Women's bodies

Now this is a subject I like to spend a lot of time on. As far back as the 1600s, paintings portrayed women realistically, full of curves and shape, even with lumpy bits. Peter Paul Rubens in particular was famous for his paintings of women who by todays standards would be considered large or even fat. When Rubens was painting though, ample figures symbolized wealth and beauty as well as fertility. Even has late as the 1950s and 60s, sex symbols such as Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe were best described as ample figured, or as my wife would suggest, an hour glass figure with an extra 20 minutes thrown in.

Then came a model named Twiggy, who has her name suggests, had a very skinny, twig like figure. It seems that after that that, fashion models have become slimmer and slimmer. Television and movie actresses are nearly all slim if not skin and bone. Christina Hendricks being the obvious and most welcome exception.

The fashion industry only perpetuates the ‘slim is beautiful’ illusion by only using fashion models that are size 1 or less. As the fashion industry does, so clothes shop follow. Mannequins designed to showcase the latest clothes, are as slim as the women who first modelled them.

It is strange that as culturally, the developed countries still foster the slim is beautiful ideal, most men will admit that a pregnant woman is always beautiful. Our little girls grow up playing with Barbie dolls that are unrealistic in body shape. From a young age it seems that we are being taught that skinny is attractive.

In todays world we put pressure on women to not only be slim but to be large chested. Generally, skinny women will have corresponding breast size unless they have invested sometime and money. Again, our culture seeks to push unrealistic body shapes onto young women.

Everywhere you look in todays society, these body myths are prevalent. It causes young women to believe in diets, plastic surgery, exercise. None of these are bad or even wrong, but women shouldn’t be pressured into believing that they are needed to be considered beautiful.

The paparazzi follow famous people on vacation so that they can take photographs of them in bikinis, sell the images to so called newspapers who then comment on how they have stretch marks, have a muffin top or heaven forbid, a bit of a belly. The pressure is there all around to conform, to fit the unreal ideal of a few people are in position to influence the culture. Too many buy into this ideal rather than to be honest.

Queen Latifah is one of the most beautiful women in the world to me and yet she isn’t anything close to slim, the same can be said for Christina Hendricks. Yes, there are many beautiful women in the world, facially, but I don’t understand how a woman with her ribs showing can ever be considered to have a sexy body. Sexy should be in the eye of the beholder, and we should be honest in expressing what we believe is sexy, rather than what culture tells us is sexy.

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One comment

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