“Adult Content, Meaning ’Sex’, the argument about body-image we wish we could have.
There’s a lot of pressure on girls and women on how they look, because appearance is the first, if only, cue that I, and everyone else, have of health and stability for breeding.
I mean, that’s basic fact. Perhaps it should be worded a little better for absolute clarity, but you know what I mean. I’m sure it works on the other side, but I don’t know for all the obvious reason (I’m not a Lady, dummies…).
So, that’s a true, basic concept – mating drives our civilization, because in essence, it supplies one of the (renewable) resources that we need for civilization. It is also what they call an evolutionary concept, since it’s a trait shared by many species (even the uncivilized ones), not just breeding through sexual intercourse, but reproduction of ALL types… though I bet the selection parameters for success are different in asexual reproduction.
And “success” is a symbol here, because it means a number of things, the most important of which is that breeding/mating continues a species. That is implicitly understood by everybody/-thing (fit enough to breed*).
* – for the lawyers.
More importantly, on a personal level, physically, it feels good.
Well, the sex part, and yes, that’s what I’m getting at.
If negative body image is the problem, and stereotyping all the “wrong things” is the reason, and so our picture of “success” is crazy-unobtainable, and we need desperate change… There’s only one way you can achieve a nationwide/global change of mind like that. What is considered attractive, and thus “fit,” or better, “successful,” must change.
How do we do that? Well, in essence, the same way we reinforce the stereotyping – through sex. Smart, intelligent, creative, idea-driven people must be shown or thought of as having sex all the time, to “score ‘round the clock,” as another put it. Those who drive the engines of idea and change in our culture, they must be considered the “primest” of our players.
Now, I know, I know. You don’t have to say it, but I know you want to. “That’s the most selfish thing I’ve ever heard!” And you’re right, I’m guilty of that, a little bit. A “lot”tle bit.
Just as relevant, though, this will only enforce another stereotype, that being the idea-people, creatives, etc. are the new athletes or super-models. (As well as the extra bonus of enforcing the just-as-bad idea that there are creative and non-creative people.)
So, “success” must turn into a wonderful blend of types and bodies, though they’d have to be picked from “average body size” which would tend towards the heavy-set. Personally, I do not have any problem with this. I used to be fat before I was finished growing, I’ll probably be fat at the end of my life… Plus, I’m sure I’d qualify as fat now per body mass index (BMI), the visible proof being the “pouch” of my belly.
Ah, not to illicit sympathy or anything, but it’s true. I’m self-conscious of it, even if in minute degrees (because face saves it, face is glorious), because of this very body-issue problem.
If we want women, or more importantly, the impressionable, developing young people to have the “right idea,” then they have to be bombarded, subconsciously, consciously, in every way possible (just like they are now) with those ideas, so that it sinks into their very genes and beliefs.
What is that “right idea?” I don’t know. But please stick with me, this is going to be graphic, though not explicit, and it is how the mind works, which means it’s how everything works.
Unfortunately, the best (only?) means we have to spread the idea is the porn industry and a genre exists for it already – amateurs. That means untrained, unfit, unpretty people having sex. And I’m sure no one is a porn-watcher, or even a fan, so I have to explain. Porn exists for one simple reason – the climax, or as the Japanese are storied to say, “the time of clouds and rain.”
The movies/scenarios/pretense all start and end with the idea that there’s going to be one, or more, orgasms… the very physical good feeling of breeding. And this is the instinct we are playing to when we partake of this behavior, which is to say masturbating.
Nevertheless, when climax is achieved by the masturbator, it creates the same idea of “success” in the brain as actual sex does, which is to say, best case scenario, total ecstasy at developing another, new living thing.
It feels good, maybe not as good as, but it stimulates the brain just as well, if not exactly the same. That brain stimulation is what is built on, both in the individual (“If I came to it, it works!”), and in the culture (“It leads to cumming!”) since, even in our fantasies, the “perfect climax” is what the search for a mate is all about.
Gruesome. But that’s the truth of it. If we want the idea of what’s pretty and successful to change, then we have to show that it has, and realistically, as much as men may masturbate to super-models and porn/movie stars, they probably do so (or at least fantasize) about the “average” women they see every day just as often, if not more.
I mean, let’s be honest, if you aren’t dead, you’re wired to think about mating.
It’s the one primeval pleasure because it’s the one thing, and one thing alone, that ensures our survival into the future. Not just another “me” walking around so I can live forever, because it doesn’t work like that. Nor is that kid going to be exactly like me, she’s going to have her own thoughts, ideas, madness. (And contagion to the rest of you!)
And while porn is the first and last means, there’s still advertising, movies, any where there’s an image of an ultra-thin, ultra-blonde, ultra-made-up (by Ulta 3™) anything. As gross as it may be, sex, and obtaining it, is the most basic, yet misunderstood, tenet in our society AND culture AND lifetime.
So, that’s it. For the “new sex” to sell, amateurs must be put in all the “leading roles,” even in Hollywood, and then every effort made to view them as sexy. Lighting, mood, context, and story help; what we see happen to “the regular,” the Smooch of Budding Romance, the Nervous First Time (Altogether, as in some coming of age stories, or with that particular lover), and then Happily Ever After, effects us.
It sinks in just as readily as if it had been the pretty people.
We already paint the story a certain way, and if we see enough heavy-set people in leading roles, being successful, whether implied or otherwise, then we will get the idea that’s attractive.
I mean, let’s be honest further. Hardly anyone is beautiful by “the standard.” That same “standard” varies per individual, too, despite what they may see on book covers, TVs, and youtube. So we end up marrying and mating with people who are already at a lower standard than they should be with “perfection” as our “successful.”
And knowing we will never make it, we still work like Hell to enforce it, so we can’t be happy even if we find that one person who “gets us,” and if that leads to a child, then that child grows up with the idea that because Mom and Dad are “average,” they aren’t happily in love. Nor can they ever be.
It seems absurd! And that’s exactly what it is.
Instinct works like this, it’s the thought without thought, an innate drive. It works to move us towards a particular end, whether food, water, sex, shelter, sleep, and/or addiction. We have tooled it to serve a certain purpose, and years and years of viewing “success” a certain way is now killing our pre-teens.
Physically, too, not just expressively. Adolescent girls (and some boys) take their own lives rather than be seen as unattractive*. And they haven’t even grown up yet! You can’t even be ear-marked as being attractive until you’re, like, 45. There’s so much more development that a body (both as the thing and an individual) needs before “Attractive?” can be answered definitively.
* – in some cases, it’s shown (EVEN IN ADULTS!) that people will do less things or participate in less if they think they aren’t attractive enough for it. They don’t want the attention. Exactly how attractive does one have to be all the time, to do everyday things? =/ It boggles my mind to think of someone thinking of themselves as being too ugly to eat. And yet, I’m guilty of it myself when I express concern over my pouch, though I’m not the kind to suddenly eat less. I might think about it for a while.
And saying something like that is exactly the problem, too. It seems helpful, but it still perpetuates a stereotype, in this case an older, more developed, mature person. It’s a stark contrast to the shockingly nubile “barely 18” models that are paraded around, the “very symbol of fitness and mate-ability.” While it would be best to find a way to limit stereotyping in general, it could be argued that increasing the ages of the “visually successful” would, in turn, increase the age that we viewed sex as “supposed to happen,” or help the equally absurd (and pressing!) thought, “have it as soon as possible to be cool or accepted.”
It’s tough to change this, too, since there’s a period where a human Lady goes through “the change,” (menopause), so there’s a real sense of urgency, a real need to think to start young. Some of that persists, genetically, from when we lived around 30 years. That’s a short lifespan, even if we weren’t dying as “fit” individuals, or, if those who died at 30 in the distant past looked and felt and behaved equivalently as 90-year olds do today.
They didn’t because it wasn’t just old age and being tired that killed them off at 30, it was disease and predators and exposure, some “lack of common sense” things.
I would bet that we do have to “grow” into our longer lives.
And it may be that if we start viewing older, more mature women and men in these roles, exclusively, it lifts the pressure to be “young ‘n’ beautiful” at 10, then menopause will start to become more delayed, since forcing the young into maturity doesn’t occur.
The hardest truth to say is this: In reality, to do away with the stereotyping, it has to be “everyone is the porn star.” Or, “success” can and should happen anywhere, with anyone, all the time, so there’s no need to rush, there’s no need to obsess. It’s just not effective treatment to start another (and another…) clinic or council group to school girls in the art of ignoring society.
“But that’s crazy!” To forget about sex as pressure goes against every “moral” and “shameful” fiber of our beings. Really, I’m a blasphemer for mentioning porn and masturbating and the learning brain (and how they’re related!), but that doesn’t change how things work. If we really want to change, if we actually know how things work and how we are wired to interpret them, then we have the solution.
Sex is not exclusive, sex is plentiful, no one dies a “virgin.” No one is attractive to every one. (Maybe I should start by changing that phrase into “No one is unattractive to every one.”)
Like a photograph of a can of soda, you either like it, or you don’t, or who cares? It really is that simple, this sort of bullying is preying on the fear of exclusion, and there is no exclusion. If you’re born, your job is to have sex. Ta-da! So, at some point, you’ll do that; statistically, before you‘re mentally prepared for it. Crisis over. Worry about your homework instead! Or why we would want to think this way.
Why don’t we teach these things? Why do we teach the opposite? Even if we never use any of these words, why do we enforce this and put ourselves through this? It isn’t just the females that suffer, either.
How much of it can we ignore for the sake of shame? The shame of what, exactly? Talking about genitals and how they make children? Are we really that afraid of them, or of referencing them? Why, because they have that potential to make us feel that primordial, primeval good?
Or are we afraid of what “beauty” really means – who we‘d rather sleep with if we had the chance? The fear that it really isn’t about any thing more than this? If we’re afraid that’s so, then let’s change it!
How many of our children do we have to lose (in one way or another) until we can admit what is the greater problem?
We know how the brain responds to sex (see: “fetishes”), we know how advertising works, and so we know what the problem and the solution are. What’s stopping us from changing, or even trying? Fear!
Why can’t we talk about it? Or why won’t we?
Don’t get me wrong, the entire focus here is just on the stereotyping, the image. There’s thousands of other factors, particularly how that stereotyping happens (social media, especially) that makes things worse.
Scarier still, this idea goes against some of the things we were “born believing.”
And most frightening of all, any hope of changing means admitting these things, not just personally, or to our own children, but collectively as a species, since even partial implementation of anything would (not could) change our culture.
It is already. It certainly will continue. Evident, I’m afraid, by the porn industry since “amateur” exists as a fetish. A sneaky beginning, though it isn’t a new category by any means. Perhaps an instinctual shot of protest, an impregnation of the concept, after a lengthy festering, the birth of a new idea?
PS: It goes without saying that one should find the nearest Lady of any kind and tell them nice, meaningful things not based on their appearance, but their merit and value as person. Not because that Lady is sexy, or can/wants/is going to bear children, but because there’s a reason (or several thousand) other than that to appreciate her.
And Ladies, it goes for you, too. Romance teaches us to cherish our lovers for their totality, and for simplicity’s sake we’ve boiled that down to a chiseled, stubble-jaw, bulging chest, and big, fat wallet. Feeling inadequate in the eyes of our Ladies is said to be one of the main reasons a man goes out and sleeps with another person. It doesn’t hurt to reinforce just how much more meaning there is inside us all, and just as importantly, to reinforce it to those we love, those we will love, and those we want to.