Originally Posted by Emily
I like the last comment especially, as it associates being a princess with having an opulent figure.
What's admirable about this is how it contrasts (favourably) to what Hollywood does. American films in historical settings will have the costumes right, the sets, etc., but where they absolutely contradict history is in the films' values (aesthetic values, and character values). The actresses will invariably be ahistorically underweight, making them look modern rather than true to the beauty ideal of the past, and they'll behave in unfeminine, modern ways.
How interesting that the filmmakers should consider the "women of the past"
to be "more full-bodied,"
and to say that "the women of the time"
(meaning the 18th century) "were full-bodied and voluptuous."
Modern curve-o-phobes and thin-supremacists, trying to fan the flames of weight hysteria, claim that people are larger today than they were in the past, yet as Paul Campos notes in his writings, there is no basis whatsoever for this belief. It is likely that the proportion of curvy to underweight women is roughly comparable between the past and the present.
indisputably true, however, is that the ideal of feminine beauty
was "more full-bodied and voluptuous"
in the past. Kudos to the director for recognizing this. As Emily notes, Hollywood films tend to be flagrantly anti-historical in this regard, anachronistically featuring actresses with scrawny, toned, androgynous figures playing historical beauties, whereas women with such physiques would never have been considered remotely attractive in any age prior to the 20th century.
There are rare exception, however, such as the 2006 film Tristan and Isolde,
in which the lovely Sophia Myles (with her uncanny resemblance to Kelsey Olson) plays at least a curvier-than-usual princess, by Hollywood standards. But for the most part, this Indian movie does something that Western films do not, and that is, authentically reflect the aesthetic values of the past.
And speaking of princesses, how intriguing to learn that the Veer
filmmakers specifically associate being "curvaceous"
with "the role of a princess."
They are absolutely correct. Today's activists can pretend all they want that the size-acceptance movement is "democratic," but the truth is that the timeless ideal of full-figured femininity is
an aristocratic ideal. Gloriously so. The rich, sumptuous, abundant appearance of a goddess is indisputably of a higher order of beauty, a superior rank of attractiveness, than that of the minus-size model.
Consider how often timeless femininity is described in aristocratic terms, such as "opulent," and "lavish," and "luxurious." When one sees a plus-size model who is supremely gorgeous, one knows instinctively that she deserves to be waited on hand and foot, to live a life of ease and luxury, to be pampered and spoiled, her every whim fulfilled, her every wish granted. One feels that she should never exert herself in any way, that she should enjoy non-stop pleasure, languishing in indolent repose, indulging her every appetite.
But this is not to say that aristocratic beauty is in conflict with the wishes of the general public. Quite the contrary. As Spengler explains in Volume II of The Decline of the West
--likely the greatest book written in the 20th century--the tastes of the nobility were always in tune with those of the people. Both estates had similar origins, and similar souls. Both were part of the organic community of a nation.
As Spengler writes,
[the] nobility is higher peasantry. Even in 1250 the West had a widespread proverb: “One who ploughs in the forenoon jousts in the afternoon,” and it was quite usual for a knight to marry the daughter of a peasant. In contrast to the cathedral, the castle was a development, by way of the country noble’s house of Frankish times, from the peasant-dwelling. In the Icelandic sagas peasants’ crofts are besieged and stormed like castles. Nobility and peasantry are plant-like and instinctive, deep-rooted in the ancestral land, propagating themselves in the family tree, breeding and bred. (336)
Spengler later adds,
[the] Nobility is cosmic and plantlike (hence its profound connection with the land). It is itself a plant, strongly rooted in the soil, established on the soil—in this, as in so many other respects, a supreme peasantry. (343)
In a noble culture, the reaction of the public to timeless beauty is a profound feeling of reverence, and celebration. It is every man's dream to be the vassal of a full-figured princess, to be her subject, her admirer. Every suitor knows that he is not worthy of her, but yet he yearns for her favour all the same, and he would slay any dragon, conquer any obstacle, to provide her with her heart's desire, to please her in any way he can.
Every other woman would be privileged to be her handmaiden, would gladly starve, live on meagre rations of bread and water, just so that the princess could have a second helping of a generous meal and a decadent dessert. They would gladly go hungry so that she could have her insatiable appetite satisfied. The softer and fuller she appeared, the more they would adore her, and would want to sacrifice even more for her pleasure. Even Charlotte Bronte acknoweldged the superior privileges of beauty, as we note in our "Proportionate Equality" post on this very topic.
Only the rootless, alien element in a society, call it the "intelligentsia," the "internationale," or the "media," lacks this sense of reverence and celebration, and is driven by a levelling impulse to eradicate all traces of aristocratic beauty and to put their own abstract, inhuman tyranny in its place. Mendaciously, they always claim that their destructive actions are undertaken "for the people," but the people have nothing but contempt for the artificial world that these moderns erect on the ruins of the overthrown aristocracy. The public hates the concrete-and-still buildings that the moderns impose just as they loathe the androgynous, emaciated models that they thrust on every magazine cover and runway and film. Always they look back with longing toward the richer, more natural, more beautiful past, the aristocratic past, which reflected their own tastes and dreams and desires, and hope for its return.
The most gorgeous plus-size models are the latter-day embodiments of aristocratic beauty, the living exemplars of the timeless ideal, and even (or especially) in a hyper-democratic world, they enable us to dream again, to feel longing, and reverence, and to yearn for the restoration of a nobler culture.
Kelsey Olson, "fairest of them all," the crown princess among currently working plus-size models, as Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty. Observe the passionately parted mouth, the golden tresses, the soft physique, and the languishing look in her half-lidded, dreamy eyes.
Outtake from a shoot by photographer by Jason Vrolijk for Inspire magazine (inspiremagazineonline.com) in December, 2008. Mr. Vrolijk will shortly be launching a new publication called Bridget Marie.
- Click to view image at a larger size