|Thinking about women.
||[Feb. 7th, 2015|03:22 pm]
A lot of hype is floating around on the web about "society's idealized woman"; with most people offering the opinion that this archetype is in some way flawed. I have had a great many conversations with women who feel that it is not possible to be fit enough to meet society's standards of beauty, or that even if they were at maximum physical fitness they still would not be considered "beautiful" due to some unrealistic expectation of our culture.
To gain an appreciation of the standards of beauty I am describing, watch this video.
I believe that the common stereotypes of beauty are only unrealistic if accepted along with the common western diet and lifestyle. A diet which is high in processed carbohydrates while low in protein and fat, combined with a sedentary lifestyle (walking only from the house to the car, working seated behind a desk). It is not possible to have the body represented by models in magazines and movies if you conform to this lifestyle. Many people do not consider the effect a simple decision like walking for your commute to work may have on their level of personal fitness; therefor they decry the images of fashion models who DO walk (or run) many miles each week as unrealistic representations of reality.
In the decade of the 1990s I reached sexual maturity. Heroin chic was in; shoulder-ey supermodels were out, and the sensitive guy was the macho man of this decade. For that formative period of my life, I was surrounded by pictures and voices telling me what to like: waifish androgynous female forms. I swallowed this image and sought it out in many ways. As a man in my adult prime, I am now able to look with objectivity upon this era of my life, and examine the forces which shaped my awareness with a clear mind.
I have recently found myself far more attracted to curvier, more shapely and feminine-appearing women. I see myself appreciating hips and buttocks more than stomachs and waists, and I have the ability to see beyond a woman's current personal body fat index to appreciate her potential for fitness and strength.
As shown in the above video link, standards of beauty have evolved today since the 1990s, which I think could be related to decades-long ascendancy of hip-hop and dance music in popular culture. Larger, curvier women with wider hips and bigger busts are taking the place of the thin girls in our magazines and cultural media. Many women still decry this as a de-facto standard of beauty which is also unattainable: To those without the ability to change themselves, any standard at all is equally unattainable.
As a man I am still highly appearance-minded when I appraise women. Despite my best efforts, I still frequently look at women as hypersexualized recipients of my non-negotiable lust. At times I wonder if this is merely a side effect of possessing a set of testicles... yet still I discipline myself against it.
I would like to publicly state my apologies to any women I have formerly forsaken in the past, when I was less aware of the influences shaping my tastes. I am now attracted to all women; yet there was a time in my life when I could be known to leave one woman for someone smaller, simply because I was responding in an unthinking way to a lifetime of conditioning of which I had no knowledge. Many errors were my own errors, and I do not seek to avoid accountability for my own lack of integrity at the time.
However, as I have just written, I can clearly see how my tastes as a young man were driven less by my own awareness and more by the prevailing images in the culture of my youth. Every body type is special, because everybody has a body type. I choose my partners today out of compatibility and respect: which typically means I choose a partner with a certain level of physical fitness complementary to my own. This is an evolution in understanding, and I hope that those who recall my youth do not still condemn me for lacking that understanding.