Thursday, September 20, 2007

Beauty Balderdash


I love beautiful things. God's creation inspires awe, the grandeur of this planet causes my heart to sing and sitting by the ocean with a good book and a glass of sweet tea, there is nothing like it. The visual arts always inspire amazement, touring art museums takes hours; I'll even take a few moments to glance at the extremely modern work. I enjoy well designed structures, there is nothing as beautiful to me as a well built Craftsman Style home or a classic opera house or theatre and a tour of the Biltmore is a class in elegant building. I always enter the beauty of worship in the great cathedrals of the US and the world. Food is a beautiful thing when prepared well with hands who love. A fine meal with friends and family is not only beautiful, but sacred. Beautiful is a small word for the power of music, well played, its vibrations move mind body and spirit all at once.

Male human nature often think of beauty in terms of the feminine form. Wars have been fought over it, countless pages have been printed attempting to explain it, thousands of songs and sonnets have been created expounding its power and the fashion industry has tried to control it. Yes, I believe the ideal of feminine beauty is controlled by the fashion industries of New York, Paris, Tokyo and Milan. When you throw in the influence of mass media, IMHO, American culture allows others to influence our view of what is and is not beautiful in the feminine form.

From the time the form of beauty could be captured in a permanent image, folks have placed their preferences on the mystery of beauty. With the advent of photo film, motion pictures and then television; just think of how those forms of communication alone have changed our perceptions of what is and is not beauty. Just since WWII, how have American views of feminine beauty changed from decade to decade? It is even more compressed than that, tooth-pick- skinny one year can morph by 10-15 pounds from season to season.

Whatever or whoever you think of when you think of feminine beauty is an illusion...no, it is a lie.
Let me illustrate. Follow the link to this website. Click on the portfolio at the top of the page. See the little photos of those 20 beautiful people? Choose one and click on it. You will see a large photo of beauty perfection. Now highlight the photo with your cursor...see, that is the real photo. The cursor highlighted photo is the real image. Look at at few more. You will see that ALL of the photos have been retouched to produce someones ideal of beauty. Not only are facial features enhanced, but in many of the photos bodies are shaped and changed. Let me ask you one question, who is making the decision of what is or is not beautiful? Who is manipulating the pixels to form their view of beauty? A very small number of people are playing with the pixels.
a small number of people are changing body shape to conform to some ideal that is not real nor sustainable. The beauty industry is much like the Wizard of Oz, a small impotent man behind the big monster. The monster has affected our perception of beauty. The monster has lied.

My wife and two daughters are attractive. After almost twenty-five years of marriage, my wife is beautiful, but much of the reason...she has put up with me and we have weathered many storms together. My daughters are beautiful, but I have never wanted them to feel as if my love and acceptance has had anything to do with their outside appearance. All three of my girls(my wife and two daughters)are beautiful to me being as, they are beautiful on the inside.

I have learned this about what the culture sees as beauty, it changes quicker than the weather and many times, it is like dark storm clouds that give no rain to thirsty ground. What the culture tells us about beauty is balderdash!


UPDATED:
Carrie sends a great video to illustrate the distortion of real beauty.

4 comments:

  1. Jimmy-

    Have you seen Dove's Campaign For Real Beauty video? It actually shows how they retouch these pictures. It's a fascinating video.

    http://www.campaignforrealbeauty.com/flat4.asp?id=6909

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  2. If my link doesn't work, go to the website: www.campaignforrealbeauty.com
    and look for the "evolution" video.

    Carrie

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  3. Thanks Jimmy~~ I felt just a tad more beautiful reading this~~~

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  4. Lea,

    Your laugh alone places you in the elite of those who have beauty.

    ReplyDelete