Monday, April 14, 2014

The Beauty Standard...

I've made quite a few notes recently about topics I want to write about here, but I confess I'm falling behind.  I know folks are reading these entries, but of course it's a job to write them and I don't really get much back except tons of glory.

One such topic is my new theory concerning Standards of Beauty.  We all think we know what "beauty" is, personally, but also our culture tries to tell us what's beautiful, too.  Trying to nail it down actually can be confusing.  But I'm not so confused anymore.

Did you know that in parts of China, enormous ears on women are considered the apex of beauty? I can't even get a handle on that.  Pardon the joke.

Or it could be foot-binding, tribal scarring, breast implants, neck-rings, lip-plates, tattoos or you name it.  Then there are the Actions of Beauty, which in our culture can mean doing your best imitation of an object. Or if you're here in Wisconsin, using the word "like"  multiple times in every sentence.  That is like, so, like, attractive.

 A random Money-Honey picked from the hat of today's Fashion.

So everything is beautiful, and it really is, even all the karmic blemishes and societal pock-marks of collective Humanity, but I also think we need to be really, really careful and observant about who's trying to decide these things for us.  After all, there's big, big money in Beauty.

Your Beauty could launch a thousand ships, for example.  You could have a pyramid built in your honor.  You might get paid six figures or more to be a model or actress that fits the weird genetic roulette beauty ideal thingie we have now.  Men could actually be beautiful. It could all get confusing fast, and scary too, but never fear, you have Hoffy here to bail you out.

Another prisoner of an aesthetic.

Basically, part 1 of the Theory is this:  Beauty is everywhere and omnipresent, in a flower, a sunset, a cracked pavement block, a Downs Syndrome child's smiling face, and even the hideous scarring that occurs at your friendly local plastic surgeon's office as you seek answers to the aesthetic issues that drive your mysterious life.  Beauty is blue baby barf, or your lips locking onto a damp cigarette butt you picked up off the street.

Part 2 says that in the hierarchy of power, the force of money drives domination.   So, your homespun, quirky and likely unfashionable concepts of Beauty mean nothing without adequate funding.  As a spectator to all this, you are continually devalued, even as an object, your basic humanity unrecognized and therefore nonexistent.

And with any value that equates to money, the system must be rigged, and it is, towards scarcity.  We already apply the idea of scarcity to precious metals, like gold, and to diamonds and other rarities.  In fact, whole nations economies' are backed up & based on these "rarities".  But you can't eat or breathe gold, and diamonds ain't bringing grandma back either.

Worried? Keep your valuables inside another valuable.

So in the current Beauty market, there must be SCARCITY.  "Average"-looking people on streetcorners simply can't qualify.  They have no backers.  Forget that little kids' feelings get totally tromped on during this whole process, that little girls are flooding and verily overflowing shrinks' offices today, infected with serious body-perception issues they've picked up--somewhere.  Push that from your mind.

This is why the most popular (re: highly paid) actresses today look like some sort of bony giraffe/human genetic hybrid.  It's a little freakish.  But that is how it works: again, SCARCITY.  Beauty must be RARE at all costs.  If it were really common as dirt (which it is) our whole system would collapse.

But that's coming, too.

I'd add that while assembling a few images to illustrate this entry, I Googled "Beauty" and "Cosmetic Mutilation".  Either one is apt to completely creep you out.  Even worse, the line between them gets blurry fast.

How do we un-explain all this to our children?

1 comment:

roddy said...

i wonder if there is some universal 'standard' of beauty that transcends humankind's limited faculties, prejudices and perceptions?

and while 'traditional' standards of beauty seem to vary worldwide throughout history, i somehow can't conceive of the current trend of surgically altering one's face into an immobile, nightmarish mask of some homunculus-simian hybrid that so often graces the elite of this society as a form of beauty.

it seems more a form of torture and punishment.

i had an ex-girlfriend who use to say things like "beauty hurts" or "beauty is painful" as she tried various ways to majorly alter her body to fit some limited standard of beauty that was downloaded into her head at an early age, even to the point of avoiding certain foods in the attempt to develop osteoporosis so her bones would 'grow thinner', and she would then appear more waif-like.

needless to say the relationship was unhealthy and i got out when i could.