Sunday, August 17, 2014

Beauty: Fragility versus Strength

So a while ago I wrote this post, about a single standard of feminine beauty.

I also wrote a post on a sewing forum that I may migrate over here, about a discussion on yet another forum in which a man expressed how appealing he found to see a woman clopping around in high heels, because she looked so vulnerable.  And I read a post about body image on The Beheld, in which the line that struck me most was about the men who kept complimenting the writer for being "tiny".

All if which made me realize that our current feminine beauty ideal seems to be about delicacy, fragility, vulnerability, tininess--anything but strength.

And so when I recently caught a video clip of the Orphan Black character Alison Hendrix doing a workout routine, I was struck with her appearance of strength and power, and how rare it is, compared to the countless images of the fragile.


  1. Hmm, I didn't give it much thought, I just realized I feel bigger and stronger than most women around me. But I value that in myself and others.
    But seeing what men around me prefer, I'd say you nailed it.

  2. It's men's loss if they go for the pint-sized Kylie Minogues all the time. Good things come in packages of all sizes!

  3. Yo, Ines! Yep; female attractiveness seems to be more and more about vulnerability. I realize that when I see old movies, the women tend to be substantial, just substantial in a very different shape. Not so much any more.

    Not that Alison's actress isn't really thin, maybe thin enough to still make me worry about body image stuff, but she's a strong, powerful kind of thin.

  4. Yo, Vanessa! Yep yep. I'm even more alarmed when women, such as some of the women on the sewing forums where I hang out, assume that a modern runway model's figure is "healthy". Men have the partial excuse of occupying a different kind of body, but women?