I saw this picture today in the Metro which tried to merge together all of the most popular features of today’s celebrities into the ‘ideal’ woman. As you can see, she looks slightly like a weird burn victim (a bit like Matt Smith actually), and not really someone you’d think you would fancy.
It made me think about what is construed as ‘beauty’, the idea of attraction and what really makes a woman ‘ideal’. Personally I find the idea of beauty (especially as it is portrayed in the media!) to be a socially constructed one, especially as, in this case, it is measured by the beauty of well-known celebrities, their profile in the media, and their level of attractiveness/thin-ness/fame. What I also dislike is how this idea of an ‘ideal’ woman is superimposed on the viewing public, with less regard for originality, personality or even individuality. Granted this is just a picture which was generated after a poll asked women about favourite body parts – and the results were just that, superficial, gossipy and light-hearted. What I disliked was how it encourages women to focus on physical body parts – how about Germain Greer’s brain? Nigella Lawson’s sultry-ness? Even the amazing mindsets of recent Nobel Prize winners Tawakkul Karman, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee, who pioneered for women’s rights?
I understand that this comes across as a ‘feminazi’ rant in response to a poll which was meant to be a bit of fun – yet it makes me question what kind of ideas society wishes us to instill in ourselves. For a country which encourages working hard, educating yourself and having independence, there is a lot of shallow ideals allowed to constantly bombard us by the media. Understandably there is the idea of the freedom of speech act, and the right to follow, believe or practice whatever you want (unless it’s illegal or just downright weird), but I wonder when the media will begin to clock on that they should be giving us more credibility? Not all of us watch The Only Way is Essex, I’m pretty sure none of us will be watching the train wreck that is ‘Celebrity’ Big Brother, and I’d like to think that our ambitions in life go further than three-second of fame on YouTube.
Also, I can’t BELIEVE they didn’t include Bipasha Basu in there. I mean, the woman is positively gorgeous. Tsk, I tell you. I bet it was all men who answered this poll.