The world has always been and will always be ruled by labels. There’s nothing anyone can do about it. Labels are discriminatory : kind to some and harsh to others.
People tend to assume that the media promotes these labels. Well, I disagree. Before the media as we know it was, there were labels and concepts about what type of lifestyle or look was to be admired.
With a little help from google, I learnt a lot about the concept of beauty. Some articles claim that in ancient societies, beautiful women were considered so when they had wide hips and large breasts while men were considered handsome when they were tall and had huge muscle mass. During this time a ‘beautiful body’ was healthy and able to meet vital needs such as hunting for men and child care for women.
According to other articles, the ancient Greek and Egyptian socities’ concepts of beauty are not so far off from the concepts of beauty today. Here is an adaptation from one of the articles I particularly liked:
“Greek philosophers were the first people who asked what makes a person beautiful. Plato, who saw beauty as a result of symmetry and harmony, created the golden proportion in which, among other things, the ideal face width was considered as representing two thirds of its length, and the face must be perfectly symmetrical. Now, after more than 2,000 years, scientists have tested the theory of philosopher and concluded that he was right: we are attracted to symmetry.But the Greeks were not just obsessed with symmetry, but also long blond hair that is associated with youth and fertility.
The Romans borrowed many elements from Greek, especially in culture. Therefore, we find worship of women with long and blond hair. To discolor hair, women in Rome used a mixture of beech wood ash, goat fat, vinegar, pigeon droppings and saffron. In many cases, the use of this solution led to total loss of hair”
Before I continue with the quotations, notice how these “labels” or concepts of beauty are adapted not only by people from different times but different cultures and societies. Here is a more from the article. This second quote presents a different view of beauty.
“In the Middle Ages female beauty has become a more complex in western Europe. In an era when women were seen as predators who are just waiting to win a man to dominate their concerns to fashion were classified as living proof of carnal challenge. Most criticism came from the clerics, who opposed womens habit of wearing jewelry.
“Women, once married, were obliged to conceal their hair so as not to arouse desires in the minds of other men. Only virgins were allowed to wear their hair disheveled. In addition, blond hair was not appreciated, the collective mind considering that hair color refers to fornication. So the blonde women began to blacken their hair color with lye.”
LOL! Guess not much has changed.. we’re still using artificial means to enhance our beauty and fit into the labels. These views on beauty go on and on and have changed throughout the ages. For a full reading of the article (which i confess that i haven’t finished go here: http://www.evoscience.com/3764/concept-women-beauty-centuries/)
Human society is dominated by certain views and standards. Although these views tend to change, there always seems to be a dominant acceptable form.
People are quick to say that the media is to blame for labels on size, lifestyle and so on. This is untrue. The media is a reflection of our culture, what appeals to us. Advertisers do not use ‘big’ girls in their adverts because that is not what we want, like, desire or expect. Everyone is always quick to say “love yourself for who you are”. However, there’s a difference between what people say and what people mean. I’m not criticising anyone for being courteous, don’t get me wrong, i’ll tell anyone and everyone the same thing. It just seems like the world needs to be reevaluated. Check this, a ‘sexy’ girl puts the word out there that the media is full of shit and that people should love themselves for who they are no matter what size they are. But at 5am in the morning, she’s working out everyday so that she doesn’t lose her gorgeous figure. I’m not judging but is it really ok to make that kind of statement when you don’t want to be the other size
which you claimed is beautiful.
I’m not condoning bullying or any of that verbal or physical abuse. But we really need to ask ourselves, is what we say what we really mean?
“Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”. The media isn’t responsible for the creation of the concepts of beauty, we all are. Our lives are dominated by labels. Is it really worth it to speak against these labels if we live our lives trying to fit in with those labels?
This is just me thinking out loud. Love yourself no matter where you fit in the society. I just wonder if these ‘labels’ are worth fighting or blaming anyone for because they’re always going to be there. We can only choose to live our lives based on what we consider important. Be happy and if you are not happy, do what makes you happy.
P.S. Forgive me that this is mostly about women. It’s what I can relate too but make no mistake that men are also given labels.
Click if you need a little help: http://iamw0manhearmer0ar.wordpress.com/category/eating-disorders/
Credits to the owners of the pictures 🙂