BODY IMAGE AND THE 21ST CENTURY

by admin on March 13, 2012

what do i look like?

here’s something scarey that esme read in the paper this morning:  young girls (some pre-adolescent) posting videos of themselves on utube and soliciting responses to the question “am i pretty or ugly?”.   even worse is that they received all sorts of gross, sadistic responses.  one professor is quoted as saying that “these videos could be read as a new form of self-mutilation in line with cutting and eating disorders”.

while esme finds this phenom horrifying (and is momentarily glad that she does not have a daughter), she can also empathize with the impulse. it’s standard practice these days to post photos of outfits and solicit yeahs or nayes.  but more importantly, esme sees the pretty or ugly question as one form of our quest to understand what we really look like.  even mr. noir (who does not normally spend time considering such issues) agrees that it’s almost impossible to get a handle on one’s own looks.  mirrors are backwards at best.  photos can be riveting.  how to explain that we look “pretty” in some and “ugly” in others?

i can just hear some of you asking “and who cares?”.  but we do.  very few of us can divorce ourselves from our bodies (even though it certainly would be nice at times).  we go to our ends clinging to our physical form.  does the soul finally hover over the body at the moment of death, seeing for the first time what we really look like (and certainly not at our best)?  in some circles we are dressed and made up as though to go to our last party even after the soul (if there is one) has long taken it’s leave.

ah, leave it to the french to solve the problem with a word:  i think i’ll be…….

jolie-laide,

esme

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