Thoughts about body image in today's society

I’d like to present a thought I had. Last night I was watching TV and saw that Victoria’s Secret commercial, with their new model I keep seeing who literally looks like she is 15. In fact, I heard once that she really is that young. Eek.

But this got me to thinking. I wonder sometimes if today the super skinny and super young look that girls are supposed to go for isn’t a kind of appeal to a developing perversion in men, society, and the way we look at women.

It used to be that what was attractive in a woman were the features that showed she could be fertile, which appeals to an evolutionary trait in men seeking to carry on the species. Instead, what society says is attractive are features - like looking young and really really skinny - that aren’t actually conducive to healthy motherhood.

Nowadays, I wonder if evolution has been hijacked in a sense, because the model for what women should look like today is not the one given to us by our genes, by biology, or by the natural desire for the propogation of the species. It seems that what men want (the typical, egocentric jerks who probably comprise 75% of all men in our society) is unmitigated satisfaction, and not to be bothered by the natural consequences of sex, a pregnancy. Modern women also often want their sex lives to be about pleasure - not about getting pregnant. On a subconsious level, this would mean that men would find relative infertility more desirable - hence looking for girls who are way too skinny. Signs of physical immaturity, and NOT being fertile, is what is most appealling nowadays. In our collective unconscious today, its not the “ideal” for women to be mothers, but for them to be objects for satisfaction without consequence.

Of course this is my interpretation. People talk about body image all the time, and how unhealthy is this bizarre standard for women, physically and psychologically. But I always wonder not just about how bad it is, how unhealthy it is, and how we can combat it - though these are important questions - but also, why is it? Where does this standard come from in the first place ? The media pushes it, but why do they even do that? They wouldn’t push it if people didn’t buy into it. It would be one thing if the ideal female form purported by society were one of some kind of human perfection. But really its not. The male ideal of having no extra body fat and lean, rippling muscles, is, while unattainable for most, at least in line with what our evolutionary role would have been, and conducive to long term physical health - barring steroid use or anything. What I find so weird about our expectation for women is that the superskinny ideal isn’t even healthy. It’s unnatural. It goes against our evolutionary instincts. From a biological perspective, girls like Paris Hilton are not desirable mates.

My thought is that the image is ultimately wrought by the sexual revolution, which decided that sex isn’t about a marriage bond or about children - its about physical pleasure without commitment or consequences. This reminds me of Freud, that atheist who I think got pretty much everything wrong except maybe this point - when he said the severing of the sexual act from the potential for procreation is at the root of all sexual perversion. I guess its no surprise that this perversion led to such mental sickness of today’s world, and the disastrous effects it is having on women, especially young women, and their health.

So long way round, there’s my thought: The superskinny ideal came about when sex stopped being about parenthood. Only in part, of course; culture changes rarely have just one cause. But what do you think? Or is this way off?

I have BDD, and that goes beyond weight :frowning: I look in the mirror and i see a monster.

Do you mind if I ask what a BDD is?

Interesting thoughts. I was having a similar reaction to a copy of *Esquire *that fell into my hands the other day. Man! Those models ALL look like they spend their Saturday nights strutting around on the West Side south of 14th Street.

Body dysmorphic disorder.

The person has a distorted view of the reality of something about themselves, such as a perceived flaw in their appearance, their weight, etc. Not a pleasant thing to live with. St. Dymphna, pray for them!

Body dysmorphic disorder. It’s a severe crippling mental disorder akin to OCD.

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