The Judgment of Paris Forum

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HSG 10th January 2010 06:23

''One must learn to love''

(Originally posted on the Judgment of Paris Forum, September 25, 2004.)

As many visitors to this site are well aware, the ideas on which this Web project is based are not "new" concepts, but principles that are as old as the Western world. These precepts have been passed down through the centuries in philosophy, literature, art, and folklore.

The notion of "aesthetic conversion"--the process by which images of timeless femininity can transform an individual's perception of beauty--is just one example of concept pertaining to size celebration which has a noble pedigree.

Consider the following passage from Nietzsche's seminal masterwork, Die fröhliche Wissenschaft--the book in which the philosopher famously exhorted his readers to "live dangerously." In the following excerpt, Nietzsche uses an analogy based on music to explain how one "learns to love." But try substituting the text's example of a musical figure with the notion of a womanly figure, and consider how the treatise then delineates the exact process by which one learns to love the full-figured ideal--even in the midst of a media world that opposes it:

This is what happens to us in music: First one has to learn to hear a figure and melody at all, to detect and distinguish it, to isolate it and delimit it as a separate life.

Then it requires some exertion an