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Old 12th January 2008   #1
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Join Date: July 2005
Posts: 441
Default ''Hooray for curves'' (article)

On the fashion vs. evolution theme, here is a really positive article from Australia:,00.html

I love the genuinely celebratory tone that the writer adopts. She incorporates all of the recent discoveries of the health benefits of being full-figured, and incorporates them into a truly pro-plus world-veiw. These are the kind of articles, and the kind of voice, that articles in plussize magazines should adopt. And in fact, its the kind of tone I would love to see in the mainstream press too.

Here is the majority of the text:

Hip-hip hooray for curves

Bernadette Condren
January 11, 2008 11:00pm

BOY have I got some bad news for all you skinny-bottomed yummy mummies freshening your lipstick while chalking up time on the treadmill.

You're not the brightest bulbs on the planet and you're going to die early.

No, I'm not being harsh – not that the criticism would penetrate your buns of steel anyway.

For too long now you've been shaking your non-existent booty at women like me who, thanks to some Irish DNA and a predilection for toasted triple-brie sandwiches, have more than a little padding on our bones – and sister I'm throwing it right back in your face with extra whipped cream and a cherry on top.

Chicks with hips, it would seem, are not only easy on the eye but are smarter, live longer and give birth to more intelligent children than their beanpole counterparts.

This isn't some namby-pampy nonsense from the University of Outer Mongolia. This is a fair dinkum, properly researched study done by people who are exhausted at day's end from carrying around lots of letters after their names.

It's even been reported in a really, really important magazine called Evolution and Human Behavior.

It's such an important publication that it won't be found battling for space with New Ideas and Women's Days in the dentist's waiting room.

No, no, no. Evolution and Human Behavior is strictly for scientists – and people looking for an excuse to ingest toasted triple-brie sandwiches on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

According to these extraordinarily intelligent beings, there's intellectual gold in them there hips.

The f** we bodelicious, curvaceous mums carry around our middles is chock full of polyunsaturated fatty acids that benefit our unborn baby's brains and our own.

Plus they're great for our hearts, so that's the "live longer" bit covered.

Don't ask me how it all works – it's to do with hip-to-waist ratios – you just need to know that the boffins at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of California say it is so and they studied 16,000 women before arriving at their fabulous conclusion.

I always knew my son was going to be an incredibly good-looking genius but it's nice to have the science to back it up. And the sensational hips.

I love how she includes the statement that curvy girls are "easy on the eye", and how she contrasts the scientific magazine that supports these pro-curvy findings with the so-called "womens magazines" which are sending out mixed messages. It suggests that if our culture werent so dumbed-down, the suppression of the timeless ideal might never have occurred - and I think shes right.

In words and images, Im waiting for a media culture that will enthuse about "sensational hips" the way this writer does.

Last edited by HSG : 1st February 2008 at 03:04. Reason: URL amended
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Old 10th February 2008   #2
Join Date: July 2005
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Default Re: ''Hooray for curves'' (article)

Originally Posted by MelanieW
I love how she includes the statement that curvy girls are "easy on the eye", and how she contrasts the scientific magazine that supports these pro-curvy findings with the so-called "womens magazines" which are sending out mixed messages. It suggests that if our culture werent so dumbed-down, the suppression of the timeless ideal might never have occurred - and I think shes right.

This is very true.

It is not coincidental that the deterioration of art and culture throughout the latter half of the 20th century, up to the present day, parallels the overthrow of the full-figured ideal, and the imposition of the underweight standard.

High culture, aristocratic culture, always enshrined plus-size beauty as the epitome of feminine comeliness, whereas the more vulgar and "modern" culture has become, the more the anorexic standard has been enforced.

Regular readers of this forum know very well how the curvaceous ideal once dominated the visual arts, but it was just as prevalent in music. In opera performance, for example, full-figured beauty was celebrated until very recently. Note the following postcards from the 19th and early 20th century, depicting individuals and scenes from the operas of Richard Wagner.

From Tannhäser, here is the eponymous minstrel spellbound by the beauty of a very well-fed Venus:

Here, from Die Walküre, the second installment in the Ring tetralogy, we see Wagner's eponymous Valkyrie. This could be Charlotte Coyle, or Kelsey Olson:

Most of Wagner's heroines are fair-haired, of course, but here is a brunette Senta, from Wagner's horror opera, The Flying Dutchman. Note the fullness of her facial features:

Wagner's heroines were the Disney princesses of their day, and embodied the ideal of feminine beauty. Their pictures were disseminated throughout the country, and they had just as powerful a hold on girls' imaginations as Barbie dolls do today. Here is a buxom Isolde, from Tristan & Isolde:

But consider how much healthier a society was in which these well-fed beauties were the standard of appearance for young women, rather than today's anorexic celebrities. Young women knew that they could eat as much as they wanted, and would still be considered gorgeous. Here is Elsa, from Lohengrin:

Why the suppression of traditional European culture after the war parallels the suppression of the timeless ideal of beauty bears serious consideration. Feminism sought to create a world of androgyny, and Marxism wished to configure a world of durable worker-drones, fit for manual labour. Although the West opposed the communist world politically, it has very much internalized socialism's anti-human values, and the result has been the near-criminalization of the natural, curvy female body type.

However, the prevalence of anorexia today should indicate to even the most philosophically materialist individuals that perhaps the denunciation of the Western tradition was a colossally misguided act, and that in putting political considerations over artistic ones, society has simply created an inhospitable world of ugliness, one that is far more unbearable than the one it left behind.

One can only hope that, in time, a greater culture will re-emerge, one that will restore the eternal ideals of beauty, and the natural values that they represent.

Above is Sieglinde, another heroine from Wagner's Ring. Note the attractive styling, including the armlet (an especially opulent and feminine item of jewellery).
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Old 10th February 2008   #3
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Default Let there be leitmotifs!

Since you mentioned Wagner, I thought I'd post a terrific YouTube video in this thread. It's one of the mini-features (9 min. long) that PBS used to show during the intermissions of their Live from Lincoln Center broadcasts. This one is called "Let There Be Leitmotifs," and it's a really accessible introduction to Wagner's music, specifically explaining his leitmotif technique.

The Star Wars clips help get the point across. It begins approx. one minute into the video, after the host offers an introduction.
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