Updated: Jul 6
We Seem to Have Evolved to the Point of Devolving.
Gary Larson's Far Side and Monty Python's Holy Grail
Back when mankind first crawled forth from the primordial goo, when he passed the opposable thumbs/weapons making test while all the other primates failed it, survival was a pretty basic thing: You had to not get stomped or eaten. Don’t eat what kills you, don’t step on things that kill you, and don’t drink things that kill you. Life was brutal and short. There was male and female and … well… eh hem… mates were chosen because they survived and thrived: men as hunters, women as gatherers. Beauty was in the eye of the beholder, and they beheld somebody that could survive another day.
Fast Forward a few eons to the Middle Ages: Medieval Europe had nasty plagues and constant wars, If you wanted to survive, you still had to provide for your family, but you also had to survive a neighboring “King” or far off threat cresting the hill one morning in full battle array. Women had to survive brutally unhygienic conditions and survive childbirth. Children were lucky to live past their first birthday. Life was still brutal and short. It was still just male and female and procreation. Beauty beheld was still pretty much survival – men now had to survive each other more than the wild beasts.
By the time we arrived in the 18th, 19th & 20th Century, we had – in the West at least – become industrialized; this was great for food production and overall development. It was also great for killing en-masse in times of war. A funny thing though: A stroll through the Louvre shows painting and sculptures of that period of voluptuous, full-figured women: skinny meant poor, “thicc” was the trick. Mankind had time for leisure – at least the industrialists did, the nascent Middle Class was still struggling to develop and carve out their own space and discover the wonder of the weekend. BUT: Your mate was finally somebody that looked the part, not just one that would survive.
And now? Now – after millennia of DNA-encoded survival instincts and Darwinian urges to continue the species in a strictly Koranic and Biblical sense – mankind has developed a keen sense of what is and what is not attractive, spurred on by decades of Madison Avenue and Hollywood types pushing the sexy Hunk stereotype – Rudolph Valentino, Clark Gable, James Dean, Paul Newman, Patrick Swayze, Richard Gere, Johnny Depp, etc… - and the Femme Fatale: Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth, Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn, Farrah Fawcett, Cindy Crawford, Kate Moss, J-Lo…. And of course: Megan Rapinoe… (record album scratch noise). WHAT?!? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...
Megan Rapinoe? REALLY? I’m sorry – you can try to tell us butch-y, buzz-cut, pink-haired, manly dykes are “sexy” – but she’s ugly… she’s just… ugly. She could be straight and have long hair – she’d still be ugly. NOBODY is buying that somehow, Victoria’s Secret has stumbled onto some New World of beauty; it’s more the Randian “anti-beauty” than anything else: If we can’t all be beautiful, then everyone should be ugly. Rapinoe would have counted as a beauty eons ago, back when out-running the sabre toothed tigers while toting a small child and a branch full of berries was the true measure of a woman – but we aren’t cave dwellers living hand-to-mouth and day-to-day: We have leisure time, and we want our Vicky Secret models to look like Karen Mulder, not Karl Malden.
Farrah Fawcett - if you grew up in the 70's...wow. vs. "I just threw up in my mouth a little bit."
Sorry Victoria, somebody needs to let you in on a little secret: Beauty is still in the eye of the beholder, and scant few – and certainly none of the 50-something year old men with trophy wives barely older than their daughters frequenting your stores – are buying that Rapinoe is anything but butt ugly. A swarm of biker dykes suddenly forgiving you for decades of "lookism" crimes and hitting your stores isn’t going to help your bottom line. Please tell us this was just a Pride Month joke.