The above is a poster that has gone viral on Facebook. I saw it three times yesterday, and one time today via Origins magazine, which stated they were to do a post regarding anorexia.
When I first saw the poster, I didn’t think too much of it until I started reading peoples’ comments. They became brutal; I kept my thoughts to myself. A bit later, I saw another batch of comments and became fed up. I responded. The poster was kind about it, but from his response, I could tell there was a defensive.
In America, we are of a society that places far too much importance on a woman’s appearance. This appearance is oft based on the body more than the face. Since Twiggy’s revolution of the 1960s, the perception of what is beautiful has morphed from the curvy decades prior. Balance went belly up when the runway modeling industry became quite vocal. By the 1980s, drug culture chic became the ideal and skinny again was in. Since the late 1990s, there has been an outcry to rethink what looks good. A woman, if she caters at all to popular culture, cannot win unless she is a yo-yo with an ability to be all shapes and size.
Certainly, attention to a woman’s body is nothing new. Tribal cultures world round have been documented to appreciate a woman of curves verses angles. One could attribute it to Darwin’s theory on survival of the fittest and natural selection. The more robust woman signals one of fertility, and ability to survive childbirth.
Beyond tribal culture, the world culture has still lauded the female curve. Historically, curves have represented biological fertility of a woman, as well as general well-being. Economics also came into play, the larger female signaling a healthy wallet, one whose family could afford an abundant feast.
Today, things have gone full circle. We are a black and white universe regarding health, wealth, and societal perception. On American soil, we are fighting a vast problem with obesity, which shall tax our health care system greater than smoking. (sidebar: I wrote a post about this on another blog I’ve since closed, ergo, I cannot link the facts.)
Sadly, in the same breath, I can write that America has children going to bed hungry because of lack of food. Globally, 925 million people went hungry in 2010. An ongoing problem that shouldn’t be in a world of two billion Christians whose motto is, “how can I be like Jesus?” One doesn’t have to conjure mystical powers, turning five fish into a feast. There should be enough power in action; the ability to raise money; raise crops; raise awareness to end this type of global hunger. End this cycle of indifference instead of focusing on whether starlets eat enough.
Is that why we care? Do we then question the poster because we fear the top row hungers? I will honestly tell you, I look a lot like the top row. I’ve been naturally thin all my life, but I also have a lifestyle that is athletic and I’m vegan. I only disclaimer this to be fair on my point of view. I’ve always thought Twiggy was terribly hip and cute. I’ve never understood what was the big deal about Marylin. You could say that my reasoning is psychological, albeit unconsciously, I’ve gravitated to the look that is more me naturally.
Marilyn did become appealing to me, however, months ago when I discovered, Fragments. This interesting book contains copies of Monroe’s thoughts, letters and poems. Did you know that this Hollywood starlet wrote poems? Did you know she was quite well read in general? Reading through her letters, I was aghast wondering, why do we not know this of her?
Yes, why do we not know this, but we can rattle off her measurements without blinking. Why can we name what the latest Hollywood starlet wore to the award show, but we couldn’t tell you if they have a college degree?
The above poster is wrong for several reasons. The one that concerns me most; the one I’ve not heard from anyone in the comment field on Facebook is this; why are we still objectifying women? We are in the 21st century debating which lineup of women is hotter. I’m sorry, but there is nothing wrong with either row of women in comparison to what is wrong with every one of us who looks at them and feels compelled to comment on their body.
Which row of women is hotter? How about the one who can actually carry on an intelligent conversation while condemning us for basing their sexiness on a bathing suit picture. ~