"she must exercise to keep up her level of attractiveness"

(TL:DR (too long didn't read) aka this post could be summed up by: people are dicks, inner confidence is awesome, i can't wait for my letterpress class, and dove blue fig & orange blossom deoderant SMELLS AMAZING.)


"she must exercise to keep up her level of attractiveness"

someone had that on their okcupid profile recently. a small part of me wanted to write to him "you want her to exercise to keep up YOUR level of attractiveness, not hers." but internet feuds are stupid. okcupid is generally pretty stupid. i didn't read further than that sentence.

it's characteristic of online dating that people mostly look at superficial qualities over substance; hell, it's like that in the normal, real life world too. i do it. it's easy to do, and aren't our brains programmed to sort and label based on what we see first? yes. i mean, probably. meghan (and like, everyone) knows more about this than i do.

i don't know if i can properly explain how simultaneously rage-y and disappointed this sentence makes me. it's one thing to like a certain type of body, but it's quite another to expect that the *woman* only consider herself objectively attractive with a certain type of body. this article comes pretty close, and is just damn good in general.

is exercise great for you, and can give you a sense of accomplishment, and keep you healthy and strong and happy and allows you to achieve goals and feel confident? YES. does it dictate how attractive you are? NO. while i'll give him that i do think inner confidence contributes to attraction, attractiveness is one of the most subjective things in the world. because if you're attractive to one person you're inevitably unattractive to another. it's a mixed bag, so fuck that noise - find yourself attractive, that's who matters.


i've been thinking a lot about hobbies lately, since i've signed up for a letterpress class in july. MAKING MY OWN STATIONERY, WHAT THE WHAT!? i'm so excited i can't even tell you.

sometimes i also think about starting some sort of body image SOMETHING for kids, and hell, for adults too. that article i linked to above, coupled with reading things like that okcupid profile sentence above, really makes me want to pursue it. i wish i had female figures when i was younger telling me these things. or even for adults too...like dove beauty campaigns but not actually selling soap* and also maybe not implying that real beauty is still dependent on looks.

putting image (related: weight) first and foremost is something that i've been struggling with since i was about 10 from all sorts of sources, some you'd expect and some i still am rather bothered by...and my reaction to those vulnerabilities isn't always the right one, but i wish i had a way of channeling it. i wish i had a way of explaining it that makes sense, even. people write articles, give talks, launch campaigns, but with a single "well, that's just the way we are"  it's so easily dismissed. i feel defeated even before i start.

i don't know where i'm going with this. my thoughts are unfinished. it's amazing when you see and hear people that shout the way you want to think, the way you think everyone should feel about themselves and each other, and then it's frustrating for all of it to be so easily knocked down.

for now i'll leave you with this: http://fuckyeahbodyimage.tumblr.com/


 *i do use dove deoderant sometimes. ARE MY ARMPITS BEAUTIFUL NOW?! god i hope so. i'm worthless if they aren't.


meghan said...

While there is a quantifiable, measurable standard of attractiveness (e.g., a majority prefer symmetrical faces), you are right in that there are naturally going to be variations in preference. And yes, we automatically categorize others into groups to make our world easier to process. Could attractiveness be one of those dimensions? Absolutely. Does that make this guy any less repugnant? Hell no. At least he put it all there, so you (and most women, I hope) know to avoid him.

I'm a bit ambivalent about the Dove Beauty Campaign. On the one hand, YES. On the other, as you pointed out, real beauty should be independent of looks. In their last campaign, the women - even though they had a poor self-image - were objectively, by most standards, considered attractive. It was a subtle, probably unintentional, message of "Look! Attractive women are just as insecure as you!" Good intentions, mediocre execution?

That being said, I enjoy their cucumber and green tea scent. Refreshing.

Elyse Ash said...

YES. I love the idea of starting little workshops for adolescent girls about body image.

Also I am so deeply jealous of your letterpress class, I'm actually considering murdering you and then trying to masquerade as you to attend. Is that ok? <3

Love you! You're beautiful. That's all.