Is it odd that I liked reading about someone’s bottom?

Posted by: | March 30, 2009 | Comments Off on Is it odd that I liked reading about someone’s bottom?

THANKS JON!!! This weeks readings were great! Especially Mary C. Beltran’s piece on Jennifer Lopez’s “Cross-over Butt”. I really enjoyed it because of how clearly Beltran articulated herself. She was so critical and yet so clear. It was definitely a welcome read for me, probably because the past few readings were kind of confusing to understand in their translated form. But to return to commending Beltran, she wrote an exceptionally interesting piece and highlighted some very interesting and valid points regarding the construction of beauty that currently exists in society.
I found it intriguing to read about how Hollywood and mainstream media portray beauty. And how even though Jennifer Lopez is proud of her natural beauty and is figure that stands up to conventional beauty norms, loving her big ass and such , scholars still argue that aspects of her identity still remain confined and subjugated to a white primacy. Therefore we don’t really know whether or not our fascination with Jen’s butt is a progressive step that is breaking social constructions (or rather reconstructing them) or if it is perpetuating them. (Beltran highlights how Latina and African women have historically been eroticized and considered objects of sexuality noting how during slavery African women were “property”.) What came to my mind halfway through reading this was the question, what is beauty? And who decides? What I mean is, is what is beautiful decided by men who see beauty or is it decided by women who encompass or embody it, (literally)? I am assuming here that beauty applies to women only, however one could argue that that is not true. Or maybe it is a combination of both? Or maybe it isn’t even in the hands of individual women and men, rather it is political elites deciding what is beautiful for the purpose of efficient governance? I believe that beauty is defined on all these levels. We can see in magazines how mass media perceives beauty, read in government narratives (political art) to see what fits into the national body, ( historically women were considered responsible for reproducing the nation,) or write and receive love letters to see what the individual deems beautiful. All these sources shape beauty. Therefore I see beauty as a shared meaning, the kind developed through interactions of people and culture. Influenced and influences and is continuously evolving or being reflected upon. Beltran points this out nicely at the end of her piece, that even though Jennifer Lopez’s butt may not have necessarily had a deep impact on breaking beauty norms, it certainly evoked scholarly debate about its implications. This in itself has created change and new meaning for which I argue is reconstructing our interpretation of beauty. It is comforting and frightening to know that beauty is merely an invention of our imagination.

I really enjoyed the first and last article as well but don’t blame me if I feel that Jen’s butt is more fascinating to write about.


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