The end of July seemed to be all about legs, if you believe the Tinas. Quite unintentional. Well, I don’t know. That’s probably not a completely true statement. Our legs make up about half of our bodies. It’s hard not to include half our bodies if we are ever going to shoot anything other than headshots and extremities. So this is probably less of a theme and more of a natural progression in the evolution of Tinas.
I had to google that of course–how much of our bodies’ proportions are made up of legs. The average is just less than half of our body’s length, though it varies significantly from person to person. Even a person of average height can have a wide variance in torso to leg ratio. I always thought the complaint of short-waisted or long-waisted was a myth. I was wrong. It’s a thing.
In my efforts to stand gracefully corrected by studying the charts and methods I found a wealth of knowledge on the topic. On the surface that seems like a good thing, right? Learn all we can, especially when we are wrong about something, right? Yeah. But that’s where it all went to hell. Resource after resource was all too happy to clue me in to how the average human body proportions are measured, how the variances are charted, and how it’s all changed over the course of human evolution. Race, region, climate, developing diversities–all factors involved and all fascinating stuff. But no one can seem to leave well enough alone.
Oh no. We can’t just study it all objectively. We have to identify an ideal and then very generously give people tools to measure themselves against the ideal. And even that’s not enough. We have to point out which celebrities embody the ideal and so we can measure ourselves against a real-life example instead of a set of numbers. You know, breath some life into our inadequacies and shortfalls; put a face and breasts and lips and legs on an ideal that we cannot achieve if we weren’t born with it. Because this is not about weight loss or fitness or lifestyle. This is the structure–the skeleton–with which we are born.
And let’s be clear that this is not an ideal for hunting, gathering, functionality, adaptability, or any other necessity to ensure survival of the species. Nope. It’s an ideal based on attractiveness, as scientists have defined it. This is generally where I lose my shit, as the cool kids are saying these days. I’ve read these studies. I get it that when polled we humans produce data that gives scientists this go-ahead. While I agree that the numbers don’t lie–we are obviously wired to be biologically attracted to certain criteria that is built in by nature, calling it the ideal makes me spit nails. Calling it the ideal elevates it in importance. We have people with perfectly viable bodies breaking their bones and undergoing surgeries just to get closer to the ideal.
Read some of the stories and you’ll hear the same theme repeated over and over again. People are willing to imperil their lives with unnecessary surgery because they believe it will make them happier. Attractiveness equals happiness. Doctors are willing to do it. Friends and family are willing to support it. The internet will provide a coalition of like-minded people to validate it. Media will continue to normalize it. This only makes sense in a culture that values nothing as much as it values attractiveness.
So why get myself all lathered up over this? Sometimes the Tinas trigger memories. I remembered some old lady who eye-balled me in a swimsuit at a church retreat when I was in my teens and told me I was short-waisted. I thought she was senile. A few years later when high-waisted stonewashed jeans were in style my best friend said the same thing. I thought she was just jealous of my pubescent boobs.
The average (again, average) legs of a woman of European descent make up 45% of the height of the body. My legs come in at 51% (50.79) of my height. While that makes my legs a little longer than the average a 51/49 ratio does not make me short-waisted. I’m almost balanced. Did that old lady’s eyes really register that 2%? Could my friend really see a 2% difference? I doubt it. And even if they could see it, does it matter in any way? Only if you give a crap about how well your bones measure up to a subjective ideal. My craps are already committed to other things.
You know, really important things.
Like pen names. And what qualifies as a selfie.
And what doesn’t.
And that this what I spend my time thinking about now that I’m off Facebook.
— Since I am still nameless I did one of those fun little
stupid quizzes to determine my Amazon warrior name. I got Sisyrbe, which apparently means Shaggy Goat-Skinned.
The resemblance is uncanny: