Body Image Blog Titled: Unattainable Beauty

Guest Blog by: A. Tarasenko
Unattainable Beauty:
Body Image – Unattainable Beauty – It’s a chicken-or-the-egg scenario: What comes first, our notion of what’ nudist rotation or attractiveness itself driving our notions? Does beauty even exist as its entity or is it simply in the eye of the beholder? What occurs when we’re told what to behold as lovely?
Unattainable Beauty
All of us complain about how today’s pictures of perfect beauty are vastly different from truth, different enough for some people to starve themselves to death or go under the knife for life changing (possibly life ending) surgery. What convinces these people to adopt such a curious idea of beauty that they feel like they have no alternative but to dedicate to a life of chasing conformity? These ideals cannot simply pop out of thin air, and there are not any aliens in a parallel universe planting pictures of supermodels into our advertisements so an incredible number of girls can eat lettuce the rest of the 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 crucial to put down on paper. If I had a nickel for every time I had a conversation with someone about how different the perfect body type was back then compared to now, I mightn’t have to go to work tomorrow. The perfect woman had an accentuated waist, round hips, large breasts, and a symmetrical face with damp lips. The women all looked ready for action with sensuous plump bodies and the guys ready to ravage or fight a lion, whichever came first. Back then it was mainly reproduction that drove our aesthetic, or very simply set Sex.
Even in the renaissance, the demure down-turned face of the endless Virgin Mary paintings had something coy behind the grin. But what occurred to those curves, those soft fleshy women of yesteryear’s greatest masterpieces? Well I would like to point out that it wasn’t as much of a reality back than as we dream about, meaning that individuals did not run around naked, definitely never exposing that much flesh; and there was no such thing as promotion, a medium that would enable the mass distribution of images. The reality was that many women died prematurely because of the restraining, body transforming corsets they had to wear. Those paintings we see now in museums were created more for the whims of their (usually male) patrons and so defined their sexual tastes more than anything.
Then came 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 beauty. Any business who makes a beautifying product will try and sell it as something we cannot live without (cosmetics, fashion, plastic surgery). Thus they perpetuate the pictures of attractiveness they understand are not attainable so we may hopefully be tricked into believing they are by using their products.
Lacing a Dandy
By the end of the day, no one can define what we’re all supposed to look like and feel about our bodies. I will safely say that those folks who happen to be blowing off society’s pleas to buy into a singular idea of attractiveness may continue to do so at no detriment to themselves. For individuals who do fall into the snare, I hope they see earlier than later that instead of loving themselves like they should, they are just spending their time here on earth following trends that change in accordance with whatever companies are attempting to put them up for sale.
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Tags: body image
Type: Body Image Blogs, Feminism and Women’s Issues and Human Rights, Social Activism