A Question of Beauty

Just what is physical beauty? Ask 100 people this question and you’ll get 100 different answers. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder and this is one of the few oft quoted sayings that I truly believe to be true. Physical beauty follows trends in a similar way that clothing follows trends, although the physical beauty trends tend to last a lot longer than the clothing fashion trends do. In the past, to be thought of as beautiful, one had to be big. Thin women were thought of as symbolising an under nourished upbringing which meant they had no money. If you could afford to eat enough to be big, you were a good catch. In the same way at one time it was thought most unattractive to have a tanned complexion because it symbolised that you had probably spent a long time labouring in the fields, another sign of a lowly status in life. If you were pale, it showed you were rich enough not to have to toil out of doors. Many of the current trends are caused by celebrities and in our longing to be like them, we try to make our bodies look like theirs and so our opinions of what is beautiful, subtly change.
One of the current trends that has been slowly and quietly creeping its way into the top ten, is the issue of race. It is now accepted that it is most desirable to be, or appear to be, of mixed race. Mixed race people are thought of as the most beautiful and I have to admit that there is a sound physical reason for this. Every race has its own particular identity, things you can recognise as being of one race rather than another. They are generalisations of course but for instance the nose shape of the Jewish race, the eye shape of orientals and the nostrils of the black races. All of these and many others act as markers to tell us what race a person belongs to.

When two people from different races produce a child, that offspring will inherit traits from both partners and often the mixture results in a look that could never be achieved from either of the two parent races alone. This results in some stunningly beautiful people. Add to this is the current trend for a tanned complexion and you have the recipe for beauty and any combination of races will do the job, so long as one half is of black origins. Of course it’s not guaranteed to work, there is a famous actor of mixed race who has a twin that looks completely caucasian. I myself am technically mixed but I look completely caucasian. It’s just the luck of the draw.

In order to be accepted as even worthy of consideration, one has to be stick thin nowadays and the more bones poking out, the better. If you can play a tune on your ribcage, you’re streets ahead of anyone with a curvaceous body shape. This obsession with thinness has caused major problems for the younger generation of today, as we’re all well aware but even with this new awareness, we still don’t appear to be any nearer to changing this belief that thin is beautiful.

Height is one area of beauty that there doesn’t appear to be a definite majority viewpoint. Some men like petite women, some like statuesque ones. When asking women about height though, the vast majority of them will say their man should be taller than they are. I cannot imagine ever agreeing to go out with a man who is shorter than I am, it just wouldn’t happen no matter what the reward. I’ve never met a woman who has said that she’d be happy to date a man shorter than herself. I haven’t actually asked men, but I am confident enough to wager that most of them wouldn’t be too happy to date a woman who towers over them. It’s a question of male ego at the end of the day. A taller woman makes them feel less like the ‘king of the castle’.

There are some things that are so basic that they don’t need to be discussed at any length. Hygiene is one such area. No man or woman is attractive if they’re smelly or dirty. Without going into detail, I will just say that I did once know a woman who admitted that her husband found her most attractive if she didn’t wash too often! Some races have their own very unique traditions of beauty. Some pacific islanders cover their bodies in tattoos and scars and these are signs of status as well as beauty.

Of course 99% of all slaves to beauty are women and we put ourselves through all sorts of hell in the pursuit of acceptance and the affections of our chosen man. We spend our lives on permanent diets trying to achieve that stick thin quality that most men want these days. We survive on carrot sticks and cucumber slices in the hope that that hot guy in the office will ask us out on a date. When we find he’s already in a relationship with a woman who would make a bamboo cane look obese, we console ourselves with a family bag of Maltesers and a lardy cake. The next morning we feel guilty so out come the carrot sticks and cucumber slices again and the whole sorry cycle starts over. This weight/size issue is a strange one because I’ve met many men who have told me that they like curves on a woman and yet we all know it’s the bean sticks that men look at with approval. There are subtle racial differences to the weight/size preferences too. Many black and hispanic men like women with obvious hourglass figures – large breasts, tiny waists and round backsides. Just the sort of figure us caucasians find it hardest to achieve without surgery.

Women don’t seem to be as pernickety about weight/size as the men are. We women are happy to take a man with a bit of extra weight around the middle without it meaning we think any less of him. But then women are not as visually led as men are. A man sees you before he experiences you and his judgement of you will be formulated by what he’s seeing. A woman on the hand, experiences you without looking too closely first. Her judgement of you will be based on your character and behaviour first and looks second. If a man looks at you and likes what he sees, he will then decide whether to get to know you further or not. If he doesn’t like what he see’s then he will not bother to even ask himself whether he wants to get to know you better. That’s not a criticism, it’s just the way men are made.

Over the years I’ve done so much to try to make myself more acceptable physically. As with most women, I’ve dyed my hair, grown my hair, cut my hair, dieted, worn make up and clothing designed to accentuate my good points (whatever they are) and hide the bad (a bin bag would work here). Over the years my hair has been every colour, style and length imaginable and I’ve been fat and moderately slim and all places in between. All of the things that are wrong with me though, are those that cannot be changed. My racial look for instance. As I said before I’m technically mixed race but you’d never know by looking at me. I look caucasian and I’ve missed out on that lovely golden skinned, almond eyed look that would take me straight to the top of the looks chart. I don’t tan easily either and over the years I’ve spend many weeks in the agony of sunburn, only to suffer the itching of peeling skin for weeks afterwards and then find I’m just as white underneath it all as I was before.

Yes I can diet, and I am doing. I’ve lost a stone so far and very proud of my achievement. I still have 3 stone to go until I weigh what I regard as an ideal weight for my height. I’ve long since given up with my hair and now keep it in a short crop in it’s natural brunette. I’m not yet going grey but my hair is naturally very fine so all of the styles we women want, are out of my league. If I had money, and lots of it, I could achieve much more of the look I desire. I’m one of those women who is all for cosmetic surgery. But only if it’s done for yourself, rather than for someone else. I want to look a certain way because I want to look into the mirror and like what I see. I want to find myself attractive. If I won the lotto, I’d have loads of surgery.

I’m still hoping that one day fashion will dictate that the most beautiful women are pale, large around the middle, have over large round eyes and prominent chins and short fine hair. At the same time I still long to find my ideal man who is at least 5 feet 10, mixed race, very muscular and looks like he’s been carved out of a shithouse wall. The problem is of course that a man like that could have his pick of women and he wouldn’t look twice at me.

Oh well, guess I’d better get used to being an old maid.

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One comment

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