When you go to a museum and look at a Picasso, do you think, “If I just took a few art classes, I could totally do that?” I’m pretty confident that a couple of voice lessons aren’t the only thing separating me and Patti Lupone. And as much as Rocco likes to play with balls, it’d take more than a few extra hours a week on the field to match the skills of Jorge Posada.
So why do we look at the model’s in magazines and think, “If I just had a little more will power, I could rock that sheer macrame bikini?”
I’ve been thinking about this compulsively for days now. I blame Alex over at Late Enough. Because she wrote this absolutely brilliant piece that made my brain explode, re-coagulate, then explode again.
Peep some of Alex’s brilliance:
What I don’t believe is that the problem lies with the typical model body frame being found in only 2% of the American population. It’s the same percentage of want-to-be published writers actually getting published. I don’t think the issue is that the typical woman weighs 23 pounds more and is 6 inches shorter than the typical model. The root of our struggle is that we believe the typical model is the typical woman. Or could be with just a little more willpower.
Alex is on to something, right? That whole, mythical there’s one perfect body type thing? (Said the girl who’s trying to wrap her brain around her body slowly expanding like goblin Chet in Weird Science.)
Now watch while I dazzle you with my logic. We all agree that athletes have great bodies and are in peak physical condition, right? And Olympians are the greatest of athletes, right? Thusly (said with a lisp because it’s always better pronounced “thuthlee”), an Olympian must have THE most perfect body, right?
But be damned if there’s only ONE type. Check these pictures from an article my sister-in-law sent me:
Are jewelers more often near sighted than other professions so they can focus on intricate details? Are musicians ear drums are shaped differently? It sure does seem like a body looks different based on it’s purpose. IS different based on it’s purpose.
I’ll let Alex close this out, because really she’s the inspiration for this post. And she broke my brain past the point of it being able to form any more coherent sentences.
I hope that, someday, we will not think that an unattainable beauty is just a product or diet away from the women that we are. I hope that we won’t believe that the most beautiful woman in the room is also the most terrible. Or the most lucky. I hope that we able to just put her looks on par with the woman next to her who can sing or dance or play guitar or was born into a wealthy family. A stroke of genetics and a good teacher. Or investor. Or hairstylist.
I don’t want another person’s beauty to be hidden from magazines so I can feel better about myself. Or find something else to lament.
I want to notice her beauty.
And move on.