Beauty Queens and Texas Whores

Just finished watching The Client List, starring Jennifer Love Hewitt.Overall, it was a pretty decent movie, given the indecent subject matter. A Texan woman, a former beauty queen, takes a job at what she thinks is a massage parlor to make some money to support her family. Turns out, it’s a whore house, and, turns out, she’s really good at what she does! To make it even more interesting, it’s based on a true story… and they’re remaking it into a Lifetime series.

Now, my interest in the show lies primarily in how it portrays Texas women, as I am a lifelong Texan (thus far). The main character makes comments early on in the show about how her mother told her “never to leave the house without makeup”, and “no one as pretty as [she] is should be poor.” I can relate to the first statement; I can honestly say the last time I left my house without makeup on, I was trying not to be recognized. (It did not precisely work, but then again, I have other attributes that make me stand out…or so I’m told) It seems in Texas, we prefer the not so natural look.

Later, when Hewitt’s character gets busted, she tells her mother that somehow it was like acting, but that having that much attention, all those powerful men treating her like she was the most important thing in their world, was something she needed. It’s not until after everything seems to fall apart that her mother tells her that she (the mother) should have taught her (the daughter) to rely on more than just her looks.

Coming from Texas, I understand this strange ideology that we women are only as good as our looks. It is bred into us from a very young age. My mother liked to tell me when I got into high school that I would lose the weight over the next summer, or the summer after that, because she had a growth spurt when she got to such and such an age. Imagine her disappointment when the weight never quite went away. Or how she always told me I look so pretty with makeup, but never said the same without it. Even now, every time I change a job, or location, my mother tells me that this time I’ll meet the one… As if meeting some man who wants to take care of me will make my life complete.

Interestingly enough, there was a time when wearing makeup meant a woman was a whore… Then again, I’ve also heard men say that they pay for their relations with women in a multitude of ways. It could be said that dinner and a movie were payment for future favors…

And men wonder why we are so messed up.

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