Have you been wondering why issues of femininity have taken a front and center stage lately? Whether if you’re a man or woman, we’ve all been united by Always’ Like A Girl, #ThatOtherShirt, CBS news stories on transgender children, and most recently, Call Me Caitlyn. All of these stories have touched our hearts and through them, we have connected with a greater truth. For the first time in history, we are collectively acknowledging that what makes a human is consciousness, the mind, and not the biological bodies we are born in.
In the past, femininity meant high-heeled pumps, perfectly blow-dried long and lustrous locks, a little black dress, manicured nails, and luxury cosmetics. Recent media coverage surrounding pop culture, gender, and what it means to be a woman are symptoms of that our culture is embracing a future that transcends the gender binary. Just like Lady Gaga’s hit song Born This Way, femininity is a state of being and not our physical bodies we are born into. So, what is femininity? Is it the embodiment of humanity’s quest for eternal youth? Is it the courage and strength to let go of our natural biological bodies?
During these exponential times, science and technology are liberating us, allowing us to be on the outside who we feel we truly are inside. Patients of cosmetic surgery invest thousands upon thousands of dollars, sometimes as much as $70-80k in one single day in hopes of achieving an ideal aesthetic.
In 2014, over 15.6 million Americans received plastic surgery procedures. On average since 2010, 10-15 million procedures are performed each year, that’s at least 50 million invasive procedures in five years. These figures represent great faith in today’s science and technology; that we can effectively “upgrade” our bodies with cosmetic procedures. Electively going under anesthesia and putting the human body through rigorous surgeries requires bravery and confidence in both the board-certified surgeon and the ever-evolving technologies that assist surgeons with these procedures. Those who choose cosmetic surgery understand the risks and yet undergo these procedures in hopes of turning back the hands of time as much as possible.
Although cosmetic surgeries often drastically improve one’s personal appearance, patients often find themselves longing for more. Perhaps it’s knowing that a tummy tuck can never truly revive that pre-baby teenage body or that inside, we know that our human bodies are only capable of limited changes. As of now, we can only try to restore that which we have lost, instead of reversing aging or defeating it altogether, and as renowned anti-aging expert Aubrey de Grey once famously said, “The first person to live to 150 has already been born.” So, how will the convergence of advanced technologies and potentially immortality affect the future of femininity?
In our selfie-obsessed society, all it takes is consistent content to make you a star and the more personal and revealing, the better. Entirely new markets have emerged from the desire to capture magazine-quality photos and HD videos of themselves, relying on advanced apps that digitally apply makeup, remove blemishes, and even create the illusion of a slim and toned body. When Photoshop takes too much time, women rely on apps that apply makeup looks at an instant such as Perfect 365.
There is something to be said about femininity today. Modern Millennial ladies are known for being ambitious go-getters who are completely burning out at work by age 30. It’s almost impossible to juggle lives at home, work, and online (especially with kids) and yet somehow, we continue building our presence on the web as if magical RoboElves are the ones who ensure that we constantly update our Facebook pages, Tweet the best “content,” post the most perfect Instagram images, and of course, we can’t forget to broadcast our tiniest mundane moments on Periscope (you know, because it’s all about the hearts).
We are not far away from a future when we can grow the body we’ve always dreamed of and upload our consciousness into it. This isn’t a tall order. Let’s not forget that incredibly brave Russian gentleman Valery Spirindonov who will be receiving a whole head-to-body transplant in 2017.
Femininity in 2050 will have radically different meanings than today. Emerging technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality, and advances in bionics will allow new ways which we will experience femininity. We will be smarter, faster, and possibly, neo-human.
Call me crazy, but I can’t wait to become a cyborg. There’s just no way that we can continue progressing at this ever-accelerating rate without completely fizzling out (and who wants that to happen?). There will have to be a jump-off point. Some call it the singularity. I’ll call it bliss.
So.. where can I plug-in?
Photo Credit: Nushulica (DeviantArt)