This article was tweeted onto my timeline and I was quite fascinated by it.
It is based on a photo with the caption “
1912’s Perfect Woman Was From Brooklyn, Weighed 171 Lbs, Had Pear-Shaped Body
We regularly see cyclical, disturbing discussions about the physical aspects of womanhood and what makes a woman a “real” woman. It can be rather upsetting to see others repeatedly dissect the female form, classify it in positive and negative ways, and decide who is acceptable as a “real” woman and who isn’t.
100 years ago, the “most nearly perfect specimen of womanhood” would be considered overweight today, per the article and other statistics. However, her pear shape would make her healthier, overall, as women with pear shapes are known to have fewer weight-related health issues than women who are “apple-shaped”, or carry the bulk of their weight in their mid-sections. Pear-shaped women are often prized because they appear to be naturally capable of bearing multiple children, which triggers a biological response in most heterosexual men.
This “perfect” woman is described as “Strong”, physically, which was considered an asset. She was also described as she “[enjoying] horticulture, outdoor sports, and [being] an ardent suffragette”. Go figure! A perfect woman grows her own vegetables, enjoys sports, and is a feminist?
So 100 years ago, men valued women with diverse talents, solid physical builds, and progressive approaches to womanhood and equality?
“Let’s do the time warp againnnnnnnnn”
I have to go back there!!! LOL Not seriously, but, wow. Who would have thought that men actually valued these qualities in women? I do. They value them today. The problem is that we’re over-saturated with the ignorant statements of a loud few who who don’t know up from down and haven’t properly learned to wipe the tips of their penises after a piss that we miss all of the wonderful enlightened, appreciative men who, you guessed it, love us as we are!
We’re all perfect, in our own perfectly unique ways. There is no definitive ideal for womanhood, be it the physical aesthetic or the intellectual, spiritual, and emotional components. Every woman is perfect, not just for a partner, but for herself. That is the key point many of us miss.
We need not wait for validation from others nor should we always feel the need to seek solidarity with others who feel rejected because of a shared “flaw” (too tall, too fat, too dark, too short, too whateverthefuckistheproblemoftheday).
In 1912, the “perfect” woman measured 35-30-40. Today, such a woman would be deemed fat by a large faction of society. The article makes the comparison that she would wear a size 8 top and 12/1 4 bottom, and a 12 dress with the top taken in. That sounds….awfully familiar *looks over to the left in the mirror*
I’m 6’0 tall, 36-30-45. I’m perfect, but not for that. I’m perfect because I love myself, wholly. I adore myself in my entirety. I appreciate every single struggle and triumph I’ve experienced. I value my intellectual capacity and brevity. I admire my own ambition and drive. I am moved by my compassion and empathy. I am nurtured by my unique approach to motherhood. I am Love. I am perfection.
And guess what, sisterl? So are you.