I don’t actually find the ad attractive for the same reason I usually dislike pictures of bodybuilders (male and female): high contrast lighting and oiled skin, designed to show off every curve and angle of the subject’s frame. Well-defined muscles are beautiful in real life, though.
But more important than my preferences is the fact that MAC, a multinational brand, is branching out in terms of the type of bodies they hold up as examples of beauty.
Cameron Russell, a former Fords Model who has graced the covers of Vogue and W and appeared in ads for Calvin Klein, Armani, and Yves Saint Laurent, gives a TED Talk on beauty, privilege, and what it’s like to be a model (the unvarnished version). Very worth watching.
Sally McGraw expresses her relief at accepting that she will never look like Sofia Vergera:
I know a lot about my body. I know its strengths and its graces, its quirks and defining traits. I know that I have strong legs and an elegant collarbone, pert breasts and dainty wrists, luxurious hair and an angular little nose. I know that I’ve got a lot going for me.
I also know that there are loads of things that I shall never be, and that many of them are considered beautiful, attractive, desirable, enviable even.
As much as men aren’t supposed to care about these things, I’ve actually been thinking about this quite a bit over the last couple days.
This won’t be the last time today you resist the urge to swear loudly:
The head of the pediatric urology department at Cornell University’s New York Presbyterian Hospital… has been operating on young girls who suffer from what he (and likely the girls’ guardians) have decided is “clitorimegaly,” or oversized clitorises.
In order to relieve these girls from what seems like little more than a cosmestic issue, Dr. Dix P. Poppas cuts out parts of the clitoris’ shaft, saving the glans, or tip, for reattachment. Poppas triumphantly calls the procedure—rebranded a clitoroplasty—a “nerve sparing” one unlike the FGMs practiced in other countries.
Alice Dreger and Ellen K. Feder, professors of medical humanities/bioethics and philosophy, respectively, don’t seem quite so excited:
“We still know of no evidence that a large clitoris increases psychological risk (so is the surgery even necessary?), and we do know of substantial anecdotal evidence that it does not increase risk. Importantly, there also seems to be evidence that clitoroplasties performed in infancy do increase risk—of harm to physical and sexual functioning, as well as psychosocial harm.”
If you aren’t outraged yet, wait until you find out how Poppas tests the intactness of his young patients’ nerves.
70% of women believe hiding their thorough beauty regimen from their partners is paramount in maintaining the magic in their relationships. I am proudly a part of that 70% (even though I am currently single).
This saddens me. I’m not one of those “but you look prettier without makeup” guys. My wife looks pretty without makeup, and she looks pretty in a different way with makeup. And I can see that, because I’m in love with her. That’s the real magic in our relationship.
Sarah of Who I Am Without You puts new spin on one of my favorite sermons: Bodies are for doing things:
Most people would say I have a slow metabolism. I prefer to think it is just madly efficient. It would keep me alive for months without hardly any food or water. My Irish genes are designed to withstand cold, starvation, and probably virus’s[sic], which means I will be the one saving the world during the zombie apocalypse when the rest of you are enjoying brains for dinner. So really, I’m not chubby and awkward; I’m a super hero. Why didn’t I figure this out sooner?
Via Libby Anne.
Michelle Parrinello-Cason on trying to develop healthy body-image in her daughter:
Every time I looked at a picture of myself, I no longer saw that ugliness. I saw a piece of my daughter’s beauty, and I remembered that any criticism I gave of my own “flaw” would be a criticism of hers. So what could I do instead? Could I look at a picture of myself and single out something else as a flaw. Could I decide that I weighed too much? Could I dislike my haircut? Could I wish those bags under my eyes would disappear?