There has been a lot of conversation lately about Caitlyn Jenner and her decision to change her gender and embrace her desire to become a woman. And by conversation, I mean debate.
Many people have taken to social media to express their opinions. Some feel that her decision is “disgusting” or an “abomination.” They feel that because she has spent her entire life as a man, has won awards, and been in the spotlight as a man, that she doesn’t have a reason to be anything else. There are also arguments stating that her decision to become a woman and essentially be the face for the transgender community, will take away from the health concerns around sex changes. Undergoing sex change operations and hormone therapies can have dangerous consequences and some fear that the glamorization of Caitlyn Jenner’s transformation will overpower the awareness of this (Crowder, 2015).
On the other end, many have held up their social poster boards and congratulated Caitlyn on her bravery and courage. Deciding to make such a life altering decision in the public limelight can be stressful, and the grace with which she did it has been applauded. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook blew up when she reveled her new look. The hashtag “#CaitlynJenner” became instantly popular, and she even surpassed President Barack Obama’s twitter follows within an hour of her new Twitter account (@Caitlyn_Jenner).
In the center of these debates is her appearance. People everywhere have been commenting on her new look, which was shown on the cover of Vanity Fair. If you haven’t seen it yet, here it is:
The question that many have been asking is: why do her looks matter more than her mind? Why does the way she is posed and the clothing she wears in the photos the primary concern? People are focused more on that, than her actual decision to make the change. Prior to her sex change the focus was on her awards and success, but now that she’s a woman its about her appearance?
Caitlyn Jenner has paved the way to a new door of acceptance, or so we all hope. We hope that this is the first step towards more accepting of individuals in a way that goes beyond their appearance and to their minds. Whether someone identifies themself as a woman, man, or something in between, it shouldn’t matter as much as who they are as a person. And this is the message that I hope gets heard among all the cyber-yelling.
Caitlyn Jenner is happy. End of story. End of debate. She’s happy. Who are we to try and question that?
“I’m me. I’m a person and this is who I am. I’m not stuck in anybody’s body. It’s just who I am as a human being.”- Bruce (Caitlyn) Jenner, interview with Diane Sawyer
Link for the full interview: http://abc.go.com/shows/2020/listing/2015-04/24-bruce-jenner-the-interview