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What should we expect?

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After a conversation about expectations of men and women, brought about by the passing around of a black and white (see ‘arty’) video of a naked model posing and pouting, I had this going round my head.

If you’re annoyed about the expectations put upon men, fight against that. Don’t fight against women and don’t use it as an excuse to then expect from women, or to objectify them.

When a woman’s perfect man is strong, muscly and toned with a chiseled jaw, blue eyes and thick hair. A man who is in touch with his emotions but also stoic and supportive, tall and graceful. A man who is rich and willing to pay for dinner, who loves children and would be a great Dad, who is constantly ready for mind-blowing sex but who won’t mind cuddling on the couch. Do you think those are all her own meditated choices? Or maybe it is to do with the images of men she has seen since she was a young girl; the ‘teen’ magazines then the women’s magazines, the adverts, the movies, the TV shows, the footballers, the boy bands.

And when you ogle a 19 year old with large, pert breasts, with pouting lips and slim, long legs, a thin waist and hips, who looks ready for mind-blowing sex, do you think it’s because she is your personal type?  Or is it because of all the images you see of women portrayed in society as a body, a shell, a hanger for clothes, a canvas for make-up, a doll for posing; in the porn, the movies, the TV shows, the music videos, the adverts, the lads’ mags, the page 3.

Fantasising over a piece of a body. The beautiful, proportional, harmonious body. Whose definition of beauty? Who’s defined the proportions?

You argue that it isn’t necessarily a skinny body. “Marilyn Monroe had a booty, but it was in proportion.” To what? Yes, I’ll agree, her bum isn’t the size of France. Yes, she is human shaped. In proportion. But what happened to the person inside the body? Do you even care, when her sexy legacy lived on, what became of the living, feeling, human being inside that ‘perfect fantasy’ of a body?

We are fed these images and expectations often by people who want to make us feel like we’re not quite good enough so we’ll buy what they’re selling in order to make us flawless. More bronzed. Slimmer. Less hairy. Less bald. Less smelly. To give us whiter teeth. Softer skin. Fewer wrinkles. Bigger boobs. Smaller thighs. Fuller lips. A bigger penis. Smaller labia.

Where will this mindless searching for ‘perfect body’ stop? And what does it leave behind inside?

Related links:

No More Page 3, petition to the editor of The Sun to remove the naked women from the newspaper.

A recent Woman’s Hour episode featuring a discussion on the increase of labiaplasty.

Lose the Lads’ Mags

Wow spoken word poetry by Hollie McNish.


One response »

  1. Pingback: Don Jon: What do porn and rom-coms have in common? | spell it out loud

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