20100219

Photoshopped Boys

I saw this poster on the train one morning & a friend of mine told me how she would like to have legs like those, even if just for one day. I was shocked that anyone would find these bones attractive, especially a woman. They aren't feminine at all, there are no muscles or curves or shape. If I came across a woman in real life with legs like that I would buy her a Big Mac, or 3. Some men have also been conditioned to think these unnaturally skinny women are attractive. It doesn't make sense because they still love big breasts, which you don't find on women who are starving to death.

This bizarre "skinny woman as the ideal" comes from the fashion industry. Skinny fashion models look like young men. Just look at that poster, those legs belong to a young boy. That's right, fashion models are skinny because gay men run the fashion industry & they find men attractive. This is not my personal theory, nor is it new, nor is it homophobic. Men don't actually prefer small boyish features on a woman, they're just concerned with the unattainability of the model. They don't even realize those models look like young boys. It's sad because this focus on skinny bodies also pushes girls to want to be skinny. I've cringed watching anorexic & bulimic women on intervention doing things they learned on a pro-ana site.

The poster girl is totally fake. Some people forget that every single image on posters & magazines is photo shopped. Watch this video with your own eyes:

Europe is considering disclaimers on photoshops. I don't need disclaimers because I can tell by the pixels and from having seen quite a few 'shops in my time. There are a lot of bad ones & some are so obvious that they make the news. Luckily some models don't like being photoshopped.

Real women don't look like that poster, they aren't that skinny. Women shouldn't look like boys, they should look like women, like Joan from Mad Men. Women genetically have wider hips & are designed to have fat around certain parts, it should be celebrated. Women should be curvy, like Spider-Woman. That's a real woman. Well, except that she's a drawing, but real women don't look like that right?

Wrong!

5 Comments:

Anonymous Lena said...

That's a really great video, very informative. That explains why she looks like she has alien eyes - they're so big.

1:03 AM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

thank you for that post! Totally agree with you. Photoshopping, but also the mere existence of extremely thin (and starving) models and actresses are perverting our expectations and all it does is cause grief for those women who do not meet these unrealistic expectations. And it's so unnecessary.

I would like to add 2 points to the discussion:

When you do make a generalized statement about what men prefer or don't prefer, you're neglecting that there is huge individual variation in what body type a certain man is attracted to (some men like obese women) and that there is also a cultural & historical aspect to this. It's no secret that men with African, Central American, and South American roots on average prefer women with more meat on their bones than men from Europe or certain parts of Asia. If you look at the history of these regions, it is clear where this is coming from (just think of corsets).

What would be interesting to study is how much the influence of the media can erase this ethnic difference in body type preference. Or, put another way, how much of a man's preference is "nature versus nurture"? Even men living in NYC are not necessarily subjected to the same type of media. If you check out the magazines aimed at African-American males, you will see completely different body types.

But for men who already have a preference for thin women, those super-thin women in the media probably influence them to prefer even thinner women and distort their idea of what can be achieved for a normal female on a normal diet and regular work schedule.

Which brings me to a phenomenon known to biological behaviorists as "supernatural stimuli". If you exaggerate a certain stimulus to unnatural proportions, you can get a elicit a much stronger response then you get from the normal stimulus. For example, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernormal_Stimuli

1:44 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

From report about a study of online daters: "Men in the study showed strong preference for women with a body mass index of 18 or 19 - "which is slightly on the anorexic side," Ariely said. (A 5-foot-6-inch woman would need to weigh about 115 to fit that profile, according to the National Institutes of Health's online body-mass index calculator)." So, unfortunately it seems that you are incorrect if you state that men do not want women with boyish features. Most men prefer anorexic...

8:00 PM  
Blogger zodak said...

I'm sorry but you can never trust the validity of any poll, study or survey. The sample is never truly random due to it's opt-in nature. Your study is not only limited to online daters but online daters who choose to answer a poll. It isn't representative of the entire population. It is similar to how tv ratings are terribly innaccurate. the tv show family guy was cancelled because of poor ratings, but the dvd sales were so astronomical that the network realized they could use those numbers with advertisers instead of nielsen ratings.

As for body types that men find attractive? Consider how much money it costs to publish & distribute a full color magazine & then consider that magazines such as "Over 40" & "Voluptuous" & "Juggs" & "Score" are able to so solely on magazine sales without the large amount of advertisements that magazines like cosmopolitan & vogue have. because most men don't prefer anorexic women.

8:22 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

I don't know if the men opted to participate or if they just used the data of who contacted who on the site. In any case, of course it is not representative of the entire population. The dating sites that I'm on have mostly white folks on them, so that's probably the majority in that poll. So I still think the majority of white men like thin women. But that's okay, as long as there are some guys left who like curvy women. If everyone liked the same thing, that would be pretty bad, wouldn't it?

10:42 PM  

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