"Her thin face, her sunken grey eye..." ~ Jane Eyre
When Charlotte Bronte juxtaposed Jane Eyre and Blanche Ingram (Rochester's intended romantic match), she ensured these two female characters differed in physicality. In 1847, Blanche was the prize. She had sloping shoulders, thick dark curls, and curves. Plain Jane was not only homely, but thin. Her lanky stature made her unattractive based on the mores of the times.
This week has been disheartening. I normally do not follow the media items on celebrities, but it was hard to ignore the story about Miss Jennifer Love Hewitt. The lady has been enjoying her very recent engagement to a Scottish man who loves her for who she is, curves and all, and the media has marked her with a red letter. Instead of an 'A', the media has marked her with an 'L', incessantly writing that her weight is unacceptable and that she appears "large."
My thoughts turn to Miss Marilyn Monroe, Miss Betty Grable, and Miss Sophia Loren. Ah, Miss Sophia Lauren who once said her beauty secret was to have a "spaghetti night" once a week where she ate big bowls of pasta to maintain her attractive figure. These women were not even a size 2 like Miss Hewitt, but probably a ten added to that number for a size 12. These women have all gone down in history as the most attractive and sexiest of women. If they were all 30 years old today, they would be ridiculed and belittled by the media as fat women who lack any attractive aura. Can you imagine the nerve? I cannot, because men of history attest to their stunning beauty.
What has happened? I do not know. All I know is that Jane Eyre would be a supermodel in today's world, which would ruin Charlotte Bronte's story and completely eradicate the nature of the relationship between Jane and Rochester. Marilyn Monroe would have to turn into an anorexic before being chosen for a part, and Sophia Lauren would be forced to give up her beloved pasta if she wanted to be seen on the big screen. What is worse is that perhaps the United States would never have won WWII if we had the attitude towards a woman's body then like we do today - Miss Betty Grable would never have been America's pin up girl; where would the motivation for the soldiers come from? Kate Moss?
Weight has never been an easy issue for most women, myself included. I see women who think being thin gives them some kind of advantage in life, and I am perplexed as to why. Being stick- thin doesn't mean you are special. It doesn't get you a degree, it doesn't get you a soul mate, and it doesn't get you a fulfilled life. All of those triumphs rely on spirit and inner passion. As a former teacher, I watched so many girls starve themselves to the point where they were jeopardizing their future because of their fixation on being a size zero.
I sat tonight sipping a chardonnay with my two female friends from work. None of us are size twos, but we aren't twelves either. We are in between, and we drank wine and nibbled on nachos as we discussed Miss Hewitt. We agreed she has the last laugh here. She is engaged to a man who loves her for who she is...he knows that real women have curves, and that sexiness comes from within. And while we agreed we were meeting on Monday at the gym for a total body workout class and discussed a schedule for racquetball during lunch, we also agreed that we would rather be in the same class as Miss Monroe and Miss Loren than the same class as Nicole Richie.
Because a woman with class is more important than a woman being a size zero, my friends.
Labels: Beauty Within