…I kind of don’t. I think it’s unfair. I’m talking about this collage thingy. I saw it posted on facebook today. It had been shared a bunch of times, and a lot of people were giving it the thumbs-up. Innocently, of course. I saw a lot of comments like, “The girls on top are disgustingly skinny” or “I wish the ones on the bottom were still alive, because they’re so sexy.” Or something like that. But I think the whole thing is kind of weird. I think it’s unfair to modern men AND modern women, actresses and normal women alike, and I think it’s a little hateful actually, and my answer to the question being asked in the picture (“When did THIS become hotter than THIS?”) is: I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT. IT NEVER DID.
First, I think that creating standards for beauty, no matter what they are, is harmful. I’m no uber-feminist. In fact, most of the time, feminism annoys me, but the fact is, no matter how thin Keira Knightley might appear in this picture or how much plastic surgery Heidi Montag’s had, should we be judging them? The message here is misogynistic. Too much value is placed on these iconic female bodies of yore, and we’re given an unfair assessment on female bodies of today. It’s a comparison, and a shameful one at that. In what world, and on what level, is Nicole Richie comparable to Marilyn Monroe? You’ve got to be kidding me. Also, this thing seems to say, “Skinny women are ugly! Curvy women are beautiful! Where have all the curvy women gone? Take a stand for the curvy women!” Like, we need to take a stand for them? I think they can stand up all by themselves just fine. And I’ll give you some curvy women. In a second. There are plenty. Anyway, by thinking this is clever, you’re just perpetuating the notion that women need constantly be compared with and pitted against one another–the unhealthy ones and the healthy alike–even when these comparisons are unfounded and stupid. It’s objectification. And weird! (We get enough objectification and weird on a daily basis just walking around at work or standing at the bus stop. We don’t need any more of it from you.)
Regardless of your reaction–This type of thing is judgmental, and it’s bullsh1t. Some women are slight. Some have fuller figures. Neither is more “beautiful” or “correct” than the other, and I think most sane people would agree. Also, more to the point–it’s no surprise that unhealthy women exist now–just like they always have. There are overweight women and there are underweight women. While I do agree that modern fashion does somewhat fetishize the “underweight” woman, the fact is, we seem to fetishize and obsess over women’s bodies no matter how skinny or fat they are, so to make some sort of unsubstantiated claim about what is beautiful and what is not, is arbitrary and preposterous, because either way, we’re taking it upon ourselves to judge and label women’s bodies, and this “collage” that’s meant to like, point out some sort of negative shift in what humans find attractive, and also, in some way, to take a stand against today’s apparent “negative societal pressures” on women to be skinny, is perpetrating the exact same bullsh1t it thinks it’s preaching against–
–It’s judgmental and drawing conclusions about the female form as if it owns the female form. It manipulates its viewers into drawing unfair comparisons and forming unfair conclusions about women. It is, ultimately, hateful, hypercritical, and ignorant of the female form AND women. Suck it!
(Also, it doesn’t take into account that, um, women just walking around, non-airbrushed on the beach look different than perfectly posed pin-up girls bent over in high-key lighting–no matter what decade you’re in. Seriously. And Elizabeth Taylor, in her day, was a THIN WOMAN. What, do you think just because she’s wearing an old-fashioned bathing suit instead of a string bikini that she’s not thin?)
In a related point, and just because it personally pisses me off, to include Kirsten Dunst in a category of “too thin” is ridiculous. Watch Melancholia. She’s not too thin. She’s got pretty nice ta-tas, and she’s extremely tall. Like a statue! Also, just being “thin” doesn’t qualify you as “unhealthy.” I don’t even think she looks unhealthy here. She absolutely doesn’t carry any extra weight, but since when is that a bad thing? I just think she looks f#cking tall and maybe a little gawky. She’s not as “shapely” as some of these women in the old fashioned photos, certainly not as shapely as Marilyn Monroe–but nobody is, so that’s a little unfair and beside the point. Since when is a slim or athletic figure cause for concern? Or worse, judgment from haters like the one who created this collage?
NEW POINT, KIND OF: Here’s another thing I want to say about this–There are plenty of healthy, natural actresses that exist in our time, just as there were plenty of extremely thin actresses that existed back in the day. Scarlet Johansson, Blake Lively, Amanda Seyfried, Charlize Theron, Katherine Heigl–all of them are young, natural, healthy, and might I say, near-iconic beauties who dudes and women alike (at least the ones I spend time with) find to be paragons of female sexuality.
Also, in terms of popularity, talent, and the seriousness of their work, actresses like Scarlet Johansson and Charlize Theron are MUCH more comparable to, say, Marilyn Monroe or Elizabeth Taylor than the “actresses” being compared to them above. I’m just saying. Like, do you consider Heidi Montag to be an actress OR model worthy of comparison to Marilyn Monroe or Bettie Page? No offense meant to Heidi, and this is not a judgment on her, but come on.
So yeah, I don’t know who these people like, hang out with (the person who made the collage and the people who agree with it), or why they think that people actually think that unhealthily skinny bodies are the definition of beauty these days–but I think that whoever they are, they’re confused. Nobody puts posters of Nicole Richie or Heidi Montag or some runway model on their walls. They put posters of like, Alexis Texas on their walls.
All of that said, I’m sure if Audrey Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn, Vivian Leigh, and Grace Kelly had been running around in bikinis in Cabo circa 1958, people would have been equally worried and equally scandalized by their highly-visible rib cages. Skinny women, anorexia–These are not like, new fads, especially not in Hollywood. They have always existed, and they are not funny things. Look around. Women have not really changed at all. Fashion has changed, the ways in which women are photographed have changed, but women have not, and unhealthily thin women are no more “socially acceptable” or “hot” now than they’ve ever been. Maybe in the world of Calvin Klein ads and runway shows, but not in any real kind of world. In the real world, it’s still scary. It’s not sexy. It’s not comparable to sexy. It’s not even in the same ballpark as sexy, because it’s severe and too deadly and too real, and just because these women show up in the tabloids a lot, that doesn’t mean any one is lusting after them. The situation is too dire for lust.
Anyway, but what really freaks me out is like, how much we obsess over losing baby weight. (#nonsequitur) Oh my god. It’s a whole thing. It’s like, nobody gives a sh1t about the fact that you just carried a human being inside of you for nine months. No time for back-up! You’re fat! (But lose that weight, and we’ll congratulate you, because that’s our right, I guess.)
In conclusion: To me, it’s beautiful, as long as it’s healthy, as long as it’s real. Pear-shaped, apple-shaped, hourglass, athletic, wafish, whatever. In my experience, this is also how most women think, and also most men. If your boyfriend is making you feel bad about your body, then your boyfriend is an asshole. If you feel bad about your body, but your body is healthy–it’s probably because you’re making unfair comparisons, like in the collage above. I know I am guilty of this from time to time. Anyway, that’s my sh1t. Not meant to stir up anybody else’s shit, because that’s not what I’m about. Just my sh1t, on my awesome blog. #boobs #boobsblog