Included in the list of All Things Humans Hate About Each Other is body image, in this case Body Type, namely the female’s. Although both human genders deal with this petty disdain of people’s differences, it goes without mention that women suffer (and have suffered) the most of this judgment of body shape.
There is a mild revolution of women’s body image against the paradigms set by media and marketing. This is great, but what is not so great when this comes out in hateful ways. It further extends the pitting of woman versus woman that is commonplace in our society. What I’ve noticed is that the waif-style, exomorphic type of body is steadily under attack in social media. The idea that any particular body type should be criticized is stupid, but it’s strange that super skinny people are targeted when they are not considered the female paradigm and are only glorified in a limited corner of haut couture fashion. If anyone looks like a waif in pop culture, they are instantly attacked for having an eating disorder.
Let’s consider the case for the exomorphic woman:
- Exomorphic body types are a real thing, not just the result of eating disorders
- Naturally thin women have endured several millennia of disregard, they’ve been considered not fit to bear children
- They have only this brief window in human history to even be considered attractive starting with perhaps Leslie Lawson aka Twiggy and ending in the post-apocalypse which may be ten years from now
- They may just eat really well, e.g. vegan/vegetarian/raw foods diets
In contrast, the last fifty years have done a number on the endomorphic or full-figured women.
- Modern media has until very very recently shun the full-figured woman in the last fifty years, and even with the nod from the hoi polloi, they still have a stigma in elite circles such as Hollywood
- The full-figured woman regardless of actual fitness has been portrayed as ‘fat’ or ‘big-boned’ in the last fifty years
- Before the sixties, the full-figured woman had been a paradigm for the female figure since prehistory, but this does not mean that this type should be shunned in a more superficial modern era
The only thing I should mention about the mesomorphic woman applies to all women. The pressures of our modern society on the female figure and face are grossly powerful. All types of women have to face the judgments of people about the size of their breasts, the width of their hips, the form of their buttocks, and the shape of their lips and nose et cetera. This is a shame, that humankind has not embrace beauty in all things, tall or wide, black or white. Will we ever see a world that will embrace all women? I hope so, but I think not. We still haven’t gotten over dogmatic and medieval oppression of women and we are supposedly in the apex of our humanity. Rubbish.
I’ll give a small case for the male figure, though as a man, I feel that we don’t deserve it. We are the cause of all things bad, and since I am a male, I have the right to say that we do not deserve a defense. To be equal though, here it is.
- No body type seems to be superior to the next
- Height is an issue for men, but this doesn’t seem to reflect on the body type itself, I’ve never heard a woman say she likes short guys, they’re out there I’m sure but I haven’t met one
- Exomorphic guys are presupposed to have large penises (not sure if this is scientifically true or if people believe this)
- Women/men seem to enjoy all different male body types but the pressure to be one or the other doesn’t seem to be there for most men(of course that are men that really suffer from body image problems but this seems to be a very modern and isolated thing)
- Bodybuilding doesn’t seem to carry the same prestige as it did in Ancient Rome and Greece, but the ‘fighter’s build’ on the other hand seems to still be popular
- Big bellys were considered attractive and prestigious during the Renaissance, not so much now
I will not deny that men have their own personal issues with body image, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of significance to actual body type. The issues that men do have with body image though, are generally perpetuated by men themselves.
Our human pettiness has barely progress since fifty thousand years ago, and I doubt that we are going to get much better. But it is worth having an ideal, a hope, that we as human beings can get over all these measures of differences and realize the we are all in the same sinking boat. We can let it sink, or we can bail and float together.