The end of the false duality
(Originally posted on The Judgment of Paris Forum, April 4th, 2004, in response to a post from Jill.)
Thank you for the information, Jill. The title of the article, "Survival of the Prettiest," is particularly notable, because the women whom the article deems "prettiest" are not "stick-figured females," but in fact, "curvy women with normal weight."
This assessment looks past the false duality that straitjackets many contemporary discussions about weight and beauty. Many who decry the illusions of the modern media unwittingly reinforce current aesthetic prejudices by attacking the notion of beauty itself. They champion an "ordinary=curvy=real" association at the expense of a "pretty=thin=artificial" paradigm. However, by doing so, they implicitly acknowledge that beauty is contingent upon thinness.
But there is no reason to make any such concession to the mass media. There is no reason to accept the notion that beauty is defined by modern strictures. As Jill's sources indicate, historical and scientific evidence demonstrates that plus-size beauty is the natural human ideal. From the time of classical antiquity onwards, "curvy women with normal weight" were exalted in Western culture. Not until the twentieth century was there a split between prescribed aesthetic standards and the timeless ideal.
But this cultural fracture is healing before our eyes--slowly but surely. We can easily see a day, not too long in the future, when "models and celebrities" reflect this natural ideal, a day when our icons of feminine beauty resemble Lillian Russell, or Lady Hamilton, or Helene Fourment, or any of the curvaceous women who inspired artistic creation and public adulation throughout human history. And plus-size modelling is at the forefront of this aesthetic restoration.
Beauty is not the enemy of size celebration. Far from it--it is our most powerful ally.
Anna (Irene Marie, size 14/16) modelling for Junonia:
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