Sunday, May 29, 2005

Standardizing Beauty Digitally

Hollywood is digitally reducing breast size on some actresses

I have two responses to this development (excuse the pun). The most glaring offense is that Hollywood is making well-endowed women feel there is something wrong with the way nature made them. As we know, the culture has been doing that to overweight women for a long time. But overweight is something a person can do something about, by exercising and choosing what to eat; and overweight is not good for one's health.

Unlike fat, bust size (for those women who are "born that way," without surgical enhancement) is a given. By digitally remaking a woman's chest, Hollywood is thus telling women that if they are more than an A or B cup, they are to be looked at as nothing more than a sex object. There is something seriously wrong with this picture.

How would men feel if their genitals were on display to be judged by the culture? (Since men are free to go topless, their penises are the part of their body most parallel to women's breasts.) I don't think men would like that! The author Eldridge Cleaver (Soul on Ice) once designed jeans for men that had a penis-shaped pocket that would display their organ the way a bra or bikini top displays the shape and size of breasts. Maybe we need to start sending these jeans to Hollywood moguls and insist that they wear them from now on.

My other response is that Hollywood's decision to digitally reduce starlets' breast sizes opens the door for actors of all sizes and shapes to play the coveted high-paying lead roles in films. So what if your face isn't symmetrical, you have double chins, you're a midget, you have a paunch or a big butt? Digital artists can make you, too look like a supermodel, or like the flavor of the month, whether that be big boobs or small ones. They can even make you into the other gender, if you really want a certain role.

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