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21 December 2008

Definitions of Beauty

As I sit on my couch, sipping peppermint tea and waiting to go to work, I'm watching U-Carmen. It's a South African version of the opera, Carmen. It's an interesting exploration of what cultures deem as beautiful. Let me explain ...

Traditionally, actresses and singers who portray Carmen look like this:

 or this 

or even this ...

She is always svelt, lean, and stunning. At least according to Western ideals of beauty. We are, after all, the culture who idolizes women the likes of  Pam ...
[pam_anderson.jpg] (who we all know is lusted after because of her impossibly thin waistline and disturbingly large cup size) and Catherine Zeta-Jones . And I actually like the last one!

The Western ideal of beauty is thin and pale (with the occasional dark-haired beauty!), usually with unnaturally mismatched measurements.  In this version of Carmen, the women are rather big boned and VERY proud of their bodies and shape. Here she is ...  She is by no means the traditional Carmen. In fact, all of the women, save but a few, are shaped like her. The great thing is that she is a highly desirable sex pot. Men lust and chase after her, seeking her companionship and attention. It's a great look into what real beauty is. Confidence and vulnerability. Attitude and style. This Carmen has all of those and still shops in the Women's section of the stores, not the 00P section. Very refreshing. And I won't even get into the depiction of South African life. 
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