Does it seem that there is nothing in common between the mass psychosis of weight loss and the triumphant march of populist political forces that win elections in different parts of the world? At first glance, one has nothing to do with the other. It’s like day and night. However, if you look closely…
What is actually a modern standard of female beauty, which is promoted on the fashion catwalks, in advertising and the media, which thousands of weight loss programs call for, which millions of women seek? It is a very slim waist, narrow hips with little difference in size from the waist, almost flat breasts, certainly flat stomach, extremely thin arms and legs and a mandatory thigh gap. No curves and roundness. And of course, no wrinkles or creases. No sign of female maturity. In fact, this “perfect” figure, which is imposed as something to strive for is the shape of a teenage girl. A girl whose puberty is not yet complete.
When it is complete, a significant number of women look different. Of course, there are women who have this type of physique naturally, and they do not have to make super efforts to maintain it. But the vast majority will face a choice in their youth: either looking “not trendy” and “not attractive”, or being involved in a gruelling, continuous, doomed struggle with their own nature. The fight against “overweight”, which is often superfluous only in their ill imagination.
Any physiologist will tell you that a certain amount of fat in the body is necessary for an adult woman, it provides reproductive function and helps to maintain hormonal balance. Critically low-fat level inhibits the normal functioning of the female body. And a bunch of models who keep to hungry diets to meet the rigid standards of the podium, know it from their own experience. But they do not need normal female physiology, they are ready to promote teenage underdeveloped physicality as an ideal of beauty for the sake of fees at the cost of health.
You can be an adult, you can even have children, but you should look like a nymphet. Many articles in the media, web-pages and social networks communities are devoted to how a young mother can quickly “get back in shape” after childbirth. This means getting rid of any signs that she just gave birth, and looking as much as possible as a teenager again, just as the older sister of her own children.
Do not think that this is only happening in our country. If only! British media seriously discuss that the duchess of Sussex, also known as Meghan Markle, is in no hurry to “get back in shape”, but instead tries to pay more attention to the baby and still retains excessive weight for a few months after birth. What’s going on? The princess is not in a hurry to return her body to a teenage state! She is impudent enough to look like the mother of the baby usually looks like. What a shame!
In today’s world, a woman cannot look like an adult. Not only getting old, it’s not a discussion, but women are even forbidden to grow up. Life should be a holiday, a continuous pleasure, a kaleidoscope of bright travels and fiery parties. An adult woman with adult forms is not associated with a carefree life, but with a concerned housewife from the stain remover advertisement, burdened by heavy bags, duties and gas bills. Being a grown woman is boring and not fun. But life must be fun!
Teenage forms, teenage fashion, teenage outlook become reference points for people who have long been out of adolescence. There is a mass infantilization of consciousness. T-shirts with cartoon characters in adult clothing stores. Socks with ducks at official events. It all seems sweet, sense of humour never hurt anyone and a drop of fun perfectly reduces the level of pathos. But if only everything was confined to just a drop of fun! The problem is that the joke becomes an aim in itself, fills everything and replaces the main content.
No one reads long reads. People lose their ability to perceive large amounts of text. Memes, funny pictures and short videos have much more attraction. Infographic conquers the world. In this most simplified form, people are still somehow able to consume information. Back to comics! To the teenage perception and primitive, black-and-white picture of the world.
Usually, this is explained by the fact that every day a tremendous flow of information that is simply impossible to comprehend is poured on people. And it is true, but besides, people are simply too lazy to work with their brain as it has to be done by responsible adults. And the media and blogs are happy to help them relax their brains completely, serve content in a crushed and almost digested form. They entertain not in addition to informing, but instead of it. They communicate with adults as with pupils, moreover, not too gifted ones.
Cinema also adds to it. The dream factory, as Hollywood was ironically called about 100 years ago, regularly supplies cinemas around the world with fabulous stories about good and fair heroes who alone defeat a bunch of bad guys. Those comics become full-length films, and a simple, binary, plain world becomes almost a reality in the viewer’s imagination. This is the kind of infantilization that people strive to not strain themselves, and which industry is willing to support. Because an infantile, simple-minded consumer is easy to satisfy, he has simple, almost childish tastes.
Simple childish tastes, simple childish desires so that everything is good and that everything works itself out, without an effort. So that someone cares, provides, solves all problems, defeats all enemies. How can a skinny fragile girl handle all this on her own? No, adults have to do it for her.
And adults, smart, cynical people, not always skinny and not looking like teenagers, understand that it is easier to manipulate the infantile than mature and competent people. Women can be sold a whole bunch of unnecessary services and stuff if you convince them that all their lives they have to drive their body into unnatural limits. Voters can be fed questionable political forces if you wrap them in bright tinsel of fun and populist slogans. Any trash can be sold to people at a frantic interest if you play on the childish desire to have everything here and now. Adults understand this and use it in every way.
Science has reached unprecedented heights, the technology works wonders, information spreads instantly and it seems that the Golden Age of humanity should have come now. But we have degradation instead of development. Infantilization instead of adulthood. Populism instead of democracy.
Maya Tulchynska, fashion blogger