How am I going to explain this to my daughter?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Boing Boing: Fake beauty, video about transhuman tricks used on models

That is, when I have a daughter.  But the likelihood of me having a daughter is pretty good.  I mean, the first kid has about a 50/50 chance of being a girl, right?  So if I plan to have multiple children, which the wife currently is on board with, I have a better than 50/50 chance of having a girl.

Anyway, the point is, how would you explain this to a little girl?  The video shows an attractive but perfectly normal woman, and the process to make her face into a billboard.  Makeup, which isn’t surprising, but then the digital manipulation of her face is a little shocking.  They make her neck thinner and longer, raise her eyebrows, make her lips fuller.

I can’t imagine explaining that to my (As yet unborn, or even conceived) little girl when she’s six and asks me why.  There’s a long time in a kid’s life when they understand enough to ask hard-to-answer questions, but they may not understand enough to hear the real answer.  Assuming there is one.  I mean, I don’t know why we’ve built up completely unreasonable expectations of beauty.

I’ve heard the arguments that some of it is based on propagation of the species, and the claim that a fit woman with wide hips is well-suited for reproduction.  But what do full lips and a long, slender neck have to do with reprodcution?

Absolutely nothing, that’s what.

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