Friday, August 3, 2012

What is Beauty

If you frequent the internet, you've probably seen them before, depictions of Marilyn Monroe and how her style of beauty used to be the pinnacle of attraction, but has now fallen by the wayside for thinner, more unrealistic figures.  She's become a bit of a poster child for larger women who eye her as some sort of stereo-type breaking Goddess.  I don't understand it.

By today's standards, Marilyn Monroe is very much a traditional (mainstream) beauty.  Various estimates have her weighing between 118 and 140 pounds, well below the 164 pounds of today's American woman.  She was blonde, something that has always been widely viewed as an ideal of attractiveness, and almost always heavily made up, neither traditional nor natural. 

To be fair, her curviness cannot be denied, and that only adds to my confusion.  Monroe's bust, waist, and hip measurements are 35 to 37 --- 22 to 23 --- 35 to 36.  That goes even beyond the 36-24-36 spouted off by many an admirer of the female form.  And while those dimensions don't quite approach a Barbie-level lack of realism, they're relatively rare.

Marilyn Monroe is, by many standards, beautiful, whether this beauty is traditional or not.  But I don't see why anyone has to idolize her "type" of beauty over anyone else's.  To call a skinny model anorexic isn't all that different than calling a curvy model fat.  And I don't think it's a stretch to say that we all have many things about us that are beautiful.  That's the great thing about variation, one person has great eyes, another a flat stomach, a third an ample bust and so on.  Different, yes, but less...I think we should try not to let us fall the rut of seeing it that way.

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