Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Tyra Banks is Phat!

I like the one on the right, thank you very much
(though the one on the left would also get my attention).

When it comes to the type of woman that I find attractive, I look first at the eyes. The eyes determine, to me, if someone is beautiful or not. While the rest of the face can play a significant role in determining overall beauty, if the eyes don't have it, the rest won't matter.

Again this is all my opinion. My wife has these eyes that I find awesomely intoxicating. I can look into them, and if she'll actually stay looking at me, I can tell exactly what her emotion is, what she might be thinking, and if she's in the mood or not. Lately, I don't get to see enough of her eyes, as they usually are closed. With me being gone all day working, and her being stuck taking care of both the kids, she usually falls asleep shortly after I arrive home.

If you were to look at photographs of any girl I've ever dated, they'd all have two things in common: great eyes and they weren't toothpicks. While I appreciate the wonder of a thin body with an hourglass figure, I think an hourglass figure is even better on a bigger hourglass. I would not be a fan of touching someone and being able to feel the express outline of their bones. I like my woman to be soft to the touch. Besides, as we all learn eventually, thinness and physical beauty wane with time. Being young and hot and sexy is like being born rich and getting poorer every day for the rest of your life after age 25.

Most men realize that there are a few different types of women that they are attracted to. Salma Hayek, Jennifer Connelly (especially in The Rocketeer), Nicole Parker (MadTV), Monica Belucci, and Heidi Klum would top my celebrity sexy/beauty list. Aside from Klum, and Jennifer Connelly since she became anorexic, those are all real women. Yes, I think Penelope Cruz is gorgeous. Yes, I find slender women attractive--to say I didn't would be a lie. I find most people to be somewhat attractive. But, I would say that the great beauties of the world, the kind that give me pause, the kind that I never tire of telling Mickelle "That woman is gorgeous" are the ones that are NOT thin, not slender, not fit. If you still need me to translate: I like eyes and boobs (no real mystery there, huh Paul?).

I am obviously not in the majority. Some of my good friends prefer petit and thin girls. Cada quien con su cosa. What prompted this post from me is the criticism that the tabloids have been launching against a supposedly fat, 161 lbs., Tyra Banks.


Tyra Banks is not fat. And even if she is medically overweight, she looks better now than ever. I have always found her attractive, but at 33, I find her better looking now than I did in that Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover from my Georgia Tech days. As I've gotten older, I find a different type of woman more attractive. Seriously. I'm not deluding myself into thinking this. She gets better looking with age. Interestingly (to me only), we were born the exact same day.

Let's describe her look through the years:

Here we see an obviously young Tyra: flawless skin, good hair, and incredibly hypnotic eyes. Her eyes have made her famous. Her body has been stellar, but there are probably hundreds of millions of amazingly-figured women in the world. Perfect eyes are far far rarer.

Next we see Tyra in her mid-20's sexpot phase. Here she has the body that college boys find attractive. See the fitness, she the shape, see all that flesh. She has made herself into pornography in this image. This isn't an image to sell fashion. This photograph was made to sell magazines. She went from being a model and icon of beauty in the above photo, to an object of lust in this one.

Tyra claims that she switched to Victoria's Secret and Sports Illustrated ads as her body began to lose its youthful leanness and she became more full figured. In this image from Sports Illustrated, we find a body that comes close the sexual ideal of many a young man. That she was being rejected from fashion modeling jobs, while looking like this--still thinner than most American women--astounds. Again, please note that I disapprove of the sexual imagery of this image because it eroticizes her beauty. This image isn't targeted to female swimsuit purchasers. This image targets men interested in fantasizing about how sex with the fake Other in this image would be.

This image (at left) shows a supposedly "fat" Tyra. I can find no fault with her look. In fact, in some ways this image is far more erotic than many of the skin-a-plenty images of her from ten years ago. Tyra should not react with surprise when people call her fat. She made a living off [of] making a sexual spectacle of herself. She was the sexual fantasy of many a man and the body ideal for many a young woman. Now that time has assailed her previous physique, she should expect criticism. However, in this image, we see a modestly-dressed Tyra dancing in an erotic way. She appears to have that original sexual essence that some claimed was lost in the Australia beach photo (at right). While obviously not the sexual dynamo she was ten years ago, I think the woman in the beach photograph is gorgeous. The problem with making pornography of oneself for so long, is that you can never leave the game. The people all know what you looked like (well, with airbrushing) and any loss of what you had (or in this case didn't have) will only bring criticism of you. It isn't fair, but in this case, the revealing of skin for your own enjoyment, say a day at the beach, instead of a bikini fashion shoot, exposes the commodity that once belonged to anyone willing to forkover $5 to stare at your body. You were the fantasy for so many people. You have to know that countless sexual fantasies have been indulged and imagined on your body in the minds of the consumers of your image. The clothed and modest Tyra is still beautiful and gorgeous and sexy. It is precisely because the barrier of what turns the average person into a voyeur, the revealing of the torso and it's sexual imagery, and thereby a critic, is revealed in a swimsuit. If you keep your clothes on, you may remain a sex symbol. You've had so many fantasy sexual "partners" that they all feel they know you. Your image has been burned into their minds. Any deviation from that fantasy exposes it for what it is/was: a horrendous lie.

For more on what I mean here, please see my previous post:

Deconstructing Beyonce: What looks good may not necessarily feel good.

This is a sexy woman. It's all in the eyes, ignore the rest. Don't lust after the printed page. Lust after your best friend, marry them, and be happy together. Fantasies only bring problems, and they always crumble........always!


Darla M. Wiese said...

good post! I think it's sick that a woman of her size and beauty is being called fat, but you make a good point in asking if she should expect less considering the way she sold her body before.

P.S. thanks for the advice about getting at least one paper done by spring break-- it's starting to sound more and more sage as the semester wears on and I'm looking at 3 20-30 page-papers!!

Anonymous said...

as a female i hate nothing more than stuck up pretty women!!! yes i agree the eyes are the focal point of attention (contrary to popular belief that men are drawn to boobs first)
I am curvy, sultry with sexy eyes but never felt good enough for a glossy mag!After reading about tyra banks i think she is GREAT she is honest about all the makeup and airbrushing crap. She isnt fat she is PHAT (pretty hot & tempting)
If only more of these dippy models such as Kate Moss had half TBs brains & beauty.
Keep up the good work! x

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