Night Lights by Trevor Young
Night Lights by Trevor Young
Kimsooja (b. Taegu, Korea, 1957, South Korean) - A Reflective Palace Of Rainbows, 2006 The Palacio de Cristal was originally built in the late 1880s in Madrid, Spain. In 2006 artist Kimsooja transformed it into this rainbow reflecting palace. Installations
Why is it that when men are used as sex symbols it’s fine, but the second that a woman is used in the same way, everyone is up in arms? Yes, women are displayed in their underwear in the new Star Trek movies, but does Captain Kirk really need to be in his booty shorts? Does Thor need to be shirtless in every movie? Should half of the trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy be Star-Lord in the shower?
Don’t get me wrong, I am not offended by any of these instances. I do not feel that they hurt the films integrity. Those actors should be proud to show off the insane diets and work that goes into their bodies. Nobody should feel like a victim here. The need for sex appeal is a natural part of a visual medium.
That being said, I believe that these displays do affect people. They can cause and reinforce body issues – issues that are in no way the sole domain of women. Where is the male body diversity in art? Why does every man have to be rail thin (not having to try for abs) or a ripped super hunk? The media may drive women to become bulimic or anorexic, but doesn’t it do the same to men? The difference is that men don’t feel like they can talk these issues. They have to force pride in their bodies, no matter how they feel. They go to the gym several hours a day in order to get the kind of body people drool over only to be looked down on by beefy dude bros in half shirts with slits up the side, most of whom suffer from the exact same issues and lash out because of it. Men starve themselves and take massive amounts of supplements and protein to bulk up, which can be just as unhealthy for them and just as unnoticeable. All kinds of people kill themselves with steroids in order to become ripped.
The media may drive people in different ways, but it does drive all of us. The truth is that very few people are perfectly happy with who they are. Most everyone has something about themselves that they would like to change. So, if Dr Carol Marcus’ nearly naked body makes you feel inadequate, remember that the guy next to you probably feels the same way about Captain Kirk’s.
Let’s stop talking about this as a women’s issue and start talking about it as a human one.
I don’t know if I’d lay all the blame modern media for unrealistic body expectations, people have been unrealistic shitheals to each other as long as they’ve been people. But it certainly hasn’t gotten any easier. And I feel that with the mass prevalence of obvious desire and sexualization of the female body, a broadness of acceptability in different body types prevails in a way that I don’t think is shared for mens bodies. There are a lot of men that will get straight up angry or violent if you compare and disparage the look of an “average” girl they happen to like against our supposed elevated standards, myself often admittedly included in that demographic. While objectification and hyper sexualization may not be so routinely challenged, the standards themselves are pretty consistently. In all honestly it does not take a lot for a woman to be a sex object.
You just don’t tend to see the same defense of average looking men. Our bodies are still just ridiculous, a common joke. Even a ripped gym rat in the wrong context is easily ridiculed and desexualized as a tryhard caricature. When ab’s wont even save you from being disparaged, there isn’t a whole lot to grab on to. You go through life ether being resentful of your situation, or you learn to be a sociopath just to get past the immediate rejection.