Women & Beauty

I think we got confused somewhere in the Cretaceous.

Discuss various aspects of ancient civilizations and humanity in general.

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Re: Women & Beauty

#61  Postby Spearthrower » Jul 10, 2015 2:43 pm

Sitting right next to me now is a book I very much recommend to anyone interested by any of this stuff:

The Origin of Our Species, by Chris Stringer.

It's speculation backed up with hard evidence, and this guy really knows his stuff.

I was lucky enough to get quite a few opportunities to talk with him while studying at UCL just a block away from the British Museum where he was the curator of the fossil human collection, and he'd sometimes invite us to show off some stashed away material culture and human remains.

This is why I usually spend some time laughing at Creationist who claim that the ancient human fossils are all fakes. You can't help but laugh when you've held them in your own hands! :D
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Re: Women & Beauty

#62  Postby Spearthrower » Jul 10, 2015 3:12 pm

Doubtdispelled wrote:
Well, bless me! I always think it's really great when young people are influenced by something like that and then go on to spend their lives doing something that fascinates them.

:cheers:


And it's why I find it odd when some people who love non-fiction don't recognise that fiction has the capacity to inspire people to find out more. Speculation is absolutely essential in the absence of sufficient data to make proclamations with any degree of certainty.
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Re: Women & Beauty

#63  Postby Mike_L » Jul 10, 2015 4:18 pm

Off-topic, but worth mentioning, IMO...

Regarding the Venus figurines...

According to the Wikipedia article some of them are made from clay (representing the earliest known use of ceramics), but the majority were carved from solid substances: bone, ivory or soft minerals (calcite, soapstone, limestone).
The latter (carved forms) are interesting from the point of view of human intellectual development. When a sculptor uses clay (or a similarly pliable substance), he/she can employ both "additive" and "subtractive" techniques. (For example, a piece of clay can be added to a basic face shape to form the nose).
By contrast, when a sculptor carves a solid substance, he/she is limited to subtractive techniques (a piece, once chiseled away, cannot be put back). Therefore, a carved sculpture requires a substantial amount of forward planning. It's noteworthy that the very earliest known figurative sculpture is of the carved-from-solid variety. Plaudits to human intellect!
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Re: Women & Beauty

#64  Postby tuco » Jul 10, 2015 4:20 pm

Spearthrower wrote:
tuco wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:
tuco wrote:Fair enough. It may also worth be noting that there is such a thing as sex tourism in Thailand and probably majority of sex tourists come from White West which then could relate to the phenomena you mention.


Yes, living in Thailand for 12 years, I am familiar with the fact that there is sex tourism in Thailand, but this is not related to anything I said above. It's not as if all girls in Thailand are in the sex trade, or interested in westerners. In fact, it's kind of a stereotype here that only 'ugly' girls go with farang. This stereotype, as usual, has a kernel of truth in it - in Thailand, the white, Chinese middle-class is the ideal of beauty, whereas it is mostly the north and north-eastern dark-skinned Isaan girls who have Western boyfriends/husbands or who end up in the sex trade. The common link there, though, is poverty. Isaan is a very poor, mostly agricultural area.


Not related to anything you said? I tend to think otherwise but alright.



You're free to, but I explained why that wouldn't be a very robust thought.


Yes, well alleged robust "explanation" mean little to me but thanks.
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Re: Women & Beauty

#65  Postby tuco » Jul 10, 2015 4:22 pm

Mike_L wrote:Off-topic, but worth mentioning, IMO...

Regarding the Venus figurines...

According to the Wikipedia article some of them are made from clay (representing the earliest known use of ceramics), but the majority were carved from solid substances: bone, ivory or soft minerals (calcite, soapstone, limestone).
The latter (carved forms) are interesting from the point of view of human intellectual development. When a sculptor uses clay (or a similarly pliable substance), he/she can employ both "additive" and "subtractive" techniques. (For example, a piece of clay can be added to a basic face shape to form the nose).
By contrast, when a sculptor carves a solid substance, he/she is limited to subtractive techniques (a piece, once chiseled away, cannot be put back). Therefore, a carved sculpture requires a substantial amount of forward planning. It's noteworthy that the very earliest known figurative sculpture is of the carved form. Plaudits to human intellect!


However, to conclude that the sculptured typed of woman was "beauty standard" is taking interpretation of the data little too far.
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Re: Women & Beauty

#66  Postby Oldskeptic » Jul 10, 2015 10:33 pm

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Oldskeptic wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:I always find it funny when people discover for the first time that fat women used to be the ideal beauties.
It's a good example of how societal priorities affect the general beauty image.


True but as Desmond Morris has shown it's not all in the thinness or fatness,


Actually, the time and women I'm talking about did have to do with fatness, more specifically food abundance:
Image


Did you stop to think that figurines like these assumed fertility goddesses are stylized depictions of pregnant women?

I'm familiar with hypotheses that having a fat wife was a status symbol that said a man was rich enough to overfeed his wife, but I don't have much confidence in them. But then again in many ancient societies the rich man could have multiple wives and or concubines. So, it could be that a rich man had the first fat prestige wife and then other probably younger more attractive wives to fulfill his sexual needs.

From the same time period of your fat female idol we get this idol:
Image

And from between 5500 and 2500 Bc we get these:

Image

Image

Image

Desmond Morris did extensive research on the human animal and found that around the world one of the main factors of male attraction to females was waist to hip ratio. The universal ratio was .70, and looking back at depictions of sex goddesses supports Morris' findings across time as well as geography.

Ishtar as one more example:
Image

Your fat goddess is an outlier not the norm for depictions of females from pre-history and antiquity.
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Re: Women & Beauty

#67  Postby Oldskeptic » Jul 10, 2015 10:57 pm

Spearthrower wrote:
Doubtdispelled wrote:
Have you come across The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel? Speculation at it's finest!


I admit that it had a profound effect on my eventual studies... and so, I suppose, the rest of my life too!

When I was in my early teens, I was fascinated by the ancient world: Greece in particular. But I always wanted to know what happened before that, and before that, and before that.

Then I read Clan of the Cave Bear when I was, I guess, around 15 and was like... oh, that's much further back! And it was correspondingly even more fascinating to me!

Between that and native Americans (I was completely obsessed with them when I was a teenager), they were the main reasons why I ended up studying Anthropology. But within the first year, I realized social anthropology of contemporary or near contemporary cultures just wasn't quite hitting the spot, and became more interested in palaeoanthropology and the earliest humans, and started taking more relevant elective modules in that area. And the fact is that the further back you go, the more speculative it necessarily becomes - larger gaps between data points, and you need to hang a lot more positions on much fewer data. But it's fun! :grin:


I really liked the first two novels in the series but when Ayla invented the Heimlich maneuver in The Mammoth Hunters I threw the book at the wall and then dumped it in the trash.
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Re: Women & Beauty

#68  Postby Oldskeptic » Jul 10, 2015 11:31 pm

Anyway, back to the video in the opening post. Here is another video which is about the other video and contains a lot from the video in the opening post, and her message is clear. At the end the young woman says, "People think that just because they're typing it and not saying it to your face that it's not going to hurt you."

She's making me think about internet bullying, and making a commitment to myself not to participate in it. I don't know that I have, but I have typed some pretty harsh things aimed at certain people. The young woman makes me want to take back some of them if I could.
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Re: Women & Beauty

#69  Postby Thommo » Jul 11, 2015 1:38 am

Oldskeptic wrote:She's making me think about internet bullying, and making a commitment to myself not to participate in it. I don't know that I have, but I have typed some pretty harsh things aimed at certain people. The young woman makes me want to take back some of them if I could.


As a community all we can do is enforce rules that we already have, such as the "don't discuss personal sexual issues" rule (although some have violated it and defended others who did, in the past) and frown upon our compatriots who insist on threads like the "hottest faces" (or whatever the fuck it's called) thread. We can also do whatever we can to not propagate unrealistic expectations of women (or men).

In the spirit of friendly censure:-
Oldskeptic wrote:Marylin Monroe
IMAGE
was rather plump but is still recognized as very sexually attractive partly because her ratios were just right.


She wasn't. a 22 inch waist is not "plump", it's actually pretty "skinny" (this is barely larger than a scaled up barbie - regularly criticised for being "so thin she'd snap under he own body weight"). When we "defend" women with such expectations, we're actually loading on the problem. I'm persuaded that the myth of a golden age of men finding "plump" women with waists smaller than most women can ever dream of attractive is more harmful than beneficial.

ETA: Not to mention that her ratios were recorded as being around 0.62-0.64, way below the "ideal" 0.7 ratio.
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Re: Women & Beauty

#70  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » Jul 11, 2015 1:57 am

Oldskeptic wrote:
Marylin Monroe
Image
was rather plump but is still recognized as very sexually attractive partly because her ratios were just right.


In what world is a women with long, lean arms and legs, a tiny waist and moderate sized breasts and hips "plump"?
what a terrible image
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Re: Women & Beauty

#71  Postby Boyle » Jul 11, 2015 1:57 am

Thommo wrote:
Oldskeptic wrote:Marylin Monroe
IMAGE
was rather plump but is still recognized as very sexually attractive partly because her ratios were just right.


She wasn't. a 22 inch waist is not "plump", it's actually pretty "skinny" (this is barely larger than a scaled up barbie - regularly criticised for being "so thin she'd snap under he own body weight"). When we "defend" women with such expectations, we're actually loading on the problem. I'm persuaded that the myth of a golden age of men finding "plump" women with waists smaller than most women can ever dream of attractive is more harmful than beneficial.

Indeed. Her measurements put her at model status even today. I think they varied between 35-22-35 and 36-23-36 and that the highest weight she ever hit was around 140 lbs. If you ever see Some Like It Hot, that's the heaviest she ever was on screen, iirc.
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Re: Women & Beauty

#72  Postby Oldskeptic » Jul 11, 2015 3:16 am

Thommo wrote:
Oldskeptic wrote:She's making me think about internet bullying, and making a commitment to myself not to participate in it. I don't know that I have, but I have typed some pretty harsh things aimed at certain people. The young woman makes me want to take back some of them if I could.


As a community all we can do is enforce rules that we already have, such as the "don't discuss personal sexual issues" rule (although some have violated it and defended others who did, in the past) and frown upon our compatriots who insist on threads like the "hottest faces" (or whatever the fuck it's called) thread. We can also do whatever we can to not propagate unrealistic expectations of women (or men).


It's 100 Most Beautiful Faces: Who Are Your Top 10 Picks? in Social & Fun. I've recently submitted my top ten and see nothing wrong with it. If you care to check it out you'll notice that, as per the thread title, I only included images of faces. I don't see how that is promoting unrealistic expectations.

In the spirit of friendly censure:
Oldskeptic wrote:Marylin Monroe
IMAGE
was rather plump but is still recognized as very sexually attractive partly because her ratios were just right.


She wasn't. a 22 inch waist is not "plump", it's actually pretty "skinny" (this is barely larger than a scaled up barbie - regularly criticised for being "so thin she'd snap under he own body weight"). When we "defend" women with such expectations, we're actually loading on the problem. I'm persuaded that the myth of a golden age of men finding "plump" women with waists smaller than most women can ever dream of attractive is more harmful than beneficial.


Whatever her waist size I'm sticking with rather plump. And no matter what anyone says, women do aspire to look like attractive women in movies, television shows, and magazines, and they don't need any pressure from men or media to do it.

Image

ETA: Not to mention that her ratios were recorded as being around 0.62-0.64, way below the "ideal" 0.7 ratio.


Close enough.
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Re: Women & Beauty

#73  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » Jul 11, 2015 5:00 am

Compare the two images if her you're posted. In that last one she's MUCH heavier than she is in the previous image and she's STILL not round as you keep referring to her. She just has some abdominal fat, and a bigger bum, hips and thighs.

Seeing specific body types deemed attractive in movies, television shows and magazines IS pressures from media to attain them.
what a terrible image
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Re: Women & Beauty

#74  Postby Mike_L » Jul 11, 2015 7:46 am

I wonder how many of today's notions and misconceptions are still informed by the appalling piffle put forward by psychologist William Herbert Sheldon in the 1940s and 1950s...

Somatotype and constitutional psychology -- (Wikipedia)
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Re: Women & Beauty

#75  Postby Thommo » Jul 11, 2015 11:31 am

Oldskeptic wrote:It's 100 Most Beautiful Faces: Who Are Your Top 10 Picks? in Social & Fun. I've recently submitted my top ten and see nothing wrong with it. If you care to check it out you'll notice that, as per the thread title, I only included images of faces. I don't see how that is promoting unrealistic expectations.


Can most women realistically expect to look that way? If it's not a realistic possibility, doesn't that make it an unrealistic one?

It's hardly a cardinal sin, but this kind of mundane announcing to the world how we like women to look is part of the cultural basis for expectation of how women should look.

Oldskeptic wrote:Whatever her waist size I'm sticking with rather plump. And no matter what anyone says, women do aspire to look like attractive women in movies, television shows, and magazines, and they don't need any pressure from men or media to do it.

Image


Out of a career of hundreds (if not thousands) of photos, in which she arguably looks better in most, people present one in which she's towards the upper end of the healthy weight range (and allegedly pregnant), but not at her most striking to make this point. It's a mistake, deliberate cherry picking to make a point about beauty ideals that doesn't represent the ideals of the day, which very much included images like this one of Audrey Hepburn:-
Image

I'd agree that picture shows that you don't have to be "a stick" to be beautiful, but any political capital that might make is seriously undermined by the indication that even a normal woman is "plump" and therefore away from the ideal.

Oldskeptic wrote:
ETA: Not to mention that her ratios were recorded as being around 0.62-0.64, way below the "ideal" 0.7 ratio.


Close enough.


11% is a pretty big margin for error, all sorts of measurements correlate just as well with what's considered attractive. There's no reason to single out 0.7 waist to hips as the standard we should look at, outside of rather a lot of junk science.
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Re: Women & Beauty

#76  Postby Panderos » Jul 11, 2015 11:58 am

Spearthrower wrote:Sitting right next to me now is a book I very much recommend to anyone interested by any of this stuff:

The Origin of Our Species, by Chris Stringer.

It's speculation backed up with hard evidence, and this guy really knows his stuff.

Perhaps good for someone who is into this stuff already. I didn't really like it. Though maybe it was just my expectations. I was hoping that it would take us on a narrative from our common ancestor with chimps to modern humans, showing us what changes happened along the way and why. But it seemed to be kind of all over the place and focused mainly on only the last couple hundred thousand years. I wanted the emphasis to be on what we know rather than how we know it and all about the various sites and evidence etc. It was kind of ... cold. I wanted something more like Richard Fortey's Life, if you've ever read that.

I also felt there was a little bit of axe grinding on the subject of Recent African Origins vs Multiregional hypotheses.

I mean I don't doubt the accuracy and all that. He does know his stuff. But I wouldn't recommend to the general reader who wants just one book on human origins. Though I also don't know what i would recommend as thats the only one I read.
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Re: Women & Beauty

#77  Postby Spearthrower » Jul 11, 2015 12:37 pm

tuco wrote:
Yes, well alleged robust "explanation" mean little to me but thanks.


If a robust explanation means nothing to you, then I don't quite see what interest you'd have in this thread. In fact, haven't you stated several times that you don't find this thread interesting?
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Re: Women & Beauty

#78  Postby Spearthrower » Jul 11, 2015 12:58 pm

Panderos wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:Sitting right next to me now is a book I very much recommend to anyone interested by any of this stuff:

The Origin of Our Species, by Chris Stringer.

It's speculation backed up with hard evidence, and this guy really knows his stuff.

Perhaps good for someone who is into this stuff already. I didn't really like it. Though maybe it was just my expectations. I was hoping that it would take us on a narrative from our common ancestor with chimps to modern humans, showing us what changes happened along the way and why. But it seemed to be kind of all over the place and focused mainly on only the last couple hundred thousand years. I wanted the emphasis to be on what we know rather than how we know it and all about the various sites and evidence etc. It was kind of ... cold. I wanted something more like Richard Fortey's Life, if you've ever read that.


I think there are plenty of books already which do the whistle-stop tour, this one was special because he focused on what we consider to be really core to humanity, and the evidence we can see for this in our earliest human ancestors.

But I liked Fortey's book too. I guess I just love any discussion of this from people who really know the evidence, and can bring it together holistically to depict aspects of our ancestors which are not readily or otherwise available.


Panderos wrote:I also felt there was a little bit of axe grinding on the subject of Recent African Origins vs Multiregional hypotheses.


:lol:

There was, and in fact, I find that in pretty much all books on the topic - the author feels it necessary to defend their life's work against detractors. Palaeoanthropologists and Palaeontologists are the worst for this kind of generational feuding.


Panderos wrote:I mean I don't doubt the accuracy and all that. He does know his stuff. But I wouldn't recommend to the general reader who wants just one book on human origins. Though I also don't know what i would recommend as thats the only one I read.


I certainly didn't mean for it to be a book like that if that's what someone desires, instead I think it focuses on the more interesting interpretive issues, rather than just on chronologies and comprehensive narratives of human evolution. I know of books which cover specific periods or species, but not just a full panorama of the whole sweep of hominid evolution. I was sorely tempted to start writing one a few years back, but it's an awful lot of work. I've still got the research on my 2nd computer, and so much of it is already out of date! In many ways, the field is moving too fast to be attempting something like this now. I made a prediction on this site back in 2010 that this decade would be a major one for palaeoanthropology, and for dramatic changes in our understanding of our origins, and half way through, I think I can claim that's already been fulfilled, with potentially even more exciting finds in the works!
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Re: Women & Beauty

#79  Postby Panderos » Jul 11, 2015 2:59 pm

Spearthrower wrote:I think there are plenty of books already which do the whistle-stop tour, this one was special because he focused on what we consider to be really core to humanity, and the evidence we can see for this in our earliest human ancestors.

Fair enough, perhaps I got the wrong impression from the reviews etc. Though when you give a book a name like that I think it suggests you are going for something big and definitive.

Spearthrower wrote:I certainly didn't mean for it to be a book like that if that's what someone desires, instead I think it focuses on the more interesting interpretive issues, rather than just on chronologies and comprehensive narratives of human evolution.

Yeah it does. Its very 'on the one hand, on the other hand'. It felt to me like a summary for people who aren't necesarily right in the middle of this subject but who are maybe on the periphery. People who already know the broad strokes but are maybe slightly out the loop.

Spearthrower wrote:I was sorely tempted to start writing one a few years back, but it's an awful lot of work. I've still got the research on my 2nd computer, and so much of it is already out of date! In many ways, the field is moving too fast to be attempting something like this now. I made a prediction on this site back in 2010 that this decade would be a major one for palaeoanthropology, and for dramatic changes in our understanding of our origins, and half way through, I think I can claim that's already been fulfilled, with potentially even more exciting finds in the works!

Yeah this book felt like a half-time report straight from the trenches (if I may so blatently mix my metaphors). If you ever write yours then I'd suggest Fortey's as a good model for the popular reader. Yes, its a biology book, but it also creates a certain feeling,a feeling of, I think the best way to put it would be 'ascent', almost of purpose. You could do the exact same with humans and I'd definitely read it.
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Re: Women & Beauty

#80  Postby Spearthrower » Jul 11, 2015 5:42 pm

Panderos wrote:
Yeah this book felt like a half-time report straight from the trenches (if I may so blatently mix my metaphors). If you ever write yours then I'd suggest Fortey's as a good model for the popular reader. Yes, its a biology book, but it also creates a certain feeling,a feeling of, I think the best way to put it would be 'ascent', almost of purpose. You could do the exact same with humans and I'd definitely read it.



I originally started it as a project for this forum, actually - but I kind of needed a lot of help from the mods with managing a thread so I could reserve and update posts, and it didn't seem too easy to do at the time from my inquiries. It was also a challenging project because I'd never really had to use the internet in the past, having physical copies of journals instead! :grin:

Fortunately, I now have permanent access to every online science journal, so it's much easier to keep abreast of new finds. :dance:
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