In beauty, there is no east and west
Posted by ampontan on Sunday, September 23, 2012
PEOPLE have been formulating standards for the dimensions of a perfect woman for a long time. Here, for example, is a page taken from the 19th century Woman’s Own Book of Toilet Secrets.
The proprietor of Chateau Heartiste was good enough to type out the explanation for easy reading:
The dimensions of a perfect woman are: Five feet 5 inches in height, weight 128 pounds. Arms extended should measure from tip of middle finger to tip of middle finger just 5 feet 5 inches (the height). The length of her hand should be a tenth of that, her foot a seventh, the diameter of her chest a fifth. From her thighs to the ground she should measure just the same as from her thighs to the top of her head. The knee should come exactly midway between the thigh and the heel. The distance from the elbow to the middle finger should be the same as from the elbow to middle of the chest. From the top of the head to the chin should be just the length of the foot, and the same distance between the chin and the arm-pits. A woman of this height should measure 24 inches around the waist, 34 about the bust, if measured under the arms, and 43 if measured over them. The upper arm should measure 13 inches; the wrist 6 inches. The calf of the leg should measure 14½ inches; the thigh 25; the ankle 8.
Westerners aren’t the only ones to conduct structural analyses of the female form. There were several reports from China earlier this month that Model of China, a model training website, created their own standards from Internet research. They were used as the criteria for the acceptance of applicants in a beauty contest in Hubei conducted to select the top ten college students in that city. They plan to extend the contest nationwide.
The breakdown of the overall standards for selection was 40% for appearance, 40% for intelligence, and 20% from online voting.
Some of the standards for appearance focus on proportions rather than precise measurements:
* The distance between the eyes should be 46% of the distance between the ears.
* The distance between the mouth and the eyes should be 36% of the length of the face.
* The length of the nose should be one-third of the forehead length.
* The thickness of the upper lip should be roughly eight millimeters, and that for the lower lip nine millimeters. For this category, they magnanimously allowed that every individual is different.
* The width of the mouth should be roughly the same as the width of the eyes.
* The height should be 7.1 times the length of the head.
* Compared to the height, the measurements of the bust should be x .51, the waist x .34 and the hips x .542.
But they preferred more precise measurements when creating standards for the breasts. Oh, they did start with a general statement of principles:
* Breasts should be full, perky, balanced between left and right, and not droopy.
But they continued with these:
* The distance between the nipples should exceed 20 centimeters.
* The diameter of the lower part of the breast should be 10-12 centimeters.
* The height of the breast should be 5 to 6 centimeters.
Reports say they also had standards for the size of the nipples and areola, but those were unreported. Slipshod journalism of this sort is inexcusable.
People in Japan who know their way around the Chinese Internet say this is not an isolated phenomenon. In fact, another website seems to have even more precise standards.
Those of you interested in volunteering their time and their steady hand on the calipers in the service of Aphrodite, Freya, and Kichijoten — and that includes me — should be aware of another factor in contemporary China. Here’s the headline from Want China Times: Self-help society: China’s first masturbation club.
No, don’t be silly, guys don’t do stuff like that:
China’s first female masturbation club was established in September by three bold university students, according to Phoenix Net, the website of the Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV.
Club members assert that masturbation is a normal practice and reject conservative social values that cause people to feel uneasy about the act of self-love.
They have “tenets”, as the website refers to them. Here’s one:
The benefits of celibacy:
“Men just want to be with you so they can enjoy the ‘physical benefits’ of the relationship. If they really liked you, they would not be in such a rush to make love. Many of my friends say that the actual experience of sex is not as magical as books describe, so it is best not to attach yourself to another man. I would rather enjoy a sex life with myself!”
Rather than a tenet, that sounds like the rationalization of a woman who doesn’t measure up, so to speak. It also sounds as if her friends need new friends of their own.
This tenet is easier to understand. In fact, it’s an excellent demonstration of cause and effect:
“I have been with my boyfriend for two years and previously we were perfect together in every aspect except for our sex life. I would tell him how to do it and he would get upset when it did not work. Finally, through his persistence and my increased understanding, I am able to enjoy making love with him.”
The subhead to this tenet is labeled, “Perfectionism”. That isn’t the word I’d use to categorize that approach. Some people might suggest that it’s love. That’s one possibility. Another is that she might be one of the friends of the first woman who doesn’t believe in magic.
Isn’t international exchange fun? Maybe we could form a committee and petition the ISO to create a new category. Sure beats anything they’re doing at the UN.
Mick could get his rocks off only when he was sleeping.
This entry was posted on Sunday, September 23, 2012 at 2:11 pm and is filed under China, I couldn't make this up if I tried, Social trends. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.