Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Death of Pretty

What happened to being pretty?
Once upon a time, women wanted to project an innocence.  I am not idealizing another age and I have no illusions about the virtues of our grandparents, concupiscence being what it is.  But some things were different in the back then.  First and foremost, many beautiful women, whatever the state of their souls, still wished to project a public innocence and virtue.  And that combination of beauty and innocence is what I define as pretty.

By nature, generally when men see this combination in women it brings out their better qualities, their best in fact.  That special combination of beauty and innocence, the pretty inspires men to protect and defend it.
Young women today do not seem to aspire to pretty, they prefer to be regarded as hot. Hotness is something altogether different.  When women want to be hot instead of pretty, they must view themselves in a certain way and consequently men view them differently as well.

As I said, pretty inspires men’s nobler instincts to protect and defend.  Pretty is cherished. Hotness, on the other hand, is a commodity.  Its value is temporary and must be used.  It is a consumable.

Nowhere is this pretty deficit more obvious than in our “stars,” the people we elevate as the “ideal.”  The stars of the fifties surely suffered from the same sin as do stars of today.  Stars of the fifties weren’t ideal but they pursued a public ideal different from today.

The merits of hotness over pretty is easy enough to understand, they made an entire musical about it.  Who can forget how pretty Olivia Newton John was at the beginning of Grease.  Beautiful and innocent.  But her desire to be desired leads her to throw away all that is valuable in herself in the vain hopes of getting the attention of a boy.  In the process, she destroys her innocence and thus destroys the pretty.  What we are left with is hotness.

Hotness is a consumable.  A consumable that consumes as it is consumed but brings no warmth. Most girls don’t want to be pretty anymore even if they understand what it is.  It is ironic that 40 years of women’s liberation has succeeded only in turning women into a commodity.  Something to be used up and thrown out.

(Image) Share


julygirl said...

When I worked in a private school whose student body was mainly adolescent boys, the Director told the teachers regarding how to dress...."If you look in the mirror in the morning and think, Boy do I look sexy, then you are dressed inappropriatly".

J.K. Baltzersen said...

It is ironic that 40 years of women’s liberation has succeeded only in turning women into a commodity. Something to be used up and thrown out.

No, it is not ironic, as Mr. Archbold claims.

So-called women's liberation aims to free women from their dependence on men, as if dependence ever was a one-way street.

When we all become independent of each other, it should surprise no one that our interactions tend more to be transaction-oriented.

I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas, madam.

elena maria vidal said...

I have, thank you, Sir!

Brantigny said...

I have spoken to my daughters and to my granddaughters to think about what would Mary wear, before they dress.