Body Image Blog Titled: Unattainable Beauty

Guest Site by: . Tarasenko
Unattainable Beauty:
Body Image – Unattainable Beauty – It’s a chicken-or-the-egg scenario: What comes first, our idea of what is beautiful or attractiveness itself driving our thoughts? Does attractiveness even exist as its entity or could be purely in the eye of the beholder? What happens when we’re told what to behold as lovely?
Unattainable Beauty
We all whine about how today’s pictures of perfect beauty are significantly different from reality, different enough for some people to starve themselves to death or go under the knife for life altering (possibly life ending) operation. What convinces these folks to embrace this kind of curious notion of attractiveness which they feel like they haven’t any alternative but to dedicate to a life of chasing conformity? These ideals cannot just pop out of thin air, and there are no aliens in a parallel universe implanting images of supermodels into our marketing so millions of girls can eat lettuce the remainder in their lives. So where does it all come from?

Portrait of topless young woman wearing corset
Our only visual records of the aesthetic of the past are what artists deemed essential to put down on paper. If I had a nickel for every time I had a conversation with someone about how distinct the perfect body type was back then compared to now, I mightn’t have to go to work tomorrow. The ideal girl had an accentuated waist, round hips, big breasts, and a symmetrical face with damp lips. The women all looked ready for action with sensuous buxom bodies and the men ready to ravage or fight a lion, whichever came first. Back then it was mostly reproduction that drove our aesthetic, or very just put Sex.
Even in the renaissance, the demure down-turned face of the endless Virgin Mary paintings had something coy behind the smile. But what occurred to those curves, those soft fleshy women of yesteryear’s best masterpieces? Well allow me to point out that it was not as much of a reality back than as we dream about, meaning that folks didn’t run around nude, certainly never exposing that much flesh; and there was no such thing as promotion, a medium that would allow the mass distribution of pictures. The reality was that many women died prematurely because of the restraining, body altering corsets they had to wear. Those paintings we see now in museums were created more for the whims of their (generally male) patrons and consequently defined their sexual preferences more than anything.
Then came the invention of media and the over-saturation of advertising in our media outlets. Today’s aesthetic isn’t actually an aesthetic at all, but it is a product of the privatization of attractiveness. Any business who makes a beautifying product will try to sell it as something we cannot live without (make-up, fashion, plastic surgery). So they perpetuate the images of beauty they understand aren’t attainable so we may hopefully be fooled into believing they’re by using their products.
Lacing a Dandy
By the end of the day, no one can define what we are all supposed to look like and feel about our bodies. I will safely say that those of us who have been ignoring society’s pleas to buy into a odd notion of beauty may keep doing so at no detriment to themselves. For individuals who do fall into the trap, I trust they see sooner than after that instead of loving themselves like they should, they’re just spending their time here on earth following tendencies that alter in accordance with whatever companies are attempting to sell them.
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Tags: body image
Class: Body Image Sites, Feminism and Women’s Problems and Human Rights, Social Activism