Back in the 1960s and early’70s, there was a popular expression: “If you got it, flaunt it,” which I changed at the time to “Whatever you got, flaunt it!”
Because I noticed that people, women in particular, who were self-conscious about their weight or other supposed physical “flaws” often blamed the world for not responding to them because of “fat” and other body image prejudices.
They seemed unaware that there were women who weren’t self-conscious about being “big” or about their “too prominent” noses (etc.) in ways that made it clear they were comfortable with themselves—and it made those women very attractive.
Same with men, though obviously the standards were different, given the biological as well as “sexist” patterns of perception and values.
Nowadays, some of those old sexist formulas are gone, some not (witness the ridiculous idea that girls who look like they barely survived a hunger strike are considered the epitome of glamour), but there’s still this idea that only the near perfect (or cosmetically enhanced “perfect”) are “beautiful,” despite the fact that we all experience exceptions to that every day.
Like at this year’s Oscars.
As I said in an earlier post, there were, as usual, a lot of “beautiful” women and men there—Jennifer Lopez for one looked lovely, in fact lovelier than usual because she didn’t seem to be trying as hard as she used to at these things to look “perfect” in that phony fashion magazine way—and DeCaprio looked a little more his age this time, and cute enough.
But among the men, I found Forest Whitaker most attractive, despite his mismatched eyes, un-perfect body, and unglamorous looks. His manner and presence seem so humble and yet so full of zeal for the humanity we all share, he comes across to me as beautiful.
And, though I found his wife, whose name I don’t know, the most “beautiful” woman at the Oscars in the conventional sense, the women I found most attractive, and sexiest, were Helen Mirren, who is 61, and Jennifer Hudson, who has been called “a big woman,” because both seem so comfortable with themselves.
And from the responses I’ve heard from other men, I’m not alone.