Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Curves (or lack of curves) don't make the woman

Originally posted at Good Men Project

This picture has been making its rounds on the internet for several months by now and I have say that this is a sign that some people may be taking the idea of being fat doesn't make you unattractive a bit too far.

As a person that finds women attractive I don't like the idea that something is wrong with finding skinny women attractive anymore than the idea that something is wrong with finding fat women attractive.

If you look throughout the ages the ideas of what body type of women is the established norm of what is attractive have changed. And just like any established norm those who do not match that ideal are ostracized and left on the fringes.

That's not a good place to be and takes me to what I find a bit wrong with this ad.

The ad asks, "When did this (images of skinny women) become hotter than this (images of not so skinny women)?". I get a tone from that that seems to say that not so skinny women should be the norm of attractiveness over skinny women. This thought only pushes the pendulum to the other direction.

The problem with thinking that skinny women are the established norm for attractiveness isn't that women who are not skinny are left on the out of being considered attractive. The problem is that there is an established norm for attractiveness.

When I look at women I'm not thinking, "Oh this woman is _____ so she can't be attractive.". Yes there are times when I think that a women is not attractive in my own opinion but that doesn't mean that that woman is objectively unattractive. Over the years I've found a wide variety of women to be attractive ranging from what others would say, "Put the fork down and back away from the table!" to "You need some beans and cornbread!" (that being a Southern way of saying, "you need some meat on your bones"). But at the end of the day they are just my opinions. I have my opinion of what is attractive just like anyone else but when dealing with established norms it becomes bigger than just what an individual person finds attractive.

When something becomes the established norm you will have a division where people are either part of the "in group" or "out group". What happens is that the opinions of the in group become the truth rather than just their truth. In other words its cool because the cool kids said it is.

The solution to this is not to just replace one body type with another as the norm but to get rid of the very idea that there should be, or needs to be, a norm in the first place.