Variety Is The Spice Of Life
“Find fits for every body type,” the ad says.
Hmmm, I see tall and skinny in the first frame. Tall and skinny in the second frame. Tall and skinny in the third frame. And tall and skinny in the last frame.
Lisa Wade over at Sociological Images wonders,
Are they actually mocking us? Do they really think we are so stupid as to not find the text and visuals in this ad laughably mis-matched? Are they trying to offend all people outside of this “range” of body types so that they don’t wear their clothes? I just… I don’t know.
She goes on to observe that fashion advice almost always aims at “Getting women’s bodies, whatever shape they might be, to conform with one ideal body type: the skinny hourglass figure.”
The advice is all about trying to hide the shape of a woman’s actual body so that everyone looks just one way. Here’s advice for women with a “pear” shape. Use clothing to:
- slim your hips and thighs
- draw attention to the upper part of your body
- balance your figure with shoulder pads
- a roomy top will de-emphasize your bottom
- offset your hips
- avoid side pockets, they add bulk where you least need it
“Why not highlight that awesome booty and tiny waist and shoulders?” Lisa asks. “Work that pear-shape!”
Others celebrate variety as the spice of life. Check out these lines from a piece called, “That Girl: What Makes You Different Makes You Beautiful” @ Absurd Grace.
I want to teach my daughter appropriate and healthy ways of seeing herself so that she doesn’t have to go through the same self-deprecating madness that I went through. It horrifies me that she could possibly grow up to be fearful of being perfectly herself, imperfections and all.
I think I will start with making a rule that she doesn’t look at Teen magazines in order to know what beauty is. Instead I am going to teach her that to look differently is real beauty. To use your natural physical attributes that are unlike everyone else is what makes you charming. And to have a balanced, kind, compassionate soul is desirous. If you can look deep inside of yourself, into your heart, and know that you’ve acted with those characteristics – that is beauty.
Everything else is just detail that can and will change. But who you are, inside, and what makes you different on the outside, that is where the stunning comes in.
I’m on vacation. This is a rerun. (The beauty ideal has changed a bit since this came out — with more of an emphasis on bigger butts — but the ideal remains narrow, none-the-less.)
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