Skip to content

Surprise, surprise for “fat-acceptance” drum-beaters: Marilyn Monroe was “teeny-tiny”

September 28, 2014

My latest blog post for the Los Angeles Times:

Size 2

Men of all cultures prefer women who have low waist-to-hip ratios. The hourglass figure, again indicating youth, good health and optimal reproductive capacity, is deemed universally lovely. And that means that women who are anything more than just a little bit zaftig are never going to be deemed beautiful, no matter how many “fat acceptance” and “love your body” campaigns are launched in order to make women feel better about pillow-y waists.

The universal human preference for relatively slender – not emaciated, just relatively slender – women has demonstrated itself in works of art that span millennia: Egyptian tomb paintings, the Caryatids on the Acropolis in Athens, medieval manuscript illustrations, Katsushika Hokusai’s depictions of the willowy geishas of the Edo period. This has been true of American culture as much as any other. Look at World War II-era magazines, with their photos of the slim young ladies in flirty dresses serving coffee to the servicemen at the USO, or the real Rosie the Riveters (not the Norman Rockwell illustration) in their wasp-waisted factory pants. And contrary to fat-acceptance myth, Marilyn Monroe was not a size 14. She was more like a size 2 in today’s sizes, as cultural critic Virginia Postrel pointed out in a BloombergView article about a 2011 auction of movie stars’ gowns. “Monroe was, in fact, teeny-tiny.”

Posted by Charlotte Allen

Advertisements

From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: