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AlexReynard

Unattainable Images Are Unattainable

I've been thinking about a common criticism I see of the media. People have said that advertising, TV, movies and video games present an unrealistic image of women. The images don't look like the average, normal female body. They're hyper-sexualized, with ridiculous, gravity-defying tits, wasp waists, flawless (often Photoshop-lightened) skin, etc. Other people point out that men are depicted unfairly too, with just-as-unattainably perfect looks, careers and libidos. Either way, both sides claim that these unrealistic depictions set up unfair standards that people can't hope to live up to, and it's damaging to their self esteem.

Here's what I think: If you allow commercials and pop culture to dictate how you live your life... isn't that kind of stupid?

Okay, okay; that's kind of harsh, I admit. I'm someone who is vigorously (almost obsessively) independent-minded. And also unlike most people, I only give about a tenth of a shit about my looks. But I know that to some people, that's important. And that's okay.

But here's the thing. If you're going to value conformity over individuality, why the hell are you complaining about what you're told to conform to?

It's not like advertisers just pull this stuff out of their asses. These cartoonishly impossible images of femininity and masculinity don't come from out of the sky. They come from our own desires. Magnified and inflated. This Is What We Want To See. So if it's too hard for you to live up to that, blame biology. Don't expect advertisers to listen when you tell them to put 'normal' people in their ads. That's not what people truly want to see, which means their ads would lose money, and in the end, money is all that's important to them. You can't expect otherwise. It's like expecting a dung beetle not to roll dung: it's the central focus of their existence.

What sense does it make to say, 'I want to follow whatever trends are dictated to me by popular media, but if those looks are impossible to attain, I'll still try my hardest anyway and that'll make me feel sad, so I demand you give me something easier to conform to!' Can you understand why that sounds so crazy to me? If you have the ability to speak out against the cruel mirages of fashion, then why don't you also have the power to not follow them? Or at LEAST to accept that they're impossible, and not try so hard that you destroy your body and sense of self-worth!?

Women: I am never going to take your complaints about fashion seriously until you stop wearing high heels. That's like someone who wears a ball and chain as a fashion accessory, then complains because it hurts. Just take the fucking things off!!

And men: If you need a woman to wear painful footwear, slather her face in artificial coloring, dress in outfits designed for anorexics and not have any noticeable physical flaws in order for you to be sexually attracted to her, then you're ruined. Go beat your meat to Jessica Rabbit, because that's what you really want. A cartoon. Just masturbate to the goddamn fake image because you are never going to get a woman who looks like that. You are not entitled to one as a prize for attaining success. The action movies are lying to you, and you are retarded enough to believe them. Even the women in those movies only look like that because they've been through more hours of makeup than they gave Quark on Star Trek.

That's one of the few legitimate points I've ever heard made against pornography; that it creates unrealistic expectations of sex and the human body. True. But then again, it's far from unique in that regard. And I'm pretty sure that most guys who demand the highest caliber of women in their wank material would nevertheless fling themselves at any old beat-up piece of pussy that happened to present itself in real life.

But I'm getting off topic. Back to the main point: Either conform and shut up about it, or have the guts to live and look however you want.

It's easier than ever too. There's this thing called the internet. And right now, tech-phobic neanderthals are wailing about the fact that people can use it to meet and fall in love without ever actually seeing each other in person! 'Back in my day, there were such things as holding hands and kissing!' I actually saw a newspaper columnist write that. I can't roll my eyes hard enough.

What the internet does is circumvent your body's stupid instinctive attractions. When you meet someone in real life, it's not you that's really seeing them. It's your genes that are giving them the once-over, looking for characteristics that indicate they are good for breeding. But FUCK your genetics. You're the one who has to live with whatever sexy asshole you bring home who has nothing in common with your personality or interests. Online, however, you can meet someone's mind first. Their personality, interests, intelligence and opinions are front and center. If this were 10,000 BC, maybe it'd be more important to choose a mate based on their benefit to the species' survival. But right now, in the 21st fucking century, your happiness with your partner matters more. Find someone who's just as homely and abnormal as you, who loves you for who you are, just like you love them for who they are.

Pop culture feeds people the idea that the secret to desirability is looks. Paint yourself like a sexy person and you'll be one. Wear the costume of a sexy person and you'll become one. Do the magic dance and it will make the rains come. It's voodoo bullshit. It's backwards. The number one thing you can do to improve your desirability is to be the kind of person that someone would want to be with. Is that so hard to understand? Do you also think that putting on a space helmet will make NASA come and hire you to be an astronaut!?

The other day on YouTube, I saw a video with a woman who, by the standards of pop culture, is inarguably ugly. She would never be the leading role in a movie or a commercial. She was too fat, she had a pug nose and her facial features were incorrectly proportioned.

But hot damn, could she present a concise, well-reasoned argument!

I could see myself loving a woman like this. And the awesome thing is, plenty of people in the comments were complimenting her too. Her intelligence made her physical imperfections matter less.

That's the Big Damn Secret that pop culture almost never understands. The one that, even when they try to present it as a heartwarming moral, they always fuck it up by prioritizing physical beauty anyway.

A beautiful body can only compensate for an ugly mind temporarily.

But a beautiful mind will damn near always compensate for an ugly body.

That is, unless you're a shallow masochist. Your choice.
Viewed: 244 times
Added: 5 years, 8 months ago
 
Norithics
5 years, 8 months ago
Speaking as someone who has spent years studying, drawing and attempting to perfect that cartoonishly-shaped woman...

It's true. It's absolutely, indisputably true. The idea of trying to become that is so absurd to me that it would be hilarious if it wasn't so systematically tragic. I've been yelled at for reinforcing the 'standard,' but honestly, all I'm doing is removing it as far from realism as I possibly can. If only people related the ridiculous hourglass to a cartoon fox chick instead of a real human, I would think that would be way, way preferable.

But what do I know? I'm just a lousy smut-pusher.
AlexReynard
5 years, 8 months ago
The more I think about it, the more parallels I see between this and the idea that video games cause violence (or movies, or comic books). And the idea that cub porn is somehow immoral.

It's all about people who are so stupid they can't tell the difference between an image and reality, or they assume everyone else is too stupid to understand that. More likely the latter. So many people want to make rules that other people should have to follow.

People need to grow the fuck up and look at the obvious truth: if an image makes you hate yourself, or act violent, or commit a crime, the image literally cannot be responsible. It is an inanimate object. You chose to take your reaction to that image too far. You have a mental problem.

I'll grant them that things like this can influence young kids. Ideally, parents should teach their children to think critically about what they see. Oh, but that's to much work! It's so much easier to expect the government to just ban whatever we complain about. "Somebody ought to do something about this!" Ever notice how that somebody is almost never the person speaking?

I admit, part of this comes from personal bitterness. I don't have any trouble seeing through advertising, why should anyone else? And yes, I know everyone's different. But I figured this out on my own when I was a kid. I saw a commercial for a toy that looked so cool I just had to have it for Christmas. I got the toy and got bored with it almost instantly. 'That commercial lied to me about how awesome this toy was. I'm never going to fall for that shit ever again.' How difficult is it to understand that someone who will say anything to get your money isn't going to care about anything else about you?
ProjectDemise
5 years, 8 months ago
*Starts round of applause*
AlexReynard
5 years, 8 months ago
HAHAHA!!! I read that as 'sharts' at first! XD
ProjectDemise
5 years, 8 months ago
Sharting a round of applause...Sounds painful.
Shokuji
5 years, 8 months ago
Your wordcrafting skills make me smile. I can't disagree with much of anything. This is something I've thought a while ago and purposely stopped caring about looks or any physical features like body size/weight, penis/breast size, etc. I take it one further and don't care what gender they are. Why let that stop love between two people? Not like either of those people decided what to be when they were conceived. [shrugs] But I understand why those are important to people, especially if you want to have a child one day, then gender is pretty important.

I can also understand having a preference if someone is fat, thin, muscular, etc. In most cases it can be a sneak peek to what kind of person they are when it comes to health because, lets be honest, someone who's fit at least has less potential health issues than someone who's obese. Now it's not always the fault of the person for being heavy, there are lot of good reasons that some people are overweight or obese. But the problem comes when people either use those good reasons or twist those good reasons in to excuses for being big. Similar to your push above; everyone should honest enough to admit that most people prioritize enjoying culinary delights (food) higher than than getting in shape. If it was the other way around they probably wouldn't have gotten over their ideal body weight to begin with.

I get a little annoyed when something that isn't worked for, something they're simply born with, gains lots of attention and praise. Penis size (more so than breast size since penis size is quite a bit harder to change) is a perfect example of this. No one decides what size their member is, it just is. It's just an odd thing to praise considering most people wouldn't praise someone just for their gender/race (excusing genuine sexists/racists, I guess). I may even compare humiliating someone due to the cock size they were born with almost on the same level as humiliating someone due to their gender or race. They had no choice; in the great card game of life they are simply playing the hand they were dealt.

I'm not sure if this is all making sense or if I just 'out there', I wouldn't mind a little feed back. ^^;
AlexReynard
5 years, 8 months ago
>This is something I've thought a while ago and purposely stopped caring about looks or any physical features like body size/weight, penis/breast size, etc. I take it one further and don't care what gender they are. Why let that stop love between two people?

Heartily agreed! Maybe eventually our evolution will take a new turn: people will look past all the usual physical attracctors, and the people who are smart, loving and can maintain a stable relationship will be the ones to breed and pass on their genes. We can hope, at least.

>especially if you want to have a child one day, then gender is pretty important.

There's always surrogate parents and in-vitro fertilization. Or adoption! ;)

>I can also understand having a preference if someone is fat, thin, muscular, etc. In most cases it can be a sneak peek to what kind of person they are when it comes to health

Good point. I understand WHY we have the instincts we do, and a lot of it has to do with your instincts making you physically attracted to someone who has the markers for producing healthy children. But that's no longer as huge a priority since the invention of medicine.

I also totally understand having a sexual attraction to only certain types of people. What the head thinks and what the genitals want are two different thinks. I sometimes think people could avoid a lot of heartbreak if open relationships were the norm. Like, it'd be understood that there's the person you LOVE and the person you FUCK, and we stop thinking that monogamy must work for every couple or else they're bad people.

>Similar to your push above; everyone should honest enough to admit that most people prioritize enjoying culinary delights (food) higher than than getting in shape. If it was the other way around they probably wouldn't have gotten over their ideal body weight to begin with.

Yes. Frankly, I hope scientists eventually make a pill that lets you eat all the delicious garbage you want and not die from it. Essentially, the biggest problem is that your body thinks you should be starving at all times. So it hoards fat just in case you end up needing to live off it. But we don't. And all that excess fat gunks up our works. I've heard they've discovered a pill that makes mice's bodies not store fat, and I hope they patent that shit ASAP.

>I may even compare humiliating someone due to the cock size they were born with almost on the same level as humiliating someone due to their gender or race.

<blinks> I'd never thought of that before. I'm not sure how to feel about that, honestly. Interesting though.
Shokuji
5 years, 8 months ago
" Heartily agreed! Maybe eventually our evolution will take a new turn: people will look past all the usual physical attracctors, and the people who are smart, loving and can maintain a stable relationship will be the ones to breed and pass on their genes. We can hope, at least.
It's going to take a while to move away from this as long as there's money to be made by the beauty industry. And even though it's common knowledge that most pictures are photoshopped to a level of perfection impossible by anyone it may still effect people not because they're gullible, but simply because of conformity and what seeing/hearing something over and over again does to your sub-conscious.
" There's always surrogate parents and in-vitro fertilization. Or adoption! ;)
Sure but some people want it to be their genes and completely their child. Bloodlines and all that bullshit. [shrugs]
" Good point. I understand WHY we have the instincts we do, and a lot of it has to do with your instincts making you physically attracted to someone who has the markers for producing healthy children. But that's no longer as huge a priority since the invention of medicine.
Well it could be as simple as a concsious choice of wanting someone who is fit because, perhaps, you are too and you just want someone like-minded so there's less conflicts. On the alternative side, there are people out there who like chubby peeps. Whatever floats people's boats. =)
" I also totally understand having a sexual attraction to only certain types of people. What the head thinks and what the genitals want are two different thinks. I sometimes think people could avoid a lot of heartbreak if open relationships were the norm. Like, it'd be understood that there's the person you LOVE and the person you FUCK, and we stop thinking that monogamy must work for every couple or else they're bad people.
I've been enjoying a semi-open relationship for about 8 years now because I understand I can't be everything for someone. If I love someone I want them to be happy, I commonly state that their happiness is the most important thing to me and I mean it. If they would be happier being intimate with someone else, I'm fine with that because, like I said, I can't be everything for someone. I'd just like to make sure that person is a good/friendly individual that is clean of STDs. And if my partner decides to drop me for someone else, I just hope that other person makes my partner happier than I could make them. I've embraced the 'love them enough to let them go' idea. I'd rather they stay, of course, but I want them to be happier more, and I'd gain happiness knowing they are happier.
" <blinks> I'd never thought of that before. I'm not sure how to feel about that, honestly. Interesting though.
I'm not sure either. I was a little worried what people would have thought about that statement after I left it. But one thing you can't argue is that penis size, gender and race all have one thing in common; they're all things you're born with, you have no choice in the matter. So if it's wrong to hate on someone because they're female, or because they're asian, it must be wrong to hate on people with (naturally) small or large penises (or breasts).
AlexReynard
5 years, 8 months ago
>It's going to take a while to move away from this as long as there's money to be made by the beauty industry. And even though it's common knowledge that most pictures are photoshopped to a level of perfection impossible by anyone it may still effect people not because they're gullible, but simply because of conformity and what seeing/hearing something over and over again does to your sub-conscious.

On the other hand, our methods of communication have grown so numerous that we're getting to the point where we can have good, positive messages compete for headspace with the shitty conformist ones. Someone who's feeling down about their body can go online and find a dozen different sites/videos/whatever telling them they're beautiful.

>I've been enjoying a semi-open relationship for about 8 years now because I understand I can't be everything for someone. If I love someone I want them to be happy, I commonly state that their happiness is the most important thing to me and I mean it. If they would be happier being intimate with someone else, I'm fine with that because, like I said, I can't be everything for someone. I'd just like to make sure that person is a good/friendly individual that is clean of STDs. And if my partner decides to drop me for someone else, I just hope that other person makes my partner happier than I could make them. I've embraced the 'love them enough to let them go' idea. I'd rather they stay, of course, but I want them to be happier more, and I'd gain happiness knowing they are happier.

That's one of the most selfless things I've ever heard. Everything you've said sounds like a good, healthy foundation for an open relationship. I wish you many more years of happiness. :)

>I'm not sure either. I was a little worried what people would have thought about that statement after I left it. But one thing you can't argue is that penis size, gender and race all have one thing in common; they're all things you're born with, you have no choice in the matter. So if it's wrong to hate on someone because they're female, or because they're asian, it must be wrong to hate on people with (naturally) small or large penises (or breasts).

It really is a good point. It's just a very unexpected one. It's so common for dick size to be an acceptable topic for insult, we don't consider it wrong. It's invisible, in a way. And those are the type of thoughts I'm most interested in. Thanks for bringing it up.
Shokuji
5 years, 8 months ago
" On the other hand, our methods of communication have grown so numerous that we're getting to the point where we can have good, positive messages compete for headspace with the shitty conformist ones. Someone who's feeling down about their body can go online and find a dozen different sites/videos/whatever telling them they're beautiful.
The internet has been so good for the advancement of society as a whole. The free flow of ideas and thoughts has pushed us into warp-speeds and I hope we never slow down. With all this information at our fingertips it helps people see much faster that if their ideas are good or bad, worthwhile or not. Of course there's a lot of 'growing pains' when it comes to the internet, there seems to be a lot of talk about controlling it, censoring it, etc. I hope that never happens, and I hope that logic & reason will prevail on all topics, especially the controversial ones.

But that said, as long as TV is still around (where you're simply 'fed' whatever they want) and more popular than the internet (where you get to 'eat' whatever you want) people's opinions are going to be formed for them. This can still happen on the web as well but would be much more difficult because people aren't limited to a certain number of 'channels' unless you want to argue that there's only a certain number of websites on the web, but there's at least 1,000,000x more websites on the web than there are channels on TV.

But anyways, my point was that it's harder to force opinions on people when they have more channels/options for news/information. X3

" That's one of the most selfless things I've ever heard. Everything you've said sounds like a good, healthy foundation for an open relationship. I wish you many more years of happiness. :)
^///^; Well thanks for saying so, it's a very nice thing for you to say and made me smile a lot. =3

I hope things work out too, but life has a way of throwing curve balls. Some things may be changing in my life soon, one way or another, depending on if compromises can be found in my current relationship. But even if we decide that ending our relationship is the best option it was a great run, lots of good memories, and I'll continue to love them forever. I mean it when I say I want them to be happy, and if I can't provide that happiness for one reason or another I want them to be able to find someone who can provide it. I will not be a mate's limiting factor on happiness, even if I'm sad to see them go I'd be more sad knowing that they're unhappy with relationship.

" It really is a good point. It's just a very unexpected one. It's so common for dick size to be an acceptable topic for insult, we don't consider it wrong. It's invisible, in a way. And those are the type of thoughts I'm most interested in. Thanks for bringing it up.
Reading this made me quite happy. ^_^ And you're welcome, glad I could share my 2¢ and have it be appreciated by someone. Thanks for spending the time to converse with me. =3
AlexReynard
5 years, 8 months ago
>The internet has been so good for the advancement of society as a whole. The free flow of ideas and thoughts has pushed us into warp-speeds and I hope we never slow down.

Hearty agreement!

>Of course there's a lot of 'growing pains' when it comes to the internet, there seems to be a lot of talk about controlling it, censoring it, etc. I hope that never happens

I have a decent amount of faith that it won't. I think the internet has simply been free for too long. It's got too much of a head start for the government to have a hope of chasing after it and catching up. There's some pretty evil shit the government could try, but I think it'd be like trying to gather up a hundred ping pong balls in your arms. No matter how many you grab, some will inevitably slip out, and the harder you try to grab for them, the more you'll lose. Every censoring attempt I've seen so far has resulted in minor victories at most, which the rest of the internet laughs at and quickly finds a way around. It's the government versus the combined minds of every sneaky bastard on the planet. :)

>But anyways, my point was that it's harder to force opinions on people when they have more channels/options for news/information. X3

EXACTLY. Reminds me of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Rqw4krMOug

>^///^; Well thanks for saying so, it's a very nice thing for you to say and made me smile a lot. =3

Yay! You deserve it. :)

I hope things work out too, but life has a way of throwing curve balls. Some things may be changing in my life soon, one way or another, depending on if compromises can be found in my current relationship. But even if we decide that ending our relationship is the best option it was a great run, lots of good memories, and I'll continue to love them forever.

Damn, i wish more people had that attitude. So many love stories push the idea that 'Our love will survive FOREVER' which is a bit ludicrous. The more I observe us, the clearer it is that our species is not wired for monogamy. People change, and people move apart, and sometimes it's no one's fault.

There was actually a thing on the news today about a lawyer who had a contest: win a free divorce for valentines day. The newsanchors talking about it were so uncomfortable! They couldn't let go of the fairy tale forever-love narrative enough to see that this lawyer was doing a really great thing. He's helping people let go of each other to find happiness elsewhere.

>Thanks for spending the time to converse with me. =3

You comment; I reply. That's how it works, amigo. ;)
LoZeed
5 years, 8 months ago
The human race gives themselves too little credit, was Einstein beautiful? heck no, nor were the innovators the creators or the scientists. Just the mindless faces stand out, and that's what they'll be remembered for only their looks which is pointless to me.
    
AlexReynard
5 years, 8 months ago
Well, the fact that so many of us are able to acknowledge that means we're at least making progress. :)
keito
5 years, 8 months ago
Reminds me of a quote I've read a few times, I've got no idea of the source of it though: Beauty is only skin deep, ugly goes clear to the bone.
AlexReynard
5 years, 8 months ago
"If I could offer one piece of advice to the planet, it would be this: Don't marry for looks alone, and I'll tell you why. In a few years, when Barbara's boobs start sagging, she can get plastic surgery, have them lifted, move the nipple wherever. You can actually go to a titty bar, pick out a set of titties and say, "I want those titties on that woman." If her belly gets too big, she can get a tummy tuck and have a belly like a cheerleader. If her vision goes bad, you can have LASIK surgery and have 20/20 vision. If her hearing goes bad, they can install a device in her ear that will give you hearing as clear as it was the day you were born. But let me tell you something, folks: You can't fix stupid. There's not a pill you can take; there's not a class you can go to. Stupid is forever." -Ron White
justacritic
5 years, 8 months ago
Hmmm this reminds me of one of my favorite games Persona 4 which part of its message includes a lambasting of humanity's desire for false images and self delusion to the undesirable things.
AlexReynard
5 years, 8 months ago
If I played more video games, I might have heard of that one. :/
justacritic
5 years, 8 months ago
Basically it's the happiest game about murder, ever.
WhyteYote
5 years, 8 months ago
Lots of good points, as always.  The media's not completely to blame, unless we're assuming most people are way too retarded to think for themselves.  I err on that side of things, but I blame both sides.  I can't even watch traditional porn anymore because there's no genuineness to it.  Or most stories I read, where the characters say the same, unrealistic lines when they're getting fucked.  I've NEVER said any of that.

My philosophies are pretty simple:  1.  People suck, by and large.  2.  Be the best me, not the best idea of the perfect me.  There's others, but you get the idea.  And I have friends, and I'm liked, so I'm doing something right.  

But I see it in the fandom all the time.  Perfect wolf with rock-hard abs and a ten-inch dick.  IRL, nowhere near that.  You can make the case for escapism, or idealism, but beyond a certain point that's plain unhealthy.  My character looks like me IRL, with a few artistic-license exceptions.  That's just what I'm about.

As long as people will believe it, the media will provide.  At least a few of us know better.
AlexReynard
5 years, 8 months ago
>The media's not completely to blame, unless we're assuming most people are way too retarded to think for themselves.  I err on that side of things, but I blame both sides.

Certainly. In most situations, trying to point the blame in only one direction means you're getting it wrong. It's less common than we think to find situations where one side is totally wrong and the other side is totally right.

>I can't even watch traditional porn anymore because there's no genuineness to it.

Yup. I've trued to watch normal, human pornography. I usually get far more enjoyment by putting it on fast-forward and lauging my ass off at it.

>Or most stories I read, where the characters say the same, unrealistic lines when they're getting fucked.  I've NEVER said any of that.

<vigorous nod> When I write yiff scenes, I try to avoid dialogue as much as possible. It's never sexy. It always sounds goofy. At most I will indicate sounds they make, or them giving directions to each other. "Harder!" "Slower..." "Bite my tail!"

>But I see it in the fandom all the time.  Perfect wolf with rock-hard abs and a ten-inch dick.  IRL, nowhere near that.  You can make the case for escapism, or idealism, but beyond a certain point that's plain unhealthy.  My character looks like me IRL, with a few artistic-license exceptions.  That's just what I'm about.

And that's fine for you. I'm a little toon fox, and that's fine for me. I'm uncomfortable with labeling anyone's online identity 'unhealthy'. Not unless they're at the point where they actually believe they are their imaginary self. Wish for it, sure. But accept the reality that, for right now, you're a boring furless primate. I think about the only problem i have with fursonas is when someone chooses an identity they think will be popular, rather than one that reflects their true self. You see this with Sparkledogs, or people that are clearly following trends. Though then again, that may be their true self; flighty and indecisive. <shrug>
Shokuji
5 years, 8 months ago
" I think about the only problem i have with fursonas is when someone chooses an identity they think will be popular, rather than one that reflects their true self. You see this with Sparkledogs, or people that are clearly following trends.
Pretty sure this is why most furries have footlongs. They simply think that it will be more desireable and accepted, I guess. Or it's because they're conforming to media/porn, which is reinforced by lots of big cocked furry art that sorta makes it snowball in the process. People never talk about the negatives of a larger memeber, or the benefits of a smaller one. The fact is, all sizes have their advantages and disadvantages. I personally enjoy all sizes for different reasons, I just hope others aren't duping themselves into thinking they like something because everone else seems to.
AlexReynard
5 years, 8 months ago
>People never talk about the negatives of a larger memeber, or the benefits of a smaller one. The fact is, all sizes have their advantages and disadvantages. I personally enjoy all sizes for different reasons, I just hope others aren't duping themselves into thinking they like something because everone else seems to.

Good points. I have seen a few guys who are specifically into short cocks, but it seems like kind of a 'getting off on it because you're not supposed to like it' kind of thing. Meaning the thing itself isn't as sexy as the taboo of it. So you definitely have a point.

Also, long or short, I just want my penis to be delicious. ;)
Shokuji
5 years, 8 months ago
I got a point? =O What's my score up to? ;3 But seriously, thanks for chatting about it. It's nice to be validated in some way, even better when it's by someone I respect. =3
AlexReynard
5 years, 8 months ago
Simultaneous thanks and you're welcome! ^__^
WhyteYote
5 years, 8 months ago
" AlexReynard wrote:
> I'm uncomfortable with labeling anyone's online identity 'unhealthy'. Not unless they're at the point where they actually believe they are their imaginary self. Wish for it, sure. But accept the reality that, for right now, you're a boring furless primate. <shrug>


That's kind of what I was going for.  Spending one's life living vicariously through their perfect anthro self indicates a whole host of problems.  Or hoping to someday transform into it, I guess I live too much in reality.  Or I don't spend enough time online.  But an essential part of anthropomorphism is its ability to vary according to tastes, like putting pads on bunny feet or buck teeth on donkeys, though both are naturally correct.  

But in that is the ability to piss off any number of purists.
SenGrisane
5 years, 8 months ago
That's not what I want to see. What I want to see are gravity-defying waists and wasp tits :P

And I find unfair is that women can just show off her goodies to lure potential mates (the boobs). I think men should be allowed to wave around their best piece too, to lure in potential mates :P
AlexReynard
5 years, 8 months ago
Personally, the fact that it's the 21st century and we still believe that seeing nudity causes harm, to the point where we jail people for it, seems insane to me. Like, when are we going to grow up? A society where people can flop their various bits all around as much as they like is fine by me. So long as they don't leak on the seats in restaurants.
SenGrisane
5 years, 8 months ago
Or have disgusting body hygiene standards ^^
AlexReynard
5 years, 8 months ago
True dat. I think my only rules for an enthusiastically sex-positive society would be to try not to spread germs around.
SenGrisane
5 years, 8 months ago
Since there would be more love and less war there would be more money to research cures for germs XD
AlexReynard
5 years, 8 months ago
Good point! *chuckle*
Blackraven2
5 years, 8 months ago
The fun thing if you look at advertisements, even thought they use top models that are as close to the industry beaty ideal as they can get, for a high quality commercial or catalogue , they still always get photoshopped on top of that, to get them from status top model to impossibly beatiful. the skin a tiny bit smoother, the height to width ratio a tiny notch slimmer, some adjustments to colour and lighting...

Ask any media designer, they will tell you that there's basically no advertising product out there that is not post-processed in such a way. Especially in fashion business.
AlexReynard
5 years, 8 months ago
>The fun thing if you look at advertisements, even thought they use top models that are as close to the industry beaty ideal as they can get, for a high quality commercial or catalogue , they still always get photoshopped on top of that, to get them from status top model to impossibly beatiful.

Excellent point. The advertisers are basically admitting, 'You can never look like this. Ever. Not even if you're the most beautiful person in the world'.

It's okay to have an ideal to strive for. Just so long as you know you're never going to be that. There are plenty of kids who want to be superheroes. They're never going to be that, but it can inspire them to act heroic. And that sense of justice can carry over when they grow up. So as far as looks, I think some people should be told to grow up and stop playing movie star. That's for pretend. Try to present yourself well, that's all you really need to do.
squirrelfox
5 years, 8 months ago
An interesting argument as always.  However, I would like to put forward my own thoughts on why media images DO matter and DO need to change.

Speaking as one who had very limited parental involvement growing up, those media images can be highly damaging to a developing mind.  In my case, at least, I still have body image issues, and perpetually think I'm ugly and unlovable, even though at age 23 the number of people who have not only told me I'm sexy, but then HAD SEX WITH ME, is in the double digits.  The low double digits, but still, I'm willing to bet that's a higher number than most folks fuck in their LIVES.  Actually, I think I recall reading statistics that the average number of sex partners a male has in their lives is 9, so I'm already ahead of the curve there.

Now, one could argue that if parents aren't going to be there and be active in their children's lives, fuck them, it's not society's problem that kids aren't getting the proper countermeasures to this bullshit.  But it's so prevalent nowadays, media images so pervasive and inescapable, that I question whether even a very good, involved, loving parent could effectively counter all of the hyped-up, over-sexualized images that the media bombards us with on a daily basis.

Is this to suggest that these images need to be removed entirely?  No.  But there is certainly room to argue that these need to be tempered with a healthy dose of reality.

Just my two cents.  Feel free to rip me a new one, as I'm sure SOMEONE will.  :p
ScottyKat
5 years, 8 months ago
As much as i like cartoonishly sexy bodys ( see norithics in this very journal) Im not dumb enough to expect that in real life. I care more for someone who will like me for me and vice versa then a giant pair of knockers and beauty that can only be obtained via photoshop of surgery
AlexReynard
5 years, 8 months ago
Or, as a friend of mine pointed out, another option is to ditch humanity entirely and just stick with the images. That certainly has its drawbacks, bit it is a choice. If someone wants to turn up their noses at real people and just look at porn and do RPs forever, <shrug>.

Though personally, yeah, I think it's better to find a balance. Images for entertainment, real people for real companionship.
counter345
5 years, 8 months ago
I'm pretty sure these images operate at the subconscious level, if anything else.

Female teenagers are likely to be confused about their bodies. Them seeing images of over-sexualized individuals isn't going to help her in the process.

You seem to be implying that the only people affected are the people who want to mimic the latest fashion design. This simply isn't true. I'd go on a limb and say most people cared about how they look, and a smaller (but still large - i don't have statistics) were ashamed, unstable or embarrassed about their looks. After all, as you should know, we live in a world where we (as humans) are judged on a fucking whim.

Like I said, this is a social thing. The recurring thought within teens (I should know - I go to a college full of 'em) is that women somehow have to look like the latest fashion model; yes, even the intelligent ones think this, which is why I think it's a subconscious thing.
AlexReynard
5 years, 8 months ago
>Female teenagers are likely to be confused about their bodies. Them seeing images of over-sexualized individuals isn't going to help her in the process.

But hasn't this been happening even before there were images? Even before there were humans? The Alphas of any species would strut their stuff and make all the Betas jealous. Like you said, it's hardwired. And so long as it's hardwired, we're going to want it. And so long as we want it, it';ll make money for those who sell it. It's like Prohibition: you cannot legislate away what the public craves. Even if that thing is objectively bad for them. The most effective thing you can do is change perception. If the kids are confused, give them positive messages to counterbalance the bullshit. It's literally impossible to shield kids from bad messages, so the only solution is to give them better ones.

>You seem to be implying that the only people affected are the people who want to mimic the latest fashion design. ... I'd go on a limb and say most people cared about how they look, and a smaller ... were ashamed, unstable or embarrassed about their looks. After all, as you should know, we live in a world where we (as humans) are judged on a fucking whim.

Of course. I even said that I'm unlike most people in not giving a shit about my looks. I'm not saying the solution is for everyone to completely ignore looks and fashion. Just assert themselves. If you're aware enough that fashion can be bad for you, then you're aware enough to choose for yourself what you'll follow and what you won't. You can make yourself look good while refusing to do anything that's painful, unhealthy or damaging to your self-esteem.

>Like I said, this is a social thing. The recurring thought within teens (I should know - I go to a college full of 'em) is that women somehow have to look like the latest fashion model; yes, even the intelligent ones think this, which is why I think it's a subconscious thing.

All true. And part of why I think the media doesn't deserve all the blame here is that they are only the symptom. The root problem is our instincts making us compete with one another. The media is only holding up a mirror. I'm certain that teenagers in places with no television, books or movies still act exactly the same. Where do you think tattoos, piercings, scarification, braids and face-painting come from? We've been trying to look more impressive than we really are since caveman times.
counter345
5 years, 8 months ago
Thanks for the reply. I see your point; it's certainly been going for generations.
Rakaziel
5 years, 8 months ago
I agree with you.

Imo, it ultimately comes down to a very cynical formula (maybe not all are so cynical as to actively follow it, but I put nothing past anybody by principle - if you can not predict everything (and I can't) you are not paranoid enough) - The more the dream matches their ideals (or what they are told are their ideals), the more people will chase that dream. The more people chase a dream, the more people will utterly despair when they realize they can not reach it. The more they despair, they will either take desperate measures or will seek exposure to the dream itself to make themselves forget how far their reality does not match it. And there is money to be made at each of these steps, way more money than by giving people the money and the means to reach their dreams. The aptly named Dream Factory in Hollywood is a prime example. After all, if you teach a starving man to fish, he will stop spending his last money buying food from you. Selling a cure to the symptoms is more lucrative than selling a cure to the illness, and gets ever more lucrative the further the illness is spread. And as the illness in question is an internal memetic imbalance, it is very easy to invent and spread new illnesses and then again only selling a cure for the symptoms.

The funny thing is, we may actually not even be far away from making that ideal body attainable - by stripping the original body down to the internal organs and replacing the rest with robotics and silicone. Artificial sense of touch works, so you could even make it feel somewhat "real". By now, it all comes down to reading and faking the nerve signals right. Once it is possible, it will become a status symbol, expensive unneeded upgrades and chrome parts included.
A bit like in Surrogates, only actually making sense.

And in all honesty, if given the opportunity I would take such a body. Not for the looks, but because it brings me closer to immortality. Replace the other organs, once we find out how the body interacts with and holds the soul, replace everything. I may not be a furry (my overlap with the fandom is in the idea of creating additional sapient species, and a love for fantasy and scifi in general), but if I can replace my body to attain immortality, I would take the offer as soon as caution lets me.
AlexReynard
5 years, 8 months ago
>After all, if you teach a starving man to fish, he will stop spending his last money buying food from you.

Chilling, but entirely accurate. Reminds me of the many arguments I've heard against the pharmaceutical industry; that they intentionally do not develop cures, and instead make drugs to endlessly manage symptoms. There's not a lot of conspiracy theories I buy into, but this one has plausibility at every level. (Though sometimes people use it to 'prove' alternative medicine is better. Um, no. The bad behavior of the people who create real medicine doesn't make fake medicine any more effective.)

>The funny thing is, we may actually not even be far away from making that ideal body attainable - by stripping the original body down to the internal organs and replacing the rest with robotics and silicone. Artificial sense of touch works, so you could even make it feel somewhat "real". By now, it all comes down to reading and faking the nerve signals right. Once it is possible, it will become a status symbol, expensive unneeded upgrades and chrome parts included.

I'm looking forward to it, definitely. Have you read my last novel, War Is Peace? I put a heck of a lot of pro-transhumanist ideas in that one. Bring on the robot replacement parts! Our old ones are obsolete and bad for us!

>A bit like in Surrogates, only actually making sense.

Ohhhhh, that movie pissed me off. So much irrational science-is-evil cliche bullshit going on. The film was basically an argument that we'd all be better off if the internet was shut down forever. Fucking idiotic garbage.

>but if I can replace my body to attain immortality, I would take the offer as soon as caution lets me.

My sentiments exactly.
Rakaziel
5 years, 8 months ago
> Ohhhhh, that movie pissed me off. So much irrational science-is-evil cliche bullshit going on. The film was basically an argument that we'd all be better off if the internet was shut down forever. Fucking idiotic garbage.

I have only read the graphic novel, which I guess is a bit better than the movie.

As for the science-phobia itself, you will always have luddites. It's simply what happens when calcified old men are confronted with new ideas. It becomes only a problem when too many take them seriously or when those with vested interests (let's be honest, no one likes losing old investments) consider it easier to suppress the new ideas than to adapt.

If the oil and automobile tycoons would think further ahead they would focus on developing and subsequently using new materials for sturdier light-weight cars, and buy shares from the electric car companies, instead of trying to suppress the electric car.

Their latest move was that New York Times journalist writing a scathing and provenly untrue review of the Tesla S.
Would have worked a decade ago but not now. Not only has the Tesla CEO proven, from the logs the car was keeping,  that the journalist recharged the battery too little and took long detours, but a CNN journalist has done another review with the same car that contradicts NYT.
http://money.cnn.com/2013/02/15/autos/tesla-model-s/in...
http://globalconnections.hsbc.com/global/en/articles/a...
AlexReynard
5 years, 8 months ago
>I have only read the graphic novel, which I guess is a bit better than the movie.

I would hope so, though I haven't read it. The art style looked... annoying.

>If the oil and automobile tycoons would think further ahead they would focus on developing and subsequently using new materials for sturdier light-weight cars, and buy shares from the electric car companies, instead of trying to suppress the electric car.

Ah, but looking ahead is not good for business. The essential nature of business is to maximize profit. And taking sensible, long-term risks for the good of everyone doesn't net you stupidly huge profits in the immediate short-term. Much better for the individual to do whatever evil shit it takes to make money right the hell now.

Yeah, I like capitalism, but I also understand it. It's a dangerous beast, ruled by instinct, that needs to be kept constantly in check.

>Their latest move was that New York Times journalist writing a scathing and provenly untrue review of the Tesla S.
Would have worked a decade ago but not now. Not only has the Tesla CEO proven, from the logs the car was keeping,  that the journalist recharged the battery too little and took long detours, but a CNN journalist has done another review with the same car that contradicts NYT.

Thanks very much for those links! That was an absolutely fascinating read.
Shuyo
5 years, 8 months ago
What if I want to wear foundation or something to cover up blotchy skin, not because I'm conforming to a societal standard of wearing makeup, but because I just don't like the appearance of blotchiness? Is that okay?

(Mostly playing devil's advocate here.)
LeafyGreens
5 years, 8 months ago
that's okay, since it's because YOU want it. you just don't like the look of blotchy skin, so you cover it. 100% your choice.
AlexReynard
5 years, 8 months ago
Oh, absolutely! In fact, that's really what I'm advocating here: making the choice for yourself. Anything you want on the scale of conformist to rebel, go for it! At the heart, I'm really making an argument against the idea that someone else's choice matters more than your own as to how you want your own body to look. It's always your choice first.

But I also believe people should make their choices and take the consequences that come with them. Wanting the best of two contradictory choices almost never works out.
LeafyGreens
5 years, 8 months ago
i cannot agree enough about the point about the internet.

we do not need to reproduce as rapidly as we currently are. if more people just had relationships online, not only would they be happier, but we wouldn't be so worried about overpopulation. less fucking means less resource drain. we really don't need 7 billion people on the planet.
AlexReynard
5 years, 8 months ago
Well, I'm not saying you should have relationships entirely online. I meant like, meet online, then meet in real life.
LeafyGreens
5 years, 8 months ago
meh, either way.
OsirisPM
5 years, 8 months ago
Since I view maintaining and increasing diversity as the only "good" possible, I see nothing wrong with depictions of ANYTHING. The Universe will endure. And, hey, I rather like the way the folks on this site depict things... *grins*

If you were in charge( as a teacher, parent, or priest) of a person that wanted to be popular, would you allow them to work towards that goal? If so, where would you draw the line? When do you believe a person's uniqueness should be enforced? Can we make a person unique (or keep them unique) by force?
AlexReynard
5 years, 8 months ago
>Since I view maintaining and increasing diversity as the only "good" possible, I see nothing wrong with depictions of ANYTHING.

Well said!

>The Universe will endure.

England prevails. ;)

>And, hey, I rather like the way the folks on this site depict things... *grins*

Me too. When tons of people condemn any kind of art, what we need most are places that bravely showcase that art. Yes, even cub porn. People need to get it through their sick, thick skulls that the act of drawing an image can never be the same equivalent to committing a real life act on a real life person.

>If you were in charge( as a teacher, parent, or priest) of a person that wanted to be popular, would you allow them to work towards that goal? If so, where would you draw the line? When do you believe a person's uniqueness should be enforced? Can we make a person unique (or keep them unique) by force?

It would depend entirely on the particulars of the situation. But mostly, unless they were trying to do something with permanent consequences, I'd simply tell them, 'I know you, and I'm fairly certain you don't really want this. But if you do it just to be popular, and it works out okay for you, that's great. But if it doesn't, remember that I told you so, and that I'll still be here afterwards.'
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