Posted by: martinworster | January 4, 2008

89. ON BEAUTY

Southern California has to be the epicentre of the aesthetic movement that considers the height of female beauty to be a blonde cross between a porn star and a cheerleader. Throughout history there have been many different versions of the ideal of female beauty. The 1920s one was a model of sleek aerodynamic athelticism, art deco woman personified. In the 1700s the women worshiped were more rounded and vuluptous as made famous by Rubens.
 
In 2008 Southern California the popular look seems to aspire to an inflatable Barbie doll, a walking stick with boobs and big lips, all probably surgically enhanced. In a region which is both the home of the porn and film industries, it’s little wonder this has a dramatic impact on the self image and narcissistic tendencies of its inhabitants, both male and female. Appearance is everything.

The gyms are packed with lithe nubiles, sweating it out to be – in their eyes – a perfect size 0. Plastic surgeons tuck, nip, implant, suck and stitch flesh into more beautiful creations, a postmodern twist on the job of the ancient Greek classical artist carving his ideal of youth from marble. Youth is everything. We are not allowed to get old. Wrinkles mean death. Age is a disease.

It does make for quite a superficial environment. But it’s not really different from anywhere else – it’s just more extreme. It’s quite enjoyable – and amusing – to live amongst. I like looking at statuesque blondes with double D fun bags and lips like sofas. It must be having an affect on me, I’m there sweating it out on the Stairmaster with vain dreams of perfect abs instead of this wobbly beer gut. How long before I’m down the surgeons, face lifted with a bland smile and sparkling white teeth?

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