Monday, November 21, 2011

The Beauty Construct, Deconstructed

Holler!

This is an oft-discussed subject, so I’m not going to delve too deeply into it, but I would like to briefly write about the beauty construct presented to us by the media. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been really self-conscious, and with my life currently feeling like a mess, that insecurity is boiling over. I love my glam POP gals & guys, but I’m just tired of the same body image being repeatedly thrown around. The sad part is that it’s our fault, because this is a capitalist society. We, as consumers, empower and enforce a cycle of six pack abs after six pack abs. If we didn’t want it, we wouldn’t buy it, or maybe we just haven't known any better. That goes for me, too. I love Rihanna, and I love how she looks, the skinny binny that she is, but that’s part of the point. Just because I want to diversify the beauty ideal, doesn’t mean I want to completely throw it away. I simply want to add more to the equation. Rihanna is beautiful, but so is Adele, and I don’t think the "Rolling In The Deep" singer would look better skinnier - her full figure suits her and enhances her beauty. Adele is absolutely radiant, and I wish we were presented with more examples of such beauty. Robyn, who I’m planning to write an entry about, is an example of beauty in the form of androgyny. I think her short hair and fun, playful clothing makes her adorable and gorgeous. It's the best look for her. That’s why I was upset after watching her "Indestructible" video. While her multi-colored water suit is to-die-for, the rest of the viddy does not live up to girlfriend’s creative open-mindedness. It's filled with people having sex with each other, which is fantastic (depending on the age of the video’s intended audience), but all of those actors look like models. There's no diversity among their body types. I don’t want Robyn to get rid of them, but I would like her to bring more variety into the mix. It would be nice to see some people who are hairy, who are full figured, and who have lots of freckles. The ideal would be to mix the partners in the video – a skinny with a full figure, a non-freckle with a freckle, a baldy with a full head of hair. We all deserve to feel sexy, beautiful, and loved. Therefore, we all deserve to be presented with videos that make each and every one of us feel like we ARE sexy, beautiful, and lovable.

Some of you may think I wouldn’t care if I fit the ideal, and you’re probably right. If I wasn’t hairy everywhere on my body, including all over my back, had a six pack, and didn’t have a receding hair line, maybe I would enforce the ideal and make fun of those who didn’t fit it (the insecure a$$ that I can be), but the fact is I don’t (and I can’t afford the operations in order to). Neither does most of the world’s population, for that matter, so why don’t we evolve our purchasing patterns in order to see more representations of ourselves in music, film, television, and fashion? Why do we keep buying into this ideal and pushing it forward, in turn escalating our insecurities and self-image issues? Doesn’t this seem particularly unhealthy? Maybe it’s time we stop buying that Vogue or People Magazine on the shelf, as hard as it may be to resist, until those publications redefine beauty by throwing in some diversity. In a capitalist society, the most effective form of protest is boycott, because companies will only change if they think that doing so will make them more $$. And maybe, when we’re upset with a POP star we love for a video that makes us self-conscious, we should tweet them about it, so that’s what I’ll do for now – take it day by day, moment to moment. 

Unapologetically,

Gregory

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