Friday, June 5, 2009

More On More: Beauty and Sexuality (Update at bottom)

Although the point of my tennis post was obviously to take a poke at Darcysport (who was my 25,000th visitor, by the way, thanks, Dar!), my return to the local clinic for the ear infection from hell, prompted me with one of those "let's take a closer look at those breasts" moments so common for the Althouse commentariat. (Weirdly, Althouse doesn't come up first for that phrase on Google, but someone linking to her iconic post does.)

The thing is, the doctor was stackedd with a double-D. I guess it was casual dress day, because she was wearing a form fitting sweater and tight jeans (which she also filled out spectacularly). There was nothing especially provocative about the outfit; it was simply her figure. What's more, it was the sort of outfit that wouldn't even have registered a blip on a less curvy woman.

Now, obviously, I didn't pull a Tex Avery Wolf thing. She's the junior in this medical partnership, I think, but she's been pushing a different approach from the head doc. And one that my other nutrionist-nee-MD agrees with, so I respect that.

But there's an interesting mix of life's unfairness all in this one little encounter. It's not fair that a woman, by virtue of her figure, risks being reduced to that figure, despite being an MD. It's also not fair that women get to be the sole arbiters of whether a glance is welcome flattery or perverted lust. Life is a lot less pleasant for everyone as a result, I think.

Large Breasts confer certain benefits on their possessors--er, when they're women--but also bring with them a lot of liabilities which can be particularly difficult for girls who develop early, since they also bring an appearance of maturity. (We'll just assume for the sake of a pleasant illusion that the pigs who leer and catcall after a girl would refrain if they knew she was eleven.)

And other girls (or even fully grown women) seem eager to impute to large breasts sexual promiscuity. Males, as well, but while they do it out of wishful thinking, females do it (apparently) out of jealousy. And not just promiscuity, but shallowness and stupidity.

I remember a friend of mine who worked as a bank teller telling me that a female bank robber had been very successful robbing banks in low-cut blouses, because the male tellers she would select couldn't describe her face. (She was allegedly caught when she selected a gay male teller.) This is probably apocryphal, and certainly more reflective upon men than women.

Then there's stuff like this from F My Life:

Today, I was buying an expensive pillow for my mother from a store clerk who wouldn't stop staring at my boobs. After paying, I saw an elderly lady who had dropped a bag, so I walked to help. I walked back to the clerk, who refused to believe I paid. The reason? He didn't recognize my face. FML

So, what does one do with the yin-and-yang here? Men are going to desire; women are going to envy. Desire and envy make a mess of a lot of things. (The solution is probably some combination of manners and logic, but if those two things ever took hold, breast ogling would be near the bottom of the list of important bad behaviors curbed.)

And it's not just breast size, but beauty. Media Lizzy writes on the perils of being beautiful, in particular as it relates to the Miss California case, and links to Melissa Clouthier on the same topic. I don't necessarily agree with either of them, but I do know that all beautiful women are plagued to some degree with assumptions of limitations in other ways.

Hell, I know women who dowdify themselves (in the sense of "make dowdy", having nothing to do with Maureen Dowd) in order to be taken seriously. (Then there is the Buddhist tale of the beautiful woman who scarred her face in order to be accepted into study, having previously been denied for being a potential distraction.)

I've been struggling with this post for a while, I think because I have no particularly profound insight--or even anything that rises above the banal. I like beauty; I particularly like feminine beauty. Prejudice, whether pro- or anti-beauty disturbs me.

But it doesn't surprise me that certain political elements seek to destroy what is beautiful. A devotion to beauty, like love, sex, family, religion and God, are things that the state cannot control. And what the state cannot control, it seeks to destroy.

Update: And how fitting that while I pondered this list, published a list of 10 women whose ideas (being right of center) were so appallingly hateful, it diminished their true value as sexual objects. Way to go Playboy!

And let's just round (heh) this out with a study that purports to tell what a woman is like (including how she feels about sex) based on her breast shape. Enough of the shapes are women who don't like sex to make me think it's based on the researcher's personal exprience.


  1. Dude if you want to take a poke at Darcy you should use email instead of posting it on the internets. Just sayn'

  2. Just kiddin' guys. Blake is a gentlemen.

    Dicussion of his doctors lucious fun bags is just a foible, a mere bag of shells.

  3. Hey, sometimes you have to discuss breasts. For scientific and sociological reasons.


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