beauty, goddesses and the sabre-toothed tiger

yesterday at the fireside chat at sacred space, we had anne baird as a guest. anne is the creator of goddess cards, a series of internationally sold, beautiful greeting cards that celebrate the beauty in every woman.

the idea of our fireside chats is to share ideas and inspire discussion. one of the topics that came up was that there might be a trend currently to overglamourize the idea of the goddess.

the term “goddess” often evokes an image of a strong, beautiful, magical, benevolent woman. one of our guests asked, what about plain women, what about “old hags”, what about the not-so-peaceful aspects of many goddesses?

this is a worthwhile topic to think about, and opens a whole pandora’s box. what’s beautiful? what’s plain? is this picture of two women by acclaimed photographer naomi harris a portrait of beauty, of plainness, of … ?

part of the problem is the human need to slot everything into categories. this need crops up more in some situations than in others. it certainly seems to rear its (ugly? lovely? plain?) head quite willingly whenever we talk about women’s appearance.

but is it really necessary? what does anyone gain by looking at a woman and immediately assessing whether she fits into categories such as pretty, thin, old, wrinkled, well-dressed, etc.?

thinking in categories is useful in stressful or survival situations: “is this a sabre-toothed tiger i see? i can’t tell from here but it kind of has that shape, i better run!”

this type of quick categorization is what saved our ancestors over and over again. but many adults who live in the western world don’t encounter too many survival situations, so we don’t need to quickly categorize like that anymore. i guess our brains haven’t quite gotten that message yet!

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

One thought on “beauty, goddesses and the sabre-toothed tiger

  1. Jeff

    This discussion has so many levels to it, so allow me to wander in with some of my ideas. Take a Barbie doll for example. First of all, who exactly came up with her and where did they obtain her dimensions ? This is a popular topic with many people commenting on it even views discussed on tv shows. One Dr. whose name I forgot said that her dimensions would be next to impossible if not completely impossible to find or re-create in real life. So why was she made like that ? Often times art immitates life, in other words, her creator must have had an idea in his/her head as to how she should be formed. Perhaps a real-life model with a few “alterations” ? Anyway, this could go on forever so allow me to switch gears for a few. Has anyone ever seen say, an “average” woman doll ? I never have, not unless you consider “speciality” dolls purchased say off-shore or thru mail order. Average sized woman dolls don’t appear on the shelves of toy stores with the only exception being the cabbage patch doll and even then…. what is that thing? Perhaps it’s a “spoof” of what a real infant looks like. So lets wrap this portion up by saying it’s pretty safe to assume that unless it’s an official Barbie brand barbie doll, it’s a “spoof” of an average human. But now why is that ? Why force un-realistic female dimensions into our kids minds especially at such young ages. Funny, this discussion kinda hinges on the last topic about self-harm when talking about food dissorders. Kids view barbie, then view themselves and if they don’t come close to matching her dimensions, they starve themselves in an effort to achieve her waist size, etc….
    …Just something to think about

  2. Jeff

    This discussion has so many levels to it, so allow me to wander in with some of my ideas. Take a Barbie doll for example. First of all, who exactly came up with her and where did they obtain her dimensions ? This is a popular topic with many people commenting on it even views discussed on tv shows. One Dr. whose name I forgot said that her dimensions would be next to impossible if not completely impossible to find or re-create in real life. So why was she made like that ? Often times art immitates life, in other words, her creator must have had an idea in his/her head as to how she should be formed. Perhaps a real-life model with a few “alterations” ? Anyway, this could go on forever so allow me to switch gears for a few. Has anyone ever seen say, an “average” woman doll ? I never have, not unless you consider “speciality” dolls purchased say off-shore or thru mail order. Average sized woman dolls don’t appear on the shelves of toy stores with the only exception being the cabbage patch doll and even then…. what is that thing? Perhaps it’s a “spoof” of what a real infant looks like. So lets wrap this portion up by saying it’s pretty safe to assume that unless it’s an official Barbie brand barbie doll, it’s a “spoof” of an average human. But now why is that ? Why force un-realistic female dimensions into our kids minds especially at such young ages. Funny, this discussion kinda hinges on the last topic about self-harm when talking about food dissorders. Kids view barbie, then view themselves and if they don’t come close to matching her dimensions, they starve themselves in an effort to achieve her waist size, etc….
    …Just something to think about

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