As I understand things — and it’s no secret that my fashionista credentials are barely above size zero — you’re not supposed to notice the model, only what she’s wearing. So this perplexes me somewhat:
I recently participated in a forum discussion about beauty. In that discussion, it became apparent that some participants — a small subset, admittedly — felt that runway models were the ultimate definition of feminine beauty. Not one possible definition — the definition.
This makes sense only if the prettiest girl in your world looks like a twelve-year-old boy. Now there’s nothing in the world wrong with looking like a twelve-year-old boy — I did, back when I was a high-school sophomore — but if your tastes in women run in this direction, I suggest there’s a possibility that you’ve overlooked something somewhere.
Of course, it may be something simpler than that:
I suspect that these men might have been dreaming about the actresses who depict models in movies, rather than the actual models. They also seemed reluctant to accept the idea that those women may not look, when they step out the front door to get the paper in the morning, precisely the same way that they look in movies and magazine covers.
Or, as Cindy Crawford once said: “Even I don’t wake up looking like Cindy Crawford.”
This being March, which comes right after February, which means the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue — let’s face it, February’s not much use for anything else — some of these chaps may have just recently bought into the illusion that the girls just plop down on the beach and shutters are squeezed. (After all, they’re not reading the articles; they’re just looking at the pictures.)
But this is more worrisome:
What struck me was the idea that there is a single definition of feminine beauty, and any other beauty is not merely different, but inferior. That women who don’t strive for this particular brand of beauty are failing to make the most of themselves and resigning themselves to a miserable man-free existence, and that men who don’t want this specific kind of beauty in a woman, who want something else, are deluding themselves, or “settling”, or so weird that they don’t count statistically.
Or worse, betas who have no hope of corralling the most desirable women, according to the traditional instruction of game.
I, of course, have long since been consigned to one of the lower-down Greek letters. And my own definition of beauty is, I suppose, fairly close to standard, though it is also legendarily flexible. And by now I think I’m past all those biological imperatives: the genes have been passed on, fulfilling whatever duty was required of me.
Besides, I am possessed of a tiny sliver of discretion: should A look better than B, it profits me nothing to mention it to A. Or, for that matter, to B.