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Old 4th May 2009   #1
M. Lopez
Senior Member
Join Date: August 2005
Posts: 587
Default In praise of ''dimpled flesh''

More than once I've been pleased to see messages on this forum celebrating "texture" on a model's skin. Like softly swelling curves, this is another physical feature that women are continually and needlessly berated for, yet on a petty girl it is a perfectly natural feature and just another component of her beauty.

Today I read what may be the first article I've ever encountered which takes a similar view. It still uses an unpleasant word for this characteristic, but it gets beyond it. Not quite celebration, but at least an effort to normalize this natural trait.

Here's the pertinent section:

Ninety percent of women have dimpled skin around their thighs and hips... And we’re obsessed with getting rid of it because the current accepted beauty norm says it’s a problem. The key word: current. What’s in and out with beauty changes like the wind so why fall victim to it? Less than 100 years ago, dimpled flesh was considered beautiful.

In the 1990’s, the acceptable female form became super skinny with big boobs. That’s probably a shape that’s the most unnatural to achieve without a little anorexia and a lot of plastic surgery. So then we’re left with two choices: accept and love our bodies as they are naturally or continue to loathe our bodies for not being what the media says they should be. Where do we draw the line? What if women’s feet over a size 6 were suddenly considered grotesque? Would we start binding them as children or cutting off some toes as adults?

As Kim Kardashian says about her cellulite, “Who cares?” And we shouldn’t!

Celebrities are always problematic references because they forever send out mixed messages. But apart from that, I think she makes an excellent point.

First, I like that phrase, "dimpled flesh." It may be the best term yet to describe this characteristic.

Second, her reference of the past as an alternative to the present is an excellent turn in thinking, as we all know from this site.

Third, by pointing out how absurd it would be if women's appendages were suddenly considered too large, the author effective points out how absurd it is to decry this perfectly natural trait.

Even young curvy girls, even in their teens, can have "dimpled flesh." I think it would be empowering if, instead of airbrushing skin into an artificially plastic look, the plus-size industry allowed this trait to be seen on its models, to show that girls can be gorgeous and have dimpled skin.
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Old 26th December 2009   #2
Join Date: July 2005
Posts: 1,784
Default Re: In praise of ''dimpled flesh''

Originally Posted by M. Lopez
Even young curvy girls, even in their teens, can have "dimpled flesh." I think it would be empowering if, instead of airbrushing skin into an artificially plastic look, the plus-size industry allowed this trait to be seen on its models, to show that girls can be gorgeous and have dimpled skin.

Yes--absolutely. How encouraging to see this article go a step farther than merely advocating a tolerance of this feature in the name of "diversity," or some such nonsense. Rather, by pointing out that "Less than 100 years ago, dimpled flesh was considered beautiful," the author opens the door to the preferable approach that the Judgment of Paris advocates, which is to celebrate this natural, feminine trait.

There is no reason why dimpled flesh cannot be considered attractive. It testifies to a seductive softness on the part of the girl who possesses it, a quality of untoned beauty that is sensual and pretty.

The paintings of the Old Masters luxuriated over the dimpled flesh of the young models who posed as Greek goddesses. Virtually every Rubens canvas shows the artist's loving depiction of the dimpled flesh of his young wife, Helene Fourment--the well-fed blonde beauty (a teenager when she married Rubens) who was the source of inspiration throughout the second half of the painter's career. He clearly adored her because she possessed dimpled flesh, not despite this fact.

At least three of the goddesses in Rubens's masterpiece Diana and Calisto (1638-40), seen below, are based on Helene's sumptuous figure. They all exhibit dimpled flesh (visible in the large-size version available at the link below), as well as undulating, swelling curves.

Imagine how confident the women of the day must have been of their appearance when the idealized vision of femininity in their culture was one that adored dimpled flesh. They would have been completely at ease with their appetites--indeed, would have been proud of their soft womanliness.

If current plus-size models were allowed to exhibit these natural figure traits, to show off their textured figures openly and unapologetically, then young women today would be similarly proud of the way they look.

No doubt, "dimpled flesh" doesn't fit in with the modern, revisionist notion of women as hard, masculinized automatons, efficient workers able to compete in a dog-eat-dog world of brutal careerism. But really, who wants to inhabit that androgynous world? Who wants to embody that alien vision of an assembly-line, plastic existence; a cubicle culture of diet-starvation and exercise-torture?

The soft, fleshly, well-fed, dimpled world of timeless femininity is much more pleasurable and fulfilling--and beautiful.

- Diana and Callisto

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