Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rant: On Beauty

Ok... this has been percolating in my head for a bit - largely as a potential answer to a question never asked - and it's time to execute the primary purpose of this blog and info dump it so I can stop playing around with it and move on.

Does Canada have the most beautiful women in the world?

Well, here's a great chance to kiss some ass but that's not really my thing. Sooooo, instead here comes a whole lot of theoretical rationalization...

The first big gotcha here is that, when it comes right down to it, unless you eliminate everything down to Native Canadians there is no such thing as a "Canadian woman"*. Unlike most of the old countries, we're a nation whose primary population base is entirely immigrant in origin; even if you have to go back a few hundred years with some of the older families. Therefore, if someone were to ask: "Are Canadian women more beautiful than <insert country here> women?", it's really easy to cheat and say: "Canadian-<ICH> Women are the hottest ;)", and carry on because the list of countries of the world not represented here is simply not all that exclusive at this point. So, we've got variety, sure, but does that equate with greater beauty? Not really. For most folks, that's just freedom of choice.

This variety also runs into the second gotcha which is this: beauty is both subjective and arguably a constant. It's very rare that someone finds everyone attractive without requiring penicillin for their late stage Syphilis infection. Instead, we all have our personal likes and dislikes and they don't appear constantly across the board. So, the number of people we find cute/hot/etc stays relatively static regardless because the features we like aren't available in every representative of the opposite sex. To a certain extent, you can see this in a beauty pageant lineup - especially on the international level - because you get the opinion of what's "beautiful" from a country or world-wide series of selectors and the features that stand out don't end up being all that common save two. We'll deal with those in sec, but at the end of the day even variety runs into the wall that is personal taste. This is why those things are total crap shoots in terms of who wins: you're facing the subjective opinion of a random selection of C-List celebrities who lost the most to the house in Vegas and need to pay off Trump somehow :)

Now, lets get back to those two commonalties. First, you'll often see busty contestants at these things; this is entirely down to base sex drive and the reality that the people judging these things need/tend to play to defined norms as to what guys are supposed to "want". That said, it's pretty readily apparent that this isn't necessarily a make/break thing for guys given the number of women who somehow manage to get married/dates without being a 38 DDDD; IIRC, "average" size is 34B.

Secondly, yes these contestants are frequently statuesque but this gets back to modelling expectations and people really need to start accepting the reality that models aren't chosen for their looks; they're chosen for how they make the designer's clothes look and because they're more lifelike than throwing some mannequins on a movator and running them around the stage; somewhat. This is why you end up with Amazonian stick figures prancing around the catwalk - so some perfectionist fabric artiste can get their "nice clean lines" on stage. If they're pretty, bonus. It's also worth noting the other pretty obvious counterpoint that a huge number of performers/actresses are in the 5'1 -> 5'4 range; including some rather large Maxim bait like Christina Aguilera, Alison Brie, and Megan Fox. Hell, to an entire generation Madonna was sex so, obviously, height isn't a universal either.

We could go on spinning around the issue here but I think the subjectivity of the question has been firmly established. As such, it becomes increasingly obvious that any answer I could give on this question would be entirely my own because the opinion of the guy sitting to your left on the subway is going to be completely different. So, I guess the more important questions to be posed are: "Are you really that invested in whether or not I find you attractive?" and, if so and I do: "Are you free Friday night?"

* There's a legitimate argument to be made that Canadian cultural norms (ie: "acceptable" behaviour), define a "Canadian" woman but that would be both a) an entirely other discussion and b) assume that no one elsewhere is capable of/already is operating against their own; especially in those occasions where they're now increasingly more stereotypical than fact.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that Canada has the BEST variety of women (and men!)