You’ve probably seen this photo array posted on Tumblr or Facebook in the last month or so with some comment like “hell yeah!” I saw it posted by both men and women, with everyone extolling the curvier, fleshier virtues of the starlets from the 50s (even though it should be pointed out that those women would still be slimmer than the average American woman of today. Fleshy and curvy is always extremely relative).
someone my friend MacLoserboy created and posted a male version, and although it clearly fell into the what about the menz? category, I found it eye-opening.
The beauty standard for female stars actually changed from prizing the traditionally feminine look of soft round breasts and bottoms to prizing, well, the opposite (unless, like Heidi Montag in the upper left corner, you have surgery to give you the big, round breasts despite excessive weight loss). Male stars, however, went from more boyish, slender bodies to ripped, super-muscular ones that are practically a caricature of traditional masculinity.
Men are supposed to look more hyper-masculine but women aren’t really looking more hyper-feminine. Does this strike anyone else as odd?
I’ve always said that I thought Western society’s sick glorification of thinness in women stems partially from a misogynist desire to keep women weak and frail and childlike, even as we become more socially and economically powerful than women of Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor’s generation. Maybe men are supposed to look more macho than ever before to counter the female empowerment created by women’s lib?
Did anyone else see these photos? If so, what did you think? How did people in your internet social circles respond to them?