Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Truth About Beauty.

The woman in the photo isn’t wearing any make-up, or at least not a lot of it, and she wears no jewelry.  She is far too skinny and she doesn’t look like she’s eaten well lately or for that matter, slept in a couple of days. Last year, even though she was out of work with an injury for a few months she made over eighty million dollars in the United States alone.

I can be made to look like a super model in a photo if someone who knows how to run a computer works on it long enough.  Here is an average looking woman who is magically transformed into someone who she wouldn’t know if they passed on the street.

Most of the people you see in movies and on television you really wouldn’t know them in person. The women in particular are made out to be images not real women.  The computers are programmed to produce images that we have been programmed to accept as beautiful.  The truly odd thing about the beauty thing is not that we continue to expect it from ordinary women who will never be able to achieve the illusion the media offers, but now we’re slowly creeping towards setting those same goals for men as well. Haven’t you seen the commercial where the man is in a rocking chair because he has grey hair yet as soon as he colors his hair he’s instantly mobbed by a model? The object men are supposed to desire is not something obtainable without a computer and now we men are buying into the same game we’ve forced women to play.

Has this produced a nation of beautiful people?

This is a video by a woman named Cameron Russell. She’s a very wealthy woman, who at the age of twenty-five, is nearly spent at her chosen profession. She’s burned out and she’s had it with the way things are, even as they continue to go her way.

Now we have skin cream for me. There is a perfume marketed towards young men that claims beautiful women, who do not really exist, will fall out of the sky if they use it. There are High Schools who have blocked the use of this stuff in school, not because of the damage to their roofs or ceilings due to dropping beauties but simply because the guys think it is not working they aren’t wearing enough of it.

So where will this all lead us?

Along with great skin and beautiful hair there is also the perception that only the young are desirable. Those of us who are not too skinny, are imperfect, and who lack the genetics or the computer skills to have high cheek bones, are simply nonentities. There are even some companies who have written us “others” off and wouldn’t want us wearing their products. They’ve done what they can and we are simply…well, now what they or anyone else are looking for, if you believe their CEO.

When Adele broke into the music scene in a big way there were those who said she was too big. “Fat” was a word that was tossed around even as she was scooping up awards usually handed out to made up women who look like heroin addicts and who synch their way through their shows.

So what does it say when a woman who makes a living doing this poses naturally? She has cashed in on the fame and fortune of her showmanship and her ability to change costumes faster than us uglies can Google her real name. But she seems to be, like Russell, sick to death of what it’s doing to her and to everyone else.

I may be overly optimistic. I am not known for it.

Oddly, the world I live in gets more real the less attention I pay to mainstream media. The same computer systems that stream photos of invented people also stream the music of the unknown and unheralded. The same social media system that allows for the superficial to become supreme also allows me to meet people whose passions; writing, dog rescue, and healthy living.

I suspect things will not get better before they get worse, but at the same time, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. When a less than beautiful girl was nominated for High School Homecoming Queen,  the students took it and ran with it, and elected her, not because they thought he was beautiful, but because they were sick to death of all the meanness.

And so this ends as it begins; with the photo of an average girl who somehow became something much different. The first became popular because of her looks and ability to sell herself as something she was not. The second became famous, at least for a little while, because as a culture, we might be waking up a bit.

Take Care,