This is what the most perfect woman in the world looks like
Breaking news: everyone in the world think the "perfect woman" should have green eyes, full lips, and big boobs! Also, she probably looks nothing like any woman you know.
BuzzFeed recently dug up an old photo project produced by Norwegian artist Marius Vibe. For some unknown reason, Vibe decided to build the perfect woman using photoshop and the top eight women from Maxim's 2011 Most Beautiful Girl List. Not surprisingly, 7 out of the lad mag's top 8 women to lust after in 2011 happened to be white--a detail that didn't escape Vibe's attention.
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"I immediately start to regret not using picks of my own when I see that this list is almost exclusively comprised of white women," he wrote on his blog. "I would like some more variation--but as mentioned, I would also like to use an external list and be 'objective'." Yeah, good luck buddy. As far as I've found, no such "variation" exists. Not even when we ask women to weigh in.
Last winter cosmetics and body care retailer Escentual.com asked both men and women to pick their favorite features from (mostly white) celebrities and put them together to create not one, but two Franken-women. The results were interesting, but not surprising. Women, it turns out, think the perfect woman looks like a cross between Natalie Portman, Megan Fox, Mila Kunis and Freida Pinto. Men, however, prefer a woman who looks like she'd be some weird Angelina Jolie-Jennifer Aniston lovechild. All in all, both renderings featured mostly whitewashed features.
Okay, so what if we asked people from all over the world to chime in. Surely that'll give us more variety, right? Um, not really. Earlier this year, 24-year-old Esther Honig sent an un-retouched photo of herself to 40 people in 25 countries and with the request to make her look "beautiful." Though there were some variations in the retouched photos, most of the digitally altered photos bore a striking resemblance to one another. In most instances, Esther's skin and eyes were made to appear a few shades lighter. Sigh.
If I have to read one more article about what the "perfect woman" looks like, I think I'm going to scream! I'm not being a hater. I'm just tired of reading the same ol' study, over and over again. No matter how many of these studies and surveys we commission, the results appear to be the same: the world equates perfection with whiteness. While this is far from surprising, it is a bit disheartening. In fact, I'd argue that these studies are doing more harm than good. Nothing makes a real woman--especially a real woman of color--feel like less than a woman than constantly having digitally generated Franken-women shoved in her face. I say we stop trying to build the perfect woman from idealized scraps of photoshopped celebs—black, white, or Latina. We should instead be focusing on ways to help real women find perfection within themselves.
Image via mistahboombastic.blogspot.no