Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Beauty & Insecurity

I've really been enjoying the food for thought about women's bodies & shame over at Women in the Scriptures.  There are also many great comments.  Basically, yes, there are times when we may not be clothed in public, like in a locker room at a pool, but why the insecurity about our bodies in those situations?  Apparently, men don't seem to be all worried about being nude -- especially in a locker room.

I began wondering how beauty is expressed in the rest of the world.  I wish I had more global experience or studied more anthropology about now!

We know that in the US/Westernized countries, there's a general ideal for beauty. I won't go into what it is, but you can figure it out -- just look at the billboards/magazines. We also
 know there's this drive among (some) women to want to look like those images. Why? Is it because it makes her feel good about herself? Is it because it attracts men? Does it provide a feeling of power? Is it a combination of some of the above?

Is this tendency to want to be the most attractive also true in other countries, particularly the non-Westernized ones? Do women still try and be beautiful? Do they do it for themselves? Do they do it to attract a mate?

In other countries, what defines beauty? Are some characteristics the same things as we see here?

In countries where there are arranged marriages, is there still this attractiveness competition between women? In countries where women are covered, is there also a competition for beauty?

In European countries where are the nude/nearly nude beaches, where people seem comfortable with their shape, is there still seeking to be the most beautiful/perfect body the rest of the time?