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The Beauty of Woman; A Skewed Perspective

    Who is it that started this?  When did we, as a society, decide to embrace this unyielding, brutally bizarre

 concept of the female form?  Why would we offer up our daughters,

 wives, sisters and mothers to such base contempt at the hands of

 strangers ?  Who are they (whomever THEY may be) to dictate that

 your daughter is to fat  or your sister just isn't "pretty" enough? 

 Are they Adonais incarnate?  I think not.

Our culturally short-sighted ideal of a beautiful woman seems to be

 as enigmatic as it is unrealistic. The entire concept of a small

-framed, huge chested (preferably) , nearly boyish figured female is

 absurd to the point of ridiculousness.


  Our concept of female beauty has not  always been so skewed.  Not too awfully long ago we paid homage  

  to a fuller-figured female archetype that was comfortingly beautiful on a deep, inherently cultural level.


   As a species we have understood the desire of plentitude and have lauded it

 throughout the ages.

Often we have given the female form a place of

 honorable designation in the form of titles such as

 Mother Earth, Mother Nature or Lady Liberty.

Our perception of beauty has always been steeped in

 our families and social circles.  Only when we lost

 sight of the natural beauty of ourselves and the world around us did we begin

 to assign a more denigrating role to the female gender. 













  I am quite aware that not every person alive today

 sees women as objects and I also know that there

 is a large amount of extremism on both sides of

 this hot-button issue. 

Feminism can be almost as hard to bear as

 mysogyny depending on how it's presented. 

 I have always been and always will be a proponent

 of women's rights, but I will also find it incredibly

 difficult to sit by and endure namecalling and

 male-bashing just because I'm expected to.  We

 are all in this adventure together and we should

 all treat one another with the respect that we feel

 we deserve equally. 

  I am also quite aware of the poor treatment of

 females throughout the ages by patriarchal myths

 and legends.  We (the collective we) have always designated strong women as femme fatales who only want

 what men have and that is just so much bunk. Women are smarter than that.  They   have tried for millenia

 to make our world better for us, but we tend to be too thick-headed to learn very much

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Comment by Maryanne Mesple on May 4, 2012 at 12:08pm

So so enjoy your perspective Again and and I would definitely say "you pulled this off"! Bravo! Also, I am so glad to see the image of your wife here! She really does look like the center of a flower and how lucky you were to capture that shot!  I really enjoyed sharing this challenge with you Bob :-) Gini Steele, that is interesting about Marilyn Monroe.

Comment by Gini Steele on May 4, 2012 at 11:20am

Fabulous, Bob!  As a photographer you'll love this tidbit I read about Marilyn...everyone said she was "luminous"...that her entire body "glowed"...and a photographer she worked with regularly mentioned in his memoir that her body was covered in these tiny blonde hairs that just captured light...light from the flash, outside light, indoor light...she truly was radiant. 

Comment by Robert P. Meyer Jr. on May 4, 2012 at 8:54am

Hmm...It seems that in my techno-dyfunctional way I may have pulled this off.  I thought I had more to say, but it seems that I agree with all I've said here.  I do have a few more photos to offer, but I think I'll keep my commentary at a minimum with them.

This is my own photograph "Rock Climber". This girl is very young, but is the epitome of what women are expected to look like.  This is in direct contrast to the photo of Queen Latifah who is a full-figured, exquisitely beautiful, real woman.







The earlier photo is indeed of Marilyn, who was also a full figured woman and was, (as a size 12!)a goddess of the screen and was quite brilliant despite how she was portrayed in the press.

  My photograph "Muse"  is an enigmatic shot of my wife Kathy, who is also a full-figured woman and a "classic" beauty.  I have always valued women and their importance in my life and their steadying influence on my life and on the very fabric of our society.  I thank Kathy and women everywhere for bringing me this realization and proving it to be yet again true, every single day!

Comment by Maryrose Orlans on May 4, 2012 at 1:00am

Wonderful!  Really enjoyed!  Thank you, Bob!!!

Comment by Maryanne Mesple on May 3, 2012 at 7:53pm

Great piece! Pushing ourselves beyond the norm is so necessary to break out of conformity of perception and necessary to un-skew how we see and experience the female form. I so remember when Twiggy was popular and I so remember trying to look like Twiggy ~ and of course there is no way in this lifetime that I would achieve that! So I settled for the Twiggy lashes and hoped no one would notice I had breast and hips! And don't get me going on Barbi! There is a middle road, a middle way (do I sound Buddhist?!!! hahaha!) and that place in my thinking is where we appreciate our bodies and our minds as perfect without need for enhancement of or subtraction of! When that day approaches the Feminist of which there are many differing perceptions of what a Feminist is (I am a radical voting feminist marching to protect women's rights) and the Chauvinist (I personally think that word is to harsh to use here but I am lacking for another one) will no longer exist because there will be no need for labels and we all will be loving and accepting of who we are, comfortable with our gender, and Beauty will be appreciated in all of Human Kind. Thank you for your insight and hopefully your beautiful way of seeing woman will be more and more the norm.

Comment by wiffledust on May 3, 2012 at 7:44pm

go, bob! what a joy to read a full blog from you! you are such a good writer, and i just knew you'd be a great source to hear from on the topic of beauty and women. you have such a wonderful eye as a photographer, and i love seeing things through your eyes routinely on here. how great to read some thoughts behind that vision!!! as a woman, it's also so nice to hear a man think the new popsicle stick with huge boobs look is ridiculous looking. not quite natural, is it? ....and oh how i hear you on the smart women are just waiting to roll all over somebody thing. well i could write pages on that. but i'm too busy enjoying your images here. the one that captures my eye is that of marilyn monroe. at least she looks like marilyn to me. she always stands out in a me, she is very feminine looking...a knock out for sure, but in a natural way. and she had  plenty of brains too. i have always liked her, wanted to know her. i think part of her beauty always came from within. i think all beauty does. so many women have that same marilyn look but aren't marilyn in beauty. why? because it's more than just a "look". thanks for doing the challenge, bob!!! i see you have five pics.did you want to do more? you may if you like!! GREAT JOB!

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