I have always thought that for a women to be beautiful and desirable she should have a good figure, one that is round in all the right places. She should have some meat on her bones. She should not look like a stick. Thin women do not even feel right: I can feel their bones!
To me this just seemed like obvious, common sense. I did not question it. It was the way God made me, and therefore all men. The stick women you see in magazines are creatures of the fashion industry. No real man would go for them.
Or so I thought.
I notice that when a beautiful black woman walks down the street, the black men will turn to look at her but the white men do not seem to notice her. Strange: they are still men, right?
Maybe they look down on blacks so much that they do not even consider looking at black women as the women they are.
But of course it is not that simple
Every now and then you hear white people say someone is “pretty for a black girl”. What can that possibly mean but that most black women are not pretty? That even the woman in question is not really all that pretty? That whites have an idea of beauty that is based on race, one clearly not shared by black men?
It seems that races have different ideas of female beauty.
That was the subject of the Tyra Banks television talk show earlier this week. On her show we find out that whites and Asians like their women thin, even unnaturally thin. They consider that beautiful. Just like in the magazines! Blacks and Latin Americans on the other hand, like their women to have a good, full figure. They consider that beautiful. Just like me!
Tyra had four American women on the stage: one white, one black, one Latin and one Asian. She showed them different sorts of women (often without giving away their race) and asked them who was beautiful and who was not and why.
It is hard for one woman to represent her whole race, of course. But still I was surprised at how they could look at the same woman and see her so differently.
Not only did the white and Asian women think the full-figured women were not beautiful, they thought they were disgusting and should lose some weight, if only for their health. Likewise the black and Latin women thought the thin women were too thin for their health. That is how far from beautiful they thought they were.
Even so it is hard for me not to think that whites and Asians have been brainwashed by Hollywood and Barbie into praising stick women.
But of course it is not that simple.
- Roissy in DC: Fat or Not Fat? – interesting poll about race and beauty
- Two postings that grew out of the comments on this posting:
- How a man looks at a woman
- black women
- white women
- Race in America
- Tyra Banks