…but I could swear I had made at least one more post after the one about religion. Ah memory, how you like to play around with my poor brain. I must have dreamt I had written something.
Anyway, I am here today to rant away about body image in the Pagan press. Ah yes, if there was a group of people that you would think would not be all over the thin-is-good thing, and ageism to boot, it would be Pagans. Of which I count myself in that number.
And that’s the rub. What do I, an overweight, 53-year-old crone, have to do with those pretty, lithesome, young ladies and gentlemen that are invariably depicted in Pagan websites and magazines? If I were new to all this and were looking around to see what kind of people are Pagans, I would come to the conclusion that I am not the sort of person who would fit in. Paganism is for the young, it seems. If you are female then you have to dress in long, floaty skirts, long hair and preferably wearing a flowery crown. If you are male then you have to be channeling Pan or some other horned God, long haired of course, with heavy eye make up. So where do I belong? I’m a member of the Women’s Institute for goodness sake! Where do jam and Jerusalem come into Paganism?
I am sad that Paganism is buying into the image thing. I hate the stereotyping of groups of people. You know, all Christians have to dress dowdily, plain and modestly. (And I refuse to talk of “the Pagan community” because that’s just nonsense. There is no “us and them”, or there should not be.) Shorthand and short cuts and images are lazy and they contribute to a lazy way of thinking. And if anyone involved with a Pagan publication would reply that that is what the readers want, then shame on them. Shame on the publications and shame on the readers. For the Goddess’ sake, stop peppering your pages and sites with pretty, soft-focus pictures. Paganism is real and belongs in the real world, not in some delicate Arthurian fantasy.
Okay, rant over.