Walking through the marketplace there is a war upon us, the battle rages at eye level, with the victor surely to be scantily clad. The warm colors of women’s magazines gleam sexual confidence with the unfortunate price of objectivity whereas men’s magazines scream muscular perfection with costs of self image.
“Upgrade who you are using these proven methods, discover mysterious secrets to happiness, and hidden truths for sexual gratification.” The covers shout.
Inside the models are overlaid by the empty stares of cold lettering as writers scramble to find another way to say the exact same thing they said last month.
Carbon copies of images used for the grocery isle mags could be placed upon the covers of liquor store smut rags, drastic differences in perception tied only to the knowledge of what lies inside. The meaning changes, the intentions change, but the images never change, they don’t have to. The sexuality is subjective in that the “Men’s Muscle Health” cover models are looked at with pride and covetous desire by the average male, they are praised for toned physiques and presumed sexual attractiveness. The very same models on the cover of homoerotic “JustUsBoys” would draw the ire and aggravated repulsion of the same viewer.
This subjectivity of sexuality is not isolated simply to the non believer as the faiths of humanity have as many rules on the sins of the flesh as they do denominations. The only true advantage in combating this I will concede to the religion of islam through its callous uniformity.
Due in part to its youth and seemingly intentional measures to maintain unity through fear, islam seems impervious to the segregations that have eased christianity out of the dark ages… With the two predecessors of the third monotheistic train of faith there has been a verifiable breaking free of the tracks of traditional judaism and christianity; with the separation of denominational philosophy and prophecy that has produced a spectrum of perceived morality and proper sexuality.
The tag line “They were not being very good christians/jews/muslims” is uttered regularly but the reciprocal is rarely initiated since “they” would in all cases rightly feel the same about the speaker. This differentiation is healthy in that through reason and inquiry it is possible to see the dangers of perception bias affecting both the faithful and the non believers. The universal understanding that the problem of advertising a sexuality that is no longer beautiful but simply utilitarian is not of sin but of social morality.
The human form edited, modified, and idolized to the point of conceptualization. The end result is the loss of the individual and the birth of an empty image much like that of searching for perfection in fantasy or the supernatural. Life and all its wonder becomes an empty vessel when modeled after the cover story in the sky, the shell upon which we should deliver our sacrifice to the ravenous king of the afterlife.
We empty ourselves of what we truly are, we cut and form our shape and urges to ancient demands, we find forced solace in preconceptions of beauty, the previous notions of happiness, and the rigid tapestry of salvation; without ever asking what our own shape would be unfettered and unbridled.
What would you look like if no one told you what beauty was?