Everybody's Got One
A blog. An opinion. An elimination orifice. A dream. An agenda. A past. A hidden talent. A conceptual filter. A cross. A charism (often the same). A task. A wound. A destiny. A lost love. A blind spot. A bad habit. A secret. A passion. A soul ... okay, maybe not everybody ...
Sunday, June 09, 2002

 

There's been a good deal of bloggery on string bikinis and sexual attractiveness and pornography and such lately - Den Beste started it, I think - and if you've followed it you know and if you haven't you can do so, if you wish. I'll wait.

One thing that didn't come up anywhere I looked was that standards of attractiveness change historically as well as over the course of an individual's life. For most of human history, pretty has meant healthy, an easy shorthand for males looking for good potential mothers - just like strong/rich means good provider to females. What does it say that, today, attractiveness tends to be increasingly unhealthy? (And not just women: yes, improbably slim, implausibly top-heavy models and their media-victim wannabes are thin enough to be at continuing risk of disrupting their menstrual cycles, but those hard-muscled men with single-digit body fat and the boys who take steroids to be like them are screwing with their hormonal and metabolic equilibrium, too.) Two explanatory hypotheses occur to me: that the culture - and/or the elites who try to set its tastes and fashions - have grown fundamentally decadent, or that this is the first visible fruit of technology's prying apart sexuality and reproduction.
I tend to think that both are true - and at least partially valid as explanations. Certainly the timing - Twiggy was mid-60's, right? - supports either or both. Are these causes, correlations, consequences of some other effect? Ruminations to follow.

posted by Kelly | 8:01 PM link
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