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Old 21st October 2005   #1
HSG
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Join Date: July 2005
Posts: 1,784
Default To see oneself as a Greek goddess


Visitors to this site regularly send us fascinating answers to the question that appears on our Timeless Beauty page ("Why is there so much resistance to plus-size beauty?"). And whenever the opportunity arises, we like to share some of those thoughts, via this forum.

Last weekend, a reader named Kerry Gonzales sent us the following comment:

Only the commercial media is resistant to plus-size beauty at this point. Happily, among the young adults I see today, it is growing more acceptable and even desirable for the ladies to be quite curvy and soft. But Hollywood and New York continue to ignore this. I believe it is simply part of the general culture of trying to sell us all happiness, by telling us that what we really want is only available through buying the right products (such as diet and exercise goods and books).

It is undoubtedly true that part of the reason why the underweight standard has been promoted for so long is to delude young women into thinking that they can "buy beauty" (whereas beauty is as impossible to purchase as is genius, or perfect pitch--one simply has it, or one does not).

But Ms. Gonzales's comment also reveals how contemporary capitalism often breeds ill-will among the very customers that it seeks to attract.

There is, after all, nothing intrinsically good or bad about "consumer society" per se. It all depends on how it is implemented.

Enticements for women to delight in beautiful clothing, or to enjoy decadent desserts, are entirely positive applications of capitalism--as are encouragements to indulge in good literature, or in music, or in art.

The "consumer products" that make these things widely accessible contribute to the spice of life.

Through mass production, capitalist society makes reproductions of artworks, or recordings of performances by the world's finest orchestras, or wonderfully feminine fashions, available to the general public, whereas in former centuries, these joys were available only to a select few.

It is only when capitalism is employed for truly malignant ends, such as for brainwashing women into subjecting themselves to exercise torture, or starving themselves willingly, that "consumer society" becomes a blight on humanity.

* * *

One more comment that we would like to share comes from a visitor named Theresa, who writes:

I am a plus sized 24 year old women (14 or 16 depending on the brand) and I struggle with loving my body almost daily because of the pressure American society puts on me to be skinny. When I am not comparing my body to super models who look like Sudanese refugees, I am usually able to realize how timeless my beauty is. If I want to continue to view myself as a Greek goddess then I just cant watch most television, read most magazines, or watch most movies period.

Thank you for this website and being a part of the solution.

As we discussed in the Jessica Alba thread, Hollywood persists in suppressing plus-size beauty, and only presents fuller-figured women in demeaning and prejudicial contexts--and even then, usually restricts itself to matronly and unattractive individuals, to prevent any chance of the subversion of the "thin=attractive" falsehood.

If only more of the individuals who create campaigns for the plus-size fashion industry would realize the significance of Theresa's comment, they might allow more true plus-size models--who are both gorgeous and visibly full-figured--to appear in their promotions. Plus-size fashion advertising is the only branch of the media in which timeless beauty is ever glimpsed on a regular basis (and even then, not as consistently as the public would like), so its importance cannot be overstated.

If only the retailers that persist in resorting to faux-plus models would feature genuinely full-figured goddesses instead, the industry would give women like Theresa the positive reinforcement they need to combat the destructive imagery that surrounds them.

Swimsuitsjustforus.com goddes--a rare example of a model with lovely facial features and Classical proportions:

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