Being an advocate for women’s independence and not being defined by men I’ve always emphasized the idea of never letting men define you. Somehow I’ve managed to apply that to almost every social related encounter in my life. It was my reason to justify why I in fact went to my junior homecoming stag, despite the fact that I did not have to, it was my reason for disapproving of one of my best friends relationships, my reason for why I can never pay attention in my Physics class (it consists of over 90% men) although that hardly makes any sense.But don’t question it.
The irony is that despite the fact that I am such an advocate of women’s independence, I’m a huge romantic. Romantic as in the sensual sense. Romantic still stands to be one of, if not, my favorite movie genre. I even cried during Inception just from the somewhat romantic parts. Its bad. But I digress.
But, there’s just something about seeing people together in real life that gets me suddenly a little less comfortable, its seriously the weirdest thing. But you’ll hear all about my physiological disabilities on my News special. ( Release date yet to be announced.)
But, again, I digress. The
thing picture that prompted this sudden gush of women’s independence was this picture of Keira Knightley and fellow love bird slash new husband James Righton, together.
They aren’t all over each other, they aren’t painfully forcing the fact that they’re a couple down everyones throats. They’re just together. The way that her hands are around his waist and his hand hold hers while holding her in a near headlock formation, which from a sheer description it may not advocate casual love but the picture sure does. It expresses the feeling that its almost how they walk together all the time, almost like its their default setting. To me it just was very easy going and light which made me not mind the fact that they are a couple, unlike many other celebrity couples. Ah-HEM Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes HEM HEM.
Not to mention, the glorious Chanel bag that just gleams through the picture, but its also quite understated which especially pleased me.
It might also be the fact that I’ve always seen Keira Knightley to be a particularly empowered women. I dont really know why, maybe its from watching way too many of her interviews. Or from her various roles as the rebellious Elizabeth Bennet in the classic Pride and Prejudice, or her as Cecila Tallis in the iconic Atonement, or her tortured roles as Anna Karenina and the Duchess of Devonshire, Georgina Spencer. Her characters continuously faces many issues and problems that women face. Maybe not having to watch as your child is taken from you, like in Anna Karenina or The Duchess. But more along the lines of being oppressed or forced to do things you do not want to do, but to do what society says you should do.
Keira continuously encourages women to think for themselves and not to be defined by society or by men.
Thats kind of why I love fashion so much because it allows you to express yourself however you please. In the movies, The queen of fashion herself, The Duchess uses fashion as her only way of expression, considering the oppression from her husband. Anna Karenina ‘s outfits gradually get more conservative as she feels more and more tortured and stranded.
The fashion industry today is an industry largely established by women for (primarily) women.Women like Keira Knightley, like Meryl Streep, Anna Wintour, Grace Coddington who continuously take on such influential women’s roles will forever continue to inspire me and influence me to seek to go against the norm.
Thats why I will continue to refuse men from homecoming dates, and disapproving of relationship if I see fit because although the relationship might be seen as frivolous and unnecessary to criticize so much. I think Anne Archibald, although fictional, hit the nail on the head when she said,
“The man you’re with may not be a reflection of you, but you will always be a reflection of him.”
And although we may not like, and I for certain do not want to believe it, its true. When you’re seen with a man you’re not seen for yourself but for who the man is. And that may be why I am so approving of Keira’s relationship because she has managed to establish herself as an empowered woman who in fact “don’t need no man.”
We’ve come along way from the primitive mindset of only being seen only as child bearers, we still have much to much work to be done.
On a final note, this reminds me of a quote by Lord Alfred Tennyson’s poem Ulysses,
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Although I doubt Tennyson wrote this in order to advocate his feelings for women’s liberation, it sure does seem appropriate.