Tag Archive | beauty

The more I read the Esther and Queen Vashti story, the more I am appalled by what the church says with regards to submission as they quote Esther. My heart burns within me and I want to scream myself hoarse underwater or something!

screaming under water

So, the summary is this:
Queen Vashti is summoned by her drunk husband, the king, to parade her beauty before his drunken fellas. All leaders of his 127 provinces. These guys have been drinking for 7 days straight so u can imagine what state they are in. She refuses! Kudos to you QV! A drunken advisor tells king that this is nasty and advises him to get rid of her and the drunk king agrees so QV is disposed of. She disappears from the Biblical scene except for the time when the king remembers her with regret. Oh well. She was better off without him, says I. (if anyone has info on what happened to her apart from the Jewish versions that I am reading, I would love to get my hands on it. Thank you)

The beautiflu Vashti was a wonder to behold  image taken from (www.itisbygrace2.com)

The beautiflu Vashti was a wonder to behold
image taken from (www.itisbygrace2.com)

So, at the advise of these same “wisemen” they hold a beauty contest to find a replacement! Wow! It surely was not the Miss Zimbabwe (Lord, forbid it wasn’t as confused) nor was it like the Miss World one (no questions paused about passions etc or parading of stuff to the world either) This contest took months to plan and I understand that this king would “sample” whoever he thought was beautiful enough. (I am still researching more on this bit of info and I stand guided)

Please note: king had a harem (er, that is

pic of a geisha from pinterest

pic of a geisha from pinterest

women who were available for his sexual pleasure though they were not his wives…think of small houses, my Zimbabwean friends aka mistresses or concubines, or geishas something like that) So, he was looking for someone to be the queen.

Anyway, he is taken by Esther, as God intended, as the Bible and Jewish texts say. Now, here is where it gets interesting:
the church, some centuries beyond this era, take Esther to be this paragon of virtue and make out Vashti to be this witch and ungrateful, rude, headstrong woman. Oh well, it could have been worse for her, right? LOL

But, I want to submit some things:
1. Had Esther just walked in to the king’s chamber, she would have been KILLED!! yes, no one ever entered the king’s presence without being summoned in that time and place, not even his queen. Now, what kind of marriage is that? One where a wife has to try and grab her husband’s attention all the while fearing death. Why else did she have to call for God’s favour via the fast? This was no ordinary marriage and it would do well for the church to acknowledge this.

Esther lived a life away from her husband. She would wait to be summoned into his presence. What manner of life/ marriage is that? image from (www.stories-for-children.ca)

Esther lived a life away from her husband. She would wait to be summoned into his presence. What manner of life/ marriage is that?
image from (www.stories-for-children.ca)

2. Are we vilifying Queen Vashti for wanting her dignity more than anything else? How many women does the church crucify for merely dressing “scantily”? and somehow, it should have been “agreeable” for a WHOLE QUEEN to prance about a jury of drunken “lords” displaying her beauty NAKED except a crown on her head??? We have a huge moral tangle when men go to strip clubs. We label women who “display” themselves loose and wanton and immoral yet, in the same breath, we vilify a queen for not wanting to do the same thing?

And e get angry when we see semi-nude women yet somehow we expected it out of Queen Vashti? Is she not worthy of the same "dignity" we want for everyone else? (image from fineartamerica.com)

And e get angry when we see semi-nude women yet somehow we expected it out of Queen Vashti? Is she not worthy of the same “dignity” we want for everyone else?
(image from fineartamerica.com)

3. I am not too sure about this queen position that we all scream bloody murder about. Looking at this king Ahasuerus aka xerxes aka Achashveirosh, I do not see what there is in him to admire about being married to such a man! Really, I don’t.

The church has gone to celebrate Esther’s rise as if she was married to some great guy. What only made this guy “great” was his wealth, his empire and his title, in my view. Looking at him, he was a man of great temper. He was rash in making decisions. He made decisions under the influence of alcohol. He took advise from drunken men and implemented it! he seems to me like the good for nothing that we all hear the pastors preaching against at the pulpit. If we take away his title, his wealth (maybe we could leave him some) and his power and influence, no woman in her right mind would ever want to bring home such a man! Oops, I forget, she probably would, as she would be one up on a sister who is single, divorced or a single parent. “Better she is married than she be single” is what we have taught our girls. Shame!

after 180 days of a huge party and then 7 days of more partying, this king as a drunkard!  (www.quotehd.com)

after 180 days of a huge party and then 7 days of more partying, this king as a drunkard!
(www.quotehd.com)

4. The church uses Esther as an example of submission (the real reason that had me start this article, in the first place) as if Esther had a choice in the matter. She was married to a man as a REPLACEMENT to a woman who had probably been killed. So who would want to cross paths with such a man? I doubt she could even cough without first seeking permission from him! The church forgets that to see her own husband, she had to get the whole Jewish nation in Susa to fast with her! Surely, what kind of marriage is that? That was just something else BUT a marriage!! Who wants that??

5. Esther did not want to be married to this guy. She did not choose him but HE orchestrated events that would see her, a virgin among other virgins in the land, end up as his wife. at this point, I am sure that there would have been some virgins who ran off, anything but to be married to this horrible man. I do not see how they could have been happily taking part in this beauty contest that would result in them being married to such a man. Those who did not make it to be his wives, what became of them?

6. Esther had to HIDE her true identity from her husband!! What nonsense is this? This man was a piece of work, I tell you and I pity Esther more and applaud Vashti all the more for standing up to this man! Whilst we talk of respect and submission, if these are not earned, they are as worthless as the man who demands them from his wife.

Can the church stop perpetuating the idea that men are gods who must be worshiped and feared and start teaching the men and boys to love women? Looking at the story of Queen Vashti and Queen Esther, I see two women who had to do what must be done “in order to fulfill the prophecies” and none must be vilified or exalted because, on closer inspection, they lived terrible lives with this man. But such is many a woman’s story! It remains untold, unexplored and only the “suitable” bits are sifted through to give the “right/ suitable/ correct” picture.

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The ideal woman

So a joke was shared in one of these group in which I find myself and it went something like this:

“Your boyfriend shows up at your place and you are down to your last dollar which you were going to use to buy relish to cook sadza with. You then opt to buy him a soft drink and some biscuits and you then pour some water into a bottle of sprite and drink this. Halfway down his bottle, he asks that you swop because he loves Sprite. What do you do?” I will not share some of the answers that were shared in that group but it’s suffice to say that they resulted in me taking this issue to a broader audience: my blog.

This may be funny, or even the responses but I see a lot of sadness. I see a lot of pretense that a lot of women are engaging in and it just breaks my heart. I heard of how young women would be willing to deceive the guy just so he does not realise that she is facing hard times. Some of the responses were so violent that had it not been social media and had been a social event,  I am almost sure that a physical fight or at least a screaming match of some sort would have erupted. It is sad. I mean, why go to all the lengths to hide from  boyfriend that things are not well? What is the matter if he was to eat sadza with just vegetables on the day? Why not even ask him to help you sort out supper? I mean, I would ask that of my dude if he came and I was in that situation. I mean, we would (and do) have an honest relationship that has that kind of honesty, maybe that is why I make that declaration.

this t an ideal woman looks like...legs, boobs n ass. KKKK (smithfamilycolorado.com)

this t an ideal woman looks like…legs, boobs n ass. KKKK (smithfamilycolorado.com)

 

If a woman/ girl goes out her way to hide this and put up such a front, I wonder what else she is hiding. Anyway, the discussion soon turned to issues that touch my heart…women and their self-identity. It got me thinking just how women are under pressure to present this “ideal woman” whom none of us actually knows what she is like or how she even looks like. No wonder people be bleaching their skins rotten, because to them, the ideal woman is a “yellow bone”. No wonder some women are battling bulimia and anorexia because they want to look “sexy”…I am not yet convinced that “sexy” is a dress size. No wonder some are insecure and go snooping into phones trying to find out just who their man is chatting with. No wonder some women, scratch that, no wonder I, ME, used to ask my then boyfriend WHY he was with me! Sad. The truth is that I (and many other women) did not think that we were (are) good enough for this man who I was with (some still think that they are not good enough.) I know one too many women who are trying so hard to be superwoman…being super mom, super wife, super daughter in law, super employee…and I  wonder ho wit is all supposed to balance out…Seems every other woman I know is or has battled trying to aim to be this woman, this paragon of virtue, the virtuous woman aka the Proverbs 31 woman. Lord help us, she has to be the innocent, the virgin yet also be the sex goddess whose sexual prowess puts  a sex worker to shame…how she is supposed to be able to be this, I have no idea…but the pressure is still there.

 

she shall be called WOMAN and not anything else that is descriptive (gopixpic.com)

she shall be called WOMAN and not anything else that is descriptive (gopixpic.com)

 

I really think that my mind is insane to question the demons that hound my fellows but it does. I am not even apologetic because I finally discovered what and who this ideal woman is…move over Angelina and your full lips, move over all you Indian women with your long and silky hair, move over your Swedes with your unending limbs….models, move the bloody hell over with your size zero bodies..I have finally found her.

 

Yes! After many dismal failures, I have found her!  (sparkpeople.com)

Yes! After many dismal failures, I have found her!
(sparkpeople.com)

 

The ideal woman is the one staring back in the mirror when I look into it. She is that woman who stares back in the mirror when the next lady steps in front of the mirror, too. Yes, the ideal woman is YOU! Your personality is what is ideal. Your body, your race, your hair, your attitude to life is what raises this woman to shine gloriously when you do YOU!

yes, this very short me is the ideal woman that is me!

yes, this very short me is the ideal woman who is me!

I take my bra off (and it is not a big size, mind you. lol) to every ideal woman staring back in the mirror.

 

I seriously take off my bra to you  (buzzfeed)

I seriously take off my bra to you
(buzzfeed)

Of Bans after licensing and Carnival invites (Not for the prudes)

So it has seemed that Bev Sibanda’s semi-nude pictures have caused quite the sensation on the net. All sorts of moral judgement and “righteous anger” is being directed at this lovely woman who is being branded “Magaya’s problem child” and is purported to be possessed by ”seven-fold demon” and needs “to return to the PHD Ministries church.” ayaas! All good and dandy and I am sure someone is expecting God to pat them on their back and say, “Well done” Sadly, that is not gonna happen.

 

on our streets? and Bev is the eissue?

on our streets? and Bev is the eissue?

 

What is left to the imagination? and Bev who danced at a private party, indoors  for a No.U21 audience is an issue? Grow up, Zimbos

What is left to the imagination? and Bev who danced at a private party, indoors for a No.U21 audience is an issue? Grow up, Zimbos

First and foremost, Bev is a pole dancer…if we cannot call her a bottle dancer …and there is NOTHING “decent” about either of the two. That is also why she ‘dances’ in bars and nightclubs were children and unwilling partakers of this kind of entertainment are not found. herein is my first issue with the organisers of the carnival: How DARE they display for all and sundry to see, view and oogle at the “sacred nature” that men have been enjoying in the privacy of the bars? Bev was to remain a nightclub bottle dancer who was to never be found doing her thang out in public! Now I am even contemplating giving her some wide competition by aiming to sit upon a wider necked bottle than she currently does!! Dafuq! None of this was to have happened had they kept her routine and her wiggly behind out of public eye.

 

Now I wanna fly to Ivory Coast and other African and Afro-Carribean countries and learn me some bobarabakuitata (this gets a tad bit explicit, do not foolow this link if you are averse to some Bev display of the female lower bit of the anatomy) tchoumakaya and some Mapouka but then again there is the Rhumba which we all dance to seriously! And whilst we are on the subject of Rhumba, did you all know that this dance has roots in an Afro-Carribean dance whose name “secousse”  means “to shake”? There is also the gouye which is basically fast forward “sele”, the El Mapale from the Afro-Carribea (although these guys could be mistaken to be Zimbabwean, they shake a bit faster at some point, if you are Shona you will identify which dances are familiar here.) Now that we have seen just how PERVETED African dances really are, do we still want to call out the culture card? The Dinhe tutorial here is quite ‘perverted” if I may say so, myself.. what is all that boob and pelvic action?

 

As for the Jerusarema dance, there really was great reason for the prude missionaries to ban that scandalous dance. How DARE people mimic sexual intercourse and call it a dance? Dafuq! Anyone still scrambling to call for us to return to our culture? Of all our dances, maybe the Ngororombe would be the only safe and clean cultural one- no wiggling of bums and the females seem to be blushing virgins as they dance it. LMAO Back to this carnival and these semi-nude images of our bottle-shoving cum bottling f&*ing sensation. So, a whole minister of Tourism and the organising committee decided to include Bev to the line-up, marketing her as some of our cultural heritage. All great and yummy with some marshmallow. Did they honestly expect her to preach and prophesy at this cuntival…oops, I mean carnival? Yeah, we all know that she had been to the much hyped about church but we also know that Bev had returned to the bottle, so to speak. This was no secret so I am seriously wondering WHY and HOW people will only be raising a stink AFTER the cuntival. It was well advertised that Bev would be a part of the line up, so why did no one raise their voice and scream bloody murder as soon as the first advert ran on the national broadcaster? Interestingly, if Bev was said to be semi-nude then what would we say of the Brazilians? They were near nude! Take a look at these and then compare with our Bev,damn, she is made an angel. Image

 

She even rocked up fully dressed for the carnival daylight parade and she even stopped dancing when people would mob her! (and I just had to forget where I spotted pics of her in some metallic silver catsuit of some sorts. Damn! ) Now, from WHERE  is the hatred coming? I even hear that they want to revoke her licence? What kin of confusion is that? We just had her raking in cash for the nation (through shaking her Zimassets now they want to ban her? This is confusion in the highest order. Let her dance so long as she dances in designated and welcoming areas. Her popularity is beyond a shadow of doubt, thankfully no one is yet thinking of having her go to BBA. *yikes! Perish that thought.)

 

I will leave you with these words from the man himself, minister of Tourism:

 

“Carnivals have a poetic licence or special dispensation to do things in a way that may be ordinarily viewed as irregular….If we are going to succeed with future carnival editions in Zimbabwe, we have to develop a higher degree of tolerance for other people’s cultures, otherwise the international endorsement that we seek from other countries for our events and destination will elude us….Every year, we watch the Rio Carnival on our TVs and not on a single day have our critics come out. (Evidently, these have not been shown on national broadcaster, or have they?)…Does wearing a pair of trousers, mini skirt and other skimpy outfits by our beautiful women constitute Zimbabwean culture? Nhembe, migwada, mhapa and shashiko certainly do…Let us not arrogate to ourselves the higher moral ground, which we actually don’t occupy or pontificate on issues we actually don’t comprehend. (Ihemeni minister iroro…sorry, can’t translate)…(he went on to point out what counted, for him) – the pursuit of happiness and enhancing the well being of our people away from their recurrent challenges of unemployment, cash shortages and deprivation. (I just have no idea how happy e can be given all that we face, as he rightly puts it…but then again, tourism is about happiness, I guess he is following the mandate of his portfolio, so sue him! Ah!) The article is available here.

 

More pictures for your viewing (dis)pleasure:

 

 

 

 

Please note that this was at night!!

Please note that this was at night!!

Is this not what we see at shows? (I am yet to attend any where women dressed as above are seen)

Is this not what we see at shows? (I am yet to attend any where women dressed as above are seen)

 

 

need I say more, this is not for the prude

need I say more, this is not for the prude…if THIS pic made it to the net, what really transpired at that lounge, that night?

No ordinary shopping

I have these really interesting conversations with members of the opposite sex. And by interesting I do not necessarily mean appealing, maybe in this case I would term it thought-provoking, for want of a better word. I will take a roundabout way to get to one particular conversation (although I must admit that I have had it with several of my male friends and this time it proved one too many times.)

Picture this: as you are strolling down a street in some shopping area, you spot something beautiful in some shop window and you know that you want this item for yourself. At this point, you do not think about the price so you walk into this shop and ask the shop assistant for you to only to be told that there is none left on the shop floor, just the displayed one. Just out of curiosity, do you ask what the price tag is? Do you walk back to the window to admire it again and torture yourself with the idea of how your life would have been positively transformed by this beauty? Do you walk out and look for the next beautiful thing you come across that you can purchase? Or, do you ask the shop floor assistant to go and check if this item is hidden away somewhere in the storeroom or maybe to call the warehouse, just in case? I will tell you right now that most of you would have walked out on being told that the item is only on display with none currently available for sell. Some of you would have simply not even gone into the shop to enquire whilst others would not dare ask for the price. Disappointingly predictable, right? I know, that is what people do.

The imagery of the item of beauty in the display window is exactly what came to mind as I was conversing with these two friends of mine, albeit on two separate occasions. Is it not that we expect to find on the shop floor an item that is displayed on the window? Is it not that when we do not expect to be told that the desired and displayed item is out of stock we walk out in search of something else? Is it not true that when we really desire to have this item we nag the assistant to double check if there is one more lying in a dark corner in the storeroom or even one that could have been left in the warehouse? Is it not that when we are told that the item is out of stock we might venture asking what the value is? To my Zimbabwean counterparts who have dealt with our Indian businesspeople, is it not true that when you nag them enough they might just find you your desired item in the storeroom (although they would tell you that the item is dirty and in need of dusting and polishing- not that the item in the display is itself as shiny as it ought to be.)

Now, if one were to have spotted this item of beauty in the shop window and had walked in to find it, wouldn’t the item be bought – assuming that they can afford it- then we wouldn’t be having this conversation, right? Oh, and also assuming that the shop people had then removed the last item from the display window.  But it doesn’t always work out like that does it? There will be that temptingly beautiful item on display and when you walk into the shop you will be told that it is out of stock and should you dare ask, you will be told so steep a price that many would not be able to afford. Very few would even bother to ask if they can have the display item (at whatever the cost) let alone ask if there is one hidden away somewhere in the storeroom or warehouse.

Now coming back to my conversations with my male friends: they both assumed that I had a boyfriend (which in itself is not an issue.) When I said I did not, they expressed disbelief. On asking them why they were surprised… this is where my issue lies… they both said something to the effect that a woman like me would have been taken a long time ago. A woman like me? That is the first question I would ask without even taking them to task about the ‘taken’ bit! Apparently, my looks warranted that some man had snatched me up some time back!! And the feminist in me just rose splendidly to occasion. (I smile when I look back at that moment.)  What? I was an item to be ‘got’ by the first guy to admire my looks? How shallow does that make me, an item in a shop waiting to be bought by the first shopper who can afford the tag that comes with me! Phruuumph!

Yet this is exactly what I am. I am that item of beauty that you will see displayed in the shop window yet is not available on the shop floor. Some of you will assume that being absent from the shop floor means that I have been purchased by the first customer who walked in with the required money after admiring and desiring me in the shop window. Well, I am not on the shop floor even though you will see me in the display window. I am lying somewhere in the storeroom accumulating dust waiting for that one shopper who understands his Indians so well that he knows that they do not just display some item of beauty in the shop window and not have it somewhere in the storeroom if it is not on the shop floor. This item of beauty is not to be ‘had’ by just anyone, just by that one shopper who really wants it and is willing to nag for it, purchase it at whatever the cost and go home and clean it up and enjoy its beauty. No ordinary shopping, indeed. And I smile at the images that come to mind.