Recently, a friend of mine had to explain to me what a "Notre Dame 10" is. For those of you who are out of the loop, as I was, a Notre Dame 10 is apparently a girl who would score an 8 in the real world. Physically, of course. The idea is that Notre Dame girls just aren't up to scratch.
My friend described it like this (I paraphrase, but it's the same idea). "See, girls at Notre Dame, they all have great bodies because they all work out. There's no fat chicks here. And there's not really many ugly chicks. But there's no girls that really grab your attention either. There's no girls that give you whiplash when you're walking across the quad. We only have middle ground. I'd say that girls here rate in the range of 3 - 7 on average here. See, we've got the middle ground, but there's no one on the extremes. Like I said, great bodies, but pretty average faces for the most part. They all kind of blend together. They all look the same."
Personally, I look around and see a campus full of beautiful, strong, intelligent, and independent women. It's so sad to me that woman are talked about so disrespectfully here. It's sad that the term "Notre Dame 10" isn't surprising to people. Given, not everyone looks at Notre Dame women this way, but I've heard quite a few people talk this way. It's no wonder we have an abnormally high rate of eating disorders on this campus. Our fellow students are setting us up for failure, telling us that even if our bodies are perfect, we can never be more than average. We can never be extraordinary. We are diminished to only our physical selves, and our physical selves are to be judged by some of the harshest critics out there.
We talked about the male gaze in the cinema in class the other day. The male gaze exists elsewhere though. While I have even heard other girls talk this way about their fellow females, this type of thought seems to be perpetuated mostly by men on this campus. The guy who gave me the opinion shared above is gay, and even he felt fine passing this kind of judgment on women, even though he isn't attracted to girls. And what really gets me is when girls talk about each other like this. We're giving in, subjecting ourselves to the gaze without a fight. If we want anything to change, we have to stop accepting it. We can't play into it anymore.