The Crossroads of the Aether
I don't know if this is the correct place for this or not, but I just wanted to have a frank and open discussion on the concept of beauty. On my television last night, there was an editorial about a young Victoria Secret model, Karlie Kloss. As one who appreciates female beauty, I paid rather close attention to the piece only to be rather upset by it.
They were calling the young lady in question "the body". She was very tall and very leggy but had very little muscle or meat on her. When she walked the runway, you could see her hipbones and the indentation between hip and pelvis. When she posed, you could see her sertnum. I wanted to take her home if only to feed her. Yet this girl is what is now considered beautiful. This girl is what little girls all over the world are going to try and look like.
And it made me wonder: What ever happened to the Bombshell? What ever happened to the Bettie Pages and the Marilyn Monroes? Both women were sex icons. Both would probably be considered "plus sized" or even "overweight" by modern beauty standards. I wonder, what has happened in the world that has made these beautiful big women a thing of the past and these skinny little girls into the "Body"? Can anyone tell me?
Or are there those of us here who still enjoy such robust feminine wiles?
Brava! That is exactly the case......
I recently heard that Adel, when asked if she felt she was over weight (imagine the temerity!) replied, "I'm beautiful." What a great answer.....
That is what have read repeatedly as well: designers can't (don't want to) make clothes that sit perfectly on curves because that requires good tailoring... for one specific body. That is impractical for runways etc, to design for each different model. Instead, the skinny models are interchangeable, they are a convenient wire hangers, chosen to be fairly uniform in height and measurements.
I do find it worrisome that young girls and women grow to see that as an ideal. And, alas, it appears many young boys/men do like the hyper-skinny (or think they do, maybe, until they actually have had some ... ah... experience with various bodies). I just saw, on another web community, the gallery of an intelligent, anorectic, young women age about 17. She was aware that she should gain some weight. Her knees stuck out from her bony legs. I felt OK that she'd grow out of it, she came across as healthy mentally... but what made me sad were the comments from other users. Comment after comment of wow-you-re-just-so-hot. So clearly some males (again, my impression is that this is mostly very young males), as well as some girls, reinforce unhealthy levels of skinniness by their attitude.
It made me sad.
I think that the problem with the super thin look on women and men is mainly in our mental perception we have as we age. When we are young it is far easier to be convinced by peer pressure that beauty is in appearance only and not in a persons whole being, as I grew older I have found that true beauty can be in everyone no matter their appearance only. I have been married for 37 years and my wife is as beautiful now as when we wed. We are closer now then ever before and plan never to change that.
Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. That is why everyone can find love irregardless of their outward appearance. What I might refer to as a "bone bag" or "stick figure" does appeal to some; it is the variety which ultimately makes the world go round.
Because for catwalk people, if you're sticky thin it's much easier to get the dresses on them.
I for one would love to see the curvy ladies much like the ones depicted in a Pre-Raphaelite and Victorian paintings showing mythological scenes. Now those women were gorgeous.
And to answer your: "Are there those of us who still enjoy such robust feminine wiles?" the answer is yes, look at Nigella Lawson and her fandom. Mmm- Nigella~
One of my favorite artists from the late 19th century is William-Adolphe Bouguereau. He was well-known for his many allegorical and mythological paintings.
Now, if he had only painted ladies shooting rayguns at dinosaurs...
I don't know if this is off-topic, but just last night I was looking through a steampunk art book my husband picked up at the library, and I noticed that a high percentage (maybe about half) of the female models in the fashion section were plus-sized, and they looked fantastic! I don't know why, but there is just something about the style that looks really great on a fuller figure. Maybe I should applaud the book's editors for eschewing those high-fashion ideals of feminine beauty in favor of images that were more authentic.
As for my own thoughts on body image, I was born with a birth defect that left my face malformed. I have had several surgeries from ages 3 months to 17 years to repair the defects, and I think they are less noticable now. Nonetheless when I was younger I got stared at, questioned and made fun of by other children because my face looked different. For years my mother reassured me over and over again that the way a person looks isn't as important as what is inside. Frankly, that's pretty cold comfort for an 8-year-old who gets ostracised on a daily basis at school. Even now I know professionals are judged every day by their appearance, and the pressure exerted by the media on woman regarding ideal beauty is not lost on me.
What I've gained, however, is a pretty cynical attitude about what is beautiful, along with the knowlege that my body is mine, and for better or worse, I'm stuck with it. I've invested my youth in learning about myself and learning to love myself for all the best reasons: because I'm totally effing awsome. I've learned to love the parts of my body that I think are most beautiful, and even though I may not have anywhere near the best figure of all my female friends, I think I have the most realistic and most positive self-image. Despite (or maybe because of) my birth defect, when someone asks me what I think is beautiful, I can say, "I am."
I think you are beautiful, :). And thanks for sharing such wonderful words. I wish more young people could have a chance to learn from people who have such a healthy attitude.
One last comment, yes the thin models wear the clothes well, but the average model's career only lasts a very short time, really, the effects of a disorder or damaged mind can last a lifetime. What a great cost some must pay for a worldly beauty that will fade and age and fail them in the end. I know of some of my old modelling friends that struggle to find self worth and meaning, cannot relate to men in a normal manner, and feel lost because they can no longer live on their looks alone. You all must realize by now this is a tender subject for me, please forgive me for that.
Too true! :(
I've always enjoyed curvy girls. or the bomb shell so to speak one thing I love about steampunk is there doesnt seem to be any ideal body type and that most anything seems to go which is quite cool as it challenges the typical gender stero types of whats beautiful.
It's very simple. Size 2-4 are the ones first made available to photographers and publicists. If the model can't get into those, she doesn't work. It snowballs from there.
As usual, vote with your wallet.
Hehe, good luck. I've been waiting for years for them to realize that 14+ women can ALSO be over 5'10" and have long legs and arms. Some have caught on but it's still hard finding good styles in tall. Then people wonder why I mostly wear men's clothes...