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La violencia estética: una nueva forma de violencia contra la mujer

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Socióloga Esther Pineda G.

Tradicionalmente cuando se aborda la temática de la violencia contra la mujer, con frecuencia la atención es concedida de manera predominante a la violencia física, verbal y psicológica, fundamentalmente ejercida por el hombre contra su pareja mujer, sin embargo, en nuestras sociedades contemporáneas las mujeres son victimas de una forma de violencia poco atendida y no tipificada en la normativa jurídica de nuestros países, pero que ha alcanzado grandes proporciones y ha cobrado la vida de una multiplicidad de mujeres.

Esta violencia contra la mujer referida es la violencia estética, la cual es de orden psicológico pero que tendrá efecto en el aspecto físico de las mujeres, es decir, impacta su subjetividad pero también sus cuerpos, en una sociedad que establece la belleza como elemento constitutivo de la identidad y valoración femenina.

Esta violencia estética se inicia con el proceso de definición de manera arbitraria de modelos y patrones de belleza mediante el imperialismo cultural, es decir, la violencia estética consiste en la promoción por parte de los medios de comunicación y difusión masiva, la industria de la moda, de la música y el mercado cosmético, de unos cuerpos “perfectos”, los cuales no son más que cuerpos ficticios, irreales, concebidos como ideal, como deber ser, como patrón a seguir, y donde las particularidades físicas de las mujeres son denominadas “imperfecciones”, que de acuerdo a los criterios de belleza reproducidos y transmitidos necesariamente han de ser intervenidas y suprimidas, o en el menor de los casos corregidas.

Pero la violencia estética es también, aquella que ejerce el sistema patriarcal cuando los hombres desvalorizan la naturalidad del cuerpo femenino, cuando asumen como criterio de valoración de belleza las mujeres ficticias, es decir, el canon impuesto por el sistema, es violencia estética cuando los hombres, esposos, padres, compañeros, novios, hermanos, amigos, promueven en las mujeres que forman parte de su vida la transformación de sus cuerpos para lucir mas atractivas, cuando son descalificadas y humilladas, es violencia estética cuando el hombre avergüenza a la mujer, critica con ahínco su imagen y apariencia física por no lucir como esa muñeca de perfectos rasgos y medidas exactas que le ha sido prometida por el mercado.

La violencia estética es la violencia que ejerce el mercado de la salud a través de médicos/as inescrupulosos/as que perciben a las mujeres como objetos, como clientes, como negocio, es violencia estética cuando los/as profesionales de la salud realizan procedimientos en condiciones inadecuadas, cuando introducen en los cuerpos de las mujeres sustancias prohibidas por el incumplimiento de la normativa de salud y alta peligrosidad como los biopolímeros, es violencia estética cuando las mujeres no son informadas detalladamente, asesoradas y advertidas acerca de los riesgos asociados a la realización de procedimientos quirúrgicos o ambulatorios dirigidos a modificar su imagen, es violencia estética la implementación de instrumentos inadecuados, materiales vencidos, como también la reutilización de implantes para abaratar los costos e incrementar sus ganancias a costa de la integridad física de las mujeres.

Pero fundamentalmente es violencia estética aquella que ejercen las mujeres contra si mismas, al evaluarse y valorarse a partir de los criterios impuestos por un mercado capitalista que ha cosificado, mercantilizado y comercializado sus cuerpos, es violencia estética aquella que cometen las mujeres contra sí al someterse a cirugías invasivas, restricciones alimentarías, procedimientos agresores de su integridad y su naturaleza, así como, todo el conjunto de elementos constitutivos de la tiranía de la belleza, como medio de adecuación a la expectativa social estética y estereotípica de la sociedad.

Es violencia estética la que ejercen las mujeres contra si mismas al borra su identidad, sus particularidades y someter sus cuerpos al molde impuesto de la belleza, es violencia estética el renunciar a quienes son, al invisibilizar su historia escrita en sus cuerpos, en sus kilos, en sus marcas, la violencia de borrar su unicidad…

English translation by PulseWire member flora1

Aesthetic Violence: A New Form of Violence Against Women

Esther Pineda G., Sociologist

Traditionally, when we speak about violence against women, we frequently put our attention primarily on physical, psychological and verbal abuse of a woman from a man with whom she is in a coupled relationship. However, in our modern society there is a violence that has reached tremendous proportions and is costing many women their lives with little attention paid to its victims.

The violence of which I speak is the aesthetic demand, which is a psychological violence that has a physical effect on women, that is to say, it impacts their objectivity of their own bodies in a society that establishes beauty as a matter of identity and feminine value. That is to say, their value as a woman is in their beauty.

This aesthetic violence begins by defining, in an arbitrary way, with models and patterns of established cultural imperialism, through the mass media and the fashion industry, music, cosmetics marketing, glorification of “perfect” bodies—which are nothing more than a fiction conceived as ideals, as a pattern to follow and under which women are declared “imperfect” by this particular criteria which forces women to suppress themselves and constantly correct themselves.

This aesthetic violence is also part of the patriarchal system in which men de-value the natural state of a feminine body and embrace standards allowing themselves critical assessments inherent in the system and which husbands, fathers, friends, boyfriends, brothers all promote, surrounding a woman with the message that she must transform her body in order to look more attractive or suffer the shame of reduced worth if she does not look like a mannequin of beautiful face and perfect measurements, as promised by the marketplace.

Aesthetic violence is exercised through unscrupulous doctors, endangering women’s health. Doctors who see women as clients, not patients, as business and who perform surgeries and introduce unsafe and prohibited substances into women under inadequate conditions and in dangerously unclean facilities, with poor instruments, expired medications without informing them of the dangers, without letting them assess the risks. This is medical violence against women and it compromises the saferty and health of women.

This is fundamentally a violence that women exercise upon themselves as they evaluate and value the criteria thrust upon them by the capitalist market that has commercialized their bodies. Women submit to these unnecessary invasive surgeries, starve themselves, all through the tyranny perpetuated against them under which the expected social aesthetic is established by society.

This aesthetic violence is one that erases a woman’s identity as they push themselves into a mold imposed upon them that goes against their body, their weight, their features and slowly erases them.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Ending Violence Against Women Digital Action Campaign.

World Pulse believes that women's stories, recommendations, and collective rising leadership can—and will—bring an end to gender-based violence. The EVAW Campaign elicits powerful content from women on the ground, strengthens their confidence as vocal grassroots leaders, and ensures that influencers and powerful institutions hear their stories.
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flora1's picture

Tienes razón, Esther!

Esther,

Lo que dices es sierto y tenemos que empezar a cambiar la situacíon. Como madre de un hombre de 23 años, me da satisfaccion que el se da cuenta y no permite creér que lo mas importante de una mujer es la cara y el cuerpo y si creo que la generaccion que viene sera mas conciente pero es mas dificil en paises adonde las mujeres tienen menos derechos y la femenidad siempre se pone conjunto a la belleza, la blanquesa etc. Es tambien una forma de racismo.

Probablemente conoces el libro, Femininity, por Susan Brownmiller (1984;Linden Press). A veces toma una generacíon cambiar las cosas...a veces mas, pero si podemos informar a las mujeres que somos muchas las que lucharemos por nuestra belleza particular y natural, les dara la confianza de seguir adelante con su propio valor.

Gracias por decir lo necesario!

un abrazo fuerte de tu amiga, Flora!

flora1's picture

TRANSLATION

Esther Pineda G., Sociologist
Traditionally, when we speak about violence against women, we frequently put our attention primarily on physical, psychological and verbal abuse of a woman from a man with whom she is in a coupled relationship. However, in our modern society there is a violence that has reached tremendous proportions and is costing many women their lives with little attention paid to its victims.
The violence of which I speak is the aesthetic demand, which is a psychological violence that has a physical effect on women, that is to say, it impacts their objectivity of their own bodies in a society that establishes beauty as a matter of identity and feminine value. That is to say, their value as a woman is in their beauty.
This aesthetic violence begins by defining, in an arbitrary way, with models and patterns of established cultural imperialism, through the mass media and the fashion industry, music, cosmetics marketing, glorification of “perfect” bodies—which are nothing more than a fiction conceived as ideals, as a pattern to follow and under which women are declared “imperfect” by this particular criteria which forces women to suppress themselves and constantly correct themselves.
This aesthetic violence is also part of the patriarchal system in which men de-value the natural state of a feminine body and embrace standards allowing themselves critical assessments inherent in the system and which husbands, fathers, friends, boyfriends, brothers all promote, surrounding a woman with the message that she must transform her body in order to look more attractive or suffer the shame of reduced worth if she does not look like a mannequin of beautiful face and perfect measurements, as promised by the marketplace.
Aesthetic violence is exercised through unscrupulous doctors, endangering women’s health. Doctors who see women as clients, not patients, as business and who perform surgeries and introduce unsafe and prohibited substances into women under inadequate conditions and in dangerously unclean facilities, with poor instruments, expired medications without informing them of the dangers, without letting them assess the risks. This is medical violence against women and it compromises the saferty and health of women.
This is fundamentally a violence that women exercise upon themselves as they evaluate and value the criteria thrust upon them by the capitalist market that has commercialized their bodies. Women submit to these unnecessary invasive surgeries, starve themselves, all through the tyranny perpetuated against them under which the expected social aesthetic is established by society.
This aesthetic violence is one that erases a woman’s identity as they push themselves into a mold imposed upon them that goes against their body, their weight, their features and slowly erases them.

amirchima's picture

True

There is truth in your statements across the globe. Women are constantly forced to compare themselves to the ideal images portrayed by the media, and at the core of this ideal is making money. It's really sad that we fail to embrace and promote the inner beauty, which represents the real person.

You may appreciate this link: http://magazine.biola.edu/article/07-fall/why-do-we-struggle-with-beauty...

It's a bit dated, but the topic is still current.

Thank you for sharing this post. :)

wanja's picture

Beauty lies within, not without

You have a point there dear sister. Unrealistic demands have been placed on us women to look and feel different, so much so that, many are dying to conform.
What can we do about this? We must liberate the mind. Empower women to know that they are powerful, beautiful and adequate just as they are.
People like you who understand how the mind works and also know the dangers involved can help change the status quo.
Thank you for sharing. may I challenge you to take this further and perhaps get women victims to share their experiences so that other women may learn from them?
Thank you again!

EWG

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