n pl -ties
1. the combination of all the qualities of a person or thing that delight the senses and please the mind
2. a very attractive and well-formed girl or woman
3. Informal an outstanding example of its kind 'the horse is a beauty'
It makes no reference to the cultural reference points which determine what is considered beautiful. Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we have to assume that culture molds and defines what the beholder finds beautiful.
This photo depicts what is being presented in the West through magazines, television, models on the catwalk - as the feminine ideal. Zero percent body fat, size zero...
This photo was posted by a Ghanaian on facebook - the comments from the Ghanaians - both men and women were all positive - the women with envy, the men with enthusiasm about the great shape this lady has (not to mention the practicality of having a table surface on your anatomy! hee hee).
There are so many factors that have come together to create the current beauty ideals across the cultures of today. Fat, thin, tall, short, some cultures promote the filing of ladies teeth into sharp points and elongating their necks with heavy metal neck rings, to the point where they can no longer hold them up on their own.
At the end of the day, we can't all meet the ideal of our societies or cultures -
should we reject them? Analyse and overturn them? Can we ever get away from the importance placed on beauty in our societies?
Heavy questions for a random Thursday afternoon - I just wanted to put up these pics that show such extremes. (I'm busy working on a meatier post about our excellent trip to Kruger Park game reserve in SA).