This song has prompted discussion and even some controversy. I love it because it seems to have sparked a movement (which was already in the works – this just happened to be the first song to arrive).
Weight and beauty is a big topic – especially amongst my friends on facebook (where I go to study the current trends). There are articles on photoshopped pictures. Celebrities are speaking up and getting mad because they are being photoshopped.
The beauty industry is huge and highly profitable. So many say our society has become obsessed with beauty. While I agree, I also disagree. (I know – huh?).
Let’s talk standards of beauty and evolution – A living creature, regardless of type, has one biological goal – procreate. It is the goal of every species to continue. For species that are more cognizant, it is the standard of beauty that lets them find a mate who will offer them the best chance of survival. That is why there is brightly colored plumage and weird little mating rituals amongst animals. Each species is looking for a mate with good genetics.
With humans, we have this extra ability to think beyond plumage and mating rituals – to a point. Consciously or not, we are looking for a mate with good genetics. We are looking for traits that allow us to create children with those traits because we are still under that order to procreate. This is where a society’s standard of beauty comes into play. Now, I can’t explain the weird things we do except that we are always striving to be more marketable to a mate.
Because humans have more qualities than just looks, our standard of beauty changes with societal changes. More often than not, it is trends amongst the wealthy that lead the standard because wealth makes survival easier. That is why weight comes into play. In times of food scarcity, being fat is attractive because that means you have access to food.
In our current society, we have lots of access to food but the most nutritious food is expensive. Our poor can survive off of McDonald’s and Top Ramen. Those are calorie dense but not very nutritious. So it our standard of beauty shifts to thin is beautiful. There are a number of reasons why between having access to good food, time and money to workout, and other traits that we are tricked into believing will make for good genetics.
You can’t fight this easily. It’s not just about learning to accept yourself the way you are, it’s about battling that deep inner voice that drives us to find mates. However, to change society, you must change the way you feel about beauty standards.