Real Beauty

I’ve written previously about my struggles to change the way I look at women.  Part of my difficulty was the way that, as I changed the way I looked at women, and consequently, the way women appeared to me, I found them considerably less attractive than I had previously.


But that changed when I discovered this professional photo retouching site via one of LindaBeth’s posts.  After a day or two of going through the portfolio, I found that I began to appreciate the beauty of everyday women that I happened to meet or pass by without feeling like I had to revert to the old way of looking.  It’s been very therapeutic for me.


After giving the matter some thought, I think I understand what happened.  I had begun to stop seeing women as purely sexual objects, which caused their appearance to change in my eyes (why exactly, I’m still not sure).  However, my standards of feminine beauty hadn’t changed; I was still comparing women to an unrealistic and unachievable standard of what women should look like.  This photo retouching site, for whatever reason, has helped me in retraining that standard; to see women with “flaws” and see that not only are they still beautiful, but that they are at least sometimes beautiful because of those “flaws”.  LindaBeth’s observation that after awhile the retouched pictures look a bit like “aliens” isn’t too far off the mark.


So, I conclude that there are at least two parts to reconditioning the way men look at women – changing the act of looking itself, and also changing patriarchial standards of female beauty.


~ by arkhilokhus on April 25, 2008.

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