I was reading one of the lingerie trade magazines on Sunday morning and saw page after page of skinny, boney women in lingerie. This particular publication isn’t always that bad, and to be fair, more and more companies are heading in the direction of “real” women. However this issue was extreme. There was one model that was bone-thin with almost nothing between her skin and her skeleton. The angles of her body were almost freakish as she would thrust out a hip or turn her body at a certain angle. I sat back and thought of all the Rubens paintings and how being round and healthy was considered attractive in sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and how people today, especially in the fashion world, would disagree. They might look at a Ruben and wonder how those voluptuous figures were ever considered attractive or desirable.
I wondered if our kids or grandkids would look back at our old magazines years from now and see the models with protruding hip bones and rib cages and hollow cheeks and be amazed by what we thought was “sexy”. Throughout history the feminine ideal was curvy, fleshy and plump. Now we’re into this skinny = sexy phase, with no room to appreciate the incredibly rich and vast array of differences. Different body types, different shapes, different hair and skins colors.
Whether we like to admit it or not, the media still influences trends and tells us what is “in” and “attractive”. As I was trying to step back and look at these pictures from a totally objective stand point (i.e. an alien landing on Earth and being shown a series of photographs, or someone from the past time-traveling into the future) I wondered, would they pick out these skinny, angular, women as the most attractive? Or would they pick the ones who were rounder and curvier? Of course in my opinion, the fuller figures that are luscious, sensual and soft and feminine would be the obvious choice. But then, it’s hard for me to be objective. I love hips and curves!