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Whose Ideal Was This, Anyway?

Heather McDougal talked to 5th and 6th graders about how the ideal body image of women has changed over time, from the corsets of 100 years ago to the Photoshopped images of today. And the modern altered bodies and altered images are the hardest ideal to even consider living up to. As an example, contrast the image of Usula Andress in the 1962 movie Dr. No with one of Halle Berry in the 2002 movie Die Another Day.

The thing that disturbs me most about these two images is how our daughters must feel about themselves when they see them. The girls in 1962, seeing Ursula rising from the waves in Dr. No, knew that what they were seeing was a real woman, something they could aspire to (if that was what they wanted). Seeing Halle Barry, above, holds no such comforts, particularly when digital film has so much option for smoothing out those flaws. Such perfection is absolutely outside the realm of anyone who is honest with themselves. They might as well throw themselves against a brick wall, because you can’t live, and breathe, and be that perfect. It’s impossible, and our daughters know it.

When she presented the changing ideal image of men, she found fewer changes over time, but a difference between what men and what women consider ideal. Read the rest at Cabinet of Wonders. Link

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Date
July 24th, 2011

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Stranger to the World

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