe so.
Yet, a woman dresses provocative to bring attention to herself and when everyone notices they are somehow contributing to the degradation of women? Yanet Garcia would not be the topic of the Facebook exchange or today’s topic had she not chosen to dress as she does. Garcia would also not be as well-known had she not made a choice for herself.
So, I ask, how is that degrading to women by admiring their form?
The other issue that is consistently brought up when the discussion of Mexican women on television is brought up, is the issue of machismo.
I have always found it extremely funny when Mexican men are described as machos with their women. I find it funny because my experiences do not correlate with the realities. Sure, like in many parts of the world, there are men who have no respect for women. But, a Mexican man is more likely to open a door for a lady, or stand for her when she approaches the dinner table, than a man from the US. It has been my experience that Latin man, especially Mexicans, are more chivalrous than their US counterparts.
Yet, the notion persists that Mexican man mistreat their women as a normal everyday thing.
If we are to accept that to enjoy the view offered by Yanet Garcia is wrong, then any illustration I’ve ever done of a, women accentuating certain parts of her is degrading to all women. That would mean that Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Goya and many more artists demeaned women every time they created a master piece. I don’t think so.
For those of you who may be inclined to purchase my illustration, you can find it by clicking here. Because it is considered mature content, you will have to acknowledge that you want to view mature content.