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April 6th, 2012
10:54 PM ET

Can there ever again be an 'all-American' beauty?

Editor's note: This is the final part of a six-week series on the perceptions of beauty. Last week, we looked at self-acceptance and self-confidence. This week, we explore how beauty standards across cultures affect perceptions of beauty in the United States.

Check out what CNN iReporters say beauty means to them.

By Sarah Springer, CNN

(CNN) - As 18-year-old Giovana Frediani and her friends stood in front of the mirror to prep for a night out, one girl turned around and complained that her backside was getting big.

It was that moment when Giovana – popular, fashionable Giovana – felt the knock of self-doubt.

As usual, she dressed to accentuate her curves, a typical style among her Latina family and friends. But these friends were from a predominantly white area in Oakland. In her eyes, there was nothing oversized about them.

“If she was saying that about her own body, then she must have been thinking the same way about mine,” said Giovana, an American high school senior who grew up in Oakland.

“I almost feel out of place because they define beauty in different ways than I do.”

The U.S. population is growing, changing, mixing in new ways - more people are in interracial relationships and more identify as multiracial than ever. Those realities change the way women, especially, look at others, ourselves and the idea of the “all-American beauty,” if there is such a thing.

Some trend-watchers and researchers say the increased diversity and mixing among races is shifting the population away from a standard of beauty for women that’s dominated by white faces. Others agree that it’s happening, but say it’s driven by mass media’s desire to reach a more diverse audience – or sell products to it.

Out of 2,000 people who responded to an Allure magazine poll in 2011, 73% of women said they find curvier bodies more attractive now than they did over the last 10 years. People polled said they wanted larger lips, butts and hips, an Allure editor said, and 70% of those who want to change their skin color said they want it to be darker. The same survey said 64% believe women of mixed race represented the "epitome of beauty."

And 71% of women and 67% of men said there's no such thing as an “all-American” look.

The results were wildly different from a similar poll the magazine conducted when it launched in 1991, Allure Executive Editor Kristin Perrotta said.

“There was a dramatic shift in what people considered the beauty ideal in America now,” she said.  “We went from the blond hair, blue-eye, typical all-American girl like Christie Brinkley in 1991, to this dark, sultry Angelina Jolie ideal in 2011.

“It just was not what you would have imagined the Hollywood ideal being, which is also this tall, thin, blond ideal that we are sort of used to.”

But even before girls and women tackle universal beauty ideals, they’re often struggling to understand standards closer to home.

Looking in the same mirror as everyone else’

Marium Soomro parents’ are from Pakistan, and even before she hit the teen years, her mom brought home the skin lightening cream Fair and Lovely. Women in her family used it in Pakistan, and carried on the practice in the United States, she said - even her fairer-skinned mothers and sisters.

“‘Hey, put this on, you’ll get whiter,’” she remembers her mom saying. “Or, ‘Put yogurt on your face at night and your skin will get lighter.’”

Soomro is 23 now, and a student at Rutgers University. She still uses the cream sometimes, she said.

Then there’s Leslie Rosales, 27, a Filipino who was born and raised in a predominantly black neighborhood in South Los Angeles. She’s Asian, but connected more with her black friends’ sense of beauty and style.

“Going to the Philippines, everyone there was petite,” she said of trips to her family’s home country. “They’re small and for some reason I’m not. I’m 5'4" and I weigh 155, I’m considered an overweight giant in the Philippines.

“I felt the pressure from family and tried to change, so that was difficult, dealing with what my family thought I should look like opposed to what I thought I should look like.”

Giovana, the Oakland high school student, said she feels pretty among her classmates and community, and it makes her feel in control. But in a different part of town, among a different set of friends, feeling not-so-pretty made her want to act differently, too.

“Honestly, I wonder if I’m looking in the same mirror as everyone else,” Giovana said. “I’ve noticed just how important a perfect body is to every girl. It’s like we are blindly trying to find a way to be who we want to be and the most immediate way we can think of to manipulate who we are is physically.”

When a person is confronted with a dominating culture that differs from their own, the culture outside the home tends to win, said Maya Poran, an associate professor of psychology at the Ramapo College of New Jersey.

“If what you’re sharing in the home is contrasting from that immediately around you and the power of that communication is so much more constant and intensive, we do find that dominant cultural norms win,” she said. “If every single day we’re getting feedback that is telling us negative, it is likely that we are going to feel that thing is negative.”

Although perceptions of beauty can differ depending on culture, race, ethnicity and experience, no one is exempt from the pressures of universal beauty ideals within America.

“The issues about body and beauty are shifting - they’re not disappearing,” Poran said. “Everyone is affected by it, influenced by it, and related to it in some way.”

Even as body and beauty standards shift and include more people of color, Poran said there will still be a dominant body type – thin and white - which can be a struggle for women outside that body type.

“There is a white norm and there’s a black norm and a Latina norm and there is an Asian norm, and they are all equally different, but there is a dominant standard of beauty, which is white or white-like,” Poran said. “The more people who are included in very a narrow version of beauty, the more likely they will compare themselves against it and feel negative about themselves.”

“No one is untouched by it. No one.”

 ‘A a narrow version of beauty’

Poran, who is writing a book about race and beauty, said she began to research body ideals after she noticed most studies used white women as a standard of beauty, even as they studied women of different racial and ethnic backgrounds.

“For the majority of this research vein, whiteness was the unquestioned image of beauty,” she said. “Meaning when we’re talking about beauty or body, they were covertly talking about whiteness, but not realizing it.”

Poran organized different focus groups geared toward allowing white, black and Latina women to define their own feelings about beauty.

Young black and Latina women Poran interviewed said they felt judged by multiple standards of beauty – one within their own racial or ethnic community, and another set by a larger white, Anglo community.

“There was no way to get it right,” Poran said. “If you can walk through many different worlds at once, you can be judged by many different standards at once.”

And the pressure to be thin and light-skinned can weigh even on those who seem to match it most closely.

As a child and teen, Rachel Blais always felt ugly. She was pale and tall with curly hair.

“I was very skinny, I had no boobs, I guess that body type when you’re about 13, 14,” said Blais, who was recently featured in the documentary, “Girl Model.”

At age 14, she was recruited to work as a model. By 17, she was traveling internationally for her career. Now 27, she still works in the industry, but she’s among the older models, she said. Many of her colleagues now are prepubescent girls or teens, all of them posed to look like older women.

“Using 15-year-old girls to represent the ideal woman makes me think that a woman of 25, 30, 40 years old looks at those billboards and at a magazine and is looking at girls … disguised as women promoting clothing for women,” she said. “You can’t ever go back to being 15.”

Rachel Blais is featured in the documentary “Girl Model.”

Joan Jacobs Brumberg, a historian who wrote “The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls,” said it’s easy to blame images in the media, but women’s body obsessions were long in the making – and modern conveniences have made it easy to keep those obsessions going.

“I always say you can’t blame it on Twiggy or Calvin Klein. I think they’re implicated,” but it really started in the 1920s, she said. “When you have calories, when you have mirrors, when you have bathroom scales, when you begin to have standard sizing, you don’t have a dressmaker, or a mother who makes your clothes and you have to get into a particular size - those things are critical in how women think about their bodies.”

Taylor Cook, an agent at Fusion Models in New York, said lithe bodies and symmetrical faces are still in demand, but the modeling industry is starting to seek more diverse skin tones and features prominent only among certain ethnic groups. Asian models like Tian Yi and Lina Zhang are representing products in national and international media.

“(They are) two of our top-selling girls, getting all of the major beauty campaigns and high-fashion editorials, and looking at other agencies, their Asian girls are doing really well,” Cook said. “If you would have gone back a few seasons, you didn’t see a lot of Asian girls.”

Perrotta, the Allure editor, expects America’s celebrated beauties will keep changing, too.

“In terms of the models and celebrities who are idolized, they’ll be ethnically vague. You can’t tell if they’re black or white or Hispanic, it’s going to be this mixture,” Perrotta said. “Everyone can see a little bit of themselves in these people rather than the classically Anglican features, or classically black features.”

Linda Blum, associate professor of sociology and interim director of women’s, gender and sexuality studies at Northeastern University, said changing standards of beauty are driven more by business than by cultural curiosity, diversity or acceptance.

“If we have more multiracial children, or more biracial children will (this) lead to more uniform and diverse standards of beauty? I don’t really think so,” Blum said. “I don’t mean to be completely conspiratorial, but (people will) have to find some other way to sustain growing markets.”

Maybe, with the next generation of consumers.

Giovana, the student in Oakland, will graduate high school this year. She thinks life outside the classroom walls will make it easier to understand who she is and what she thinks is beautiful – or how much it even matters.

“I do have a mind, I do have a direction that I want to go in, and aspirations,” she said.

Her goal? Show business.

“I want to do something in that industry,” she said.

Then she added, laughing - “which is all based on looks.”

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Filed under: Black in America • Ethnicity • How we look • Race • Women
soundoff (660 Responses)
  1. Wilfredo Carrera

    A survey carried out by the British Skin Foundation found that 16% of dermatologists believe lightening creams are ‘completely unsafe’ and 80% feel they are only safe when prescribed by a dermatologist. ,.:;

    Most current brief article on our very own web page
    <http://www.healthwellnessbook.com

    July 3, 2013 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. person

    According to the youth she's some retarded mannequin named Megan Fox.

    April 18, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  3. mklsgl

    Keats wrote something like '"Beauty is truth, truth beauty," – that is all/Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know,' a few hundred years ago and those words (despite their varying and diverse interpretations) are as apt today as they ever were or will be. It seems like most base their conception of beauty on lies and manipulations (cosmetics, photoshop, false persona). Was there ever an authentic, unadulterated "all-American beauty?"

    April 18, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  4. Chappy

    Now that men who hate themselves enough to surgically alter their genitals are in women's beauty pageants, I expect standards may nudge somewhere again.

    April 18, 2012 at 4:19 am | Report abuse |
  5. emma

    How about manners, consideration, grace and dignity? I am often amazed at young women who have obviously spent time and money on their outward appearance and yet behave in such an offensive manner: spitting, shrieking, cursing and being snarky, pushy and rude, that they make themselves horribly ugly. No amount of hairspray, mascara or expensive name-brand clothing will make up for that: trash is trash.

    April 13, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • WASP

      @emma: i applaud you. i respect a female more if she is kind, than i she is physically attractive. physical beauty fades with age and can't be retained. knidness, a sharp intellect, and good sence of humour far more attractive, plus i'd feel easier introducing her to my family.

      April 18, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. Future RamaLLama

    Beer is the elixir of truth that makes any ethnicity, size , shape, etc.woman look beautiful at last call.

    April 12, 2012 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Future RamaLLama

      Curses! The morning light!

      April 12, 2012 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
  7. Me

    It all depends on the observer's perspective. Some people think certain traits are beautiful while others will think those same traits are ugly. There is no such thing as universasl beauty...it's all in the eye of the beholder. be proad of who you are and how you look. There's someone out there who will find you beautiful.

    April 11, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. pauljack

    All women are beautiful......as the bible says....from one man God created all the nations. We all have beauty....in all our differences. Wouldn't the world be boring if we were all the same?

    April 11, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Karla

    A mutt, a real blend of all.

    April 11, 2012 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
  10. tahitianflame

    Funny thing, I am overweight and yet most people think I am not..some of your Beauty is how you carry yourself. When I used to model...we took measurements of our face...my face measured ideally for a 'perfect' beauty..but when I get complimented..it is not on the measurements...but my eyes or my lips or my nose or hair or my bust or legs...it's usually not just one thing or the same thing for everyone that gives a compliment. When I notice the beauty in others..most of the time their face is not in 'perfect' measurements, but the effect of everything together is outstandingly gorgeous. Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder..so to pick the perfect American beauty? Since we come from so many backgrounds...and have so many different tastes..there would have to be more than one. Still, as far as a face only? We do tend to think someone whose face has some symmetry to it is more attractive whether the viewer is 7, 17 or 70.

    April 10, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jeff

    mila kunis is hot and thats a fact

    April 10, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. cindy

    Then I guess I'm beautiful!

    April 10, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ElKai0

    Hahahaha I said she looked like an ape too.

    April 10, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  14. Hasai

    "Is there an 'all-American' beauty?"

    Yup; full-blooded American Indian.

    ....Iroquois, of course, but hey, that's just me....
    ];)

    April 10, 2012 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Don Jones

      Yes the native american with long small bones. perferably the Mandan

      April 10, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  15. truefax

    All women are beautiful with the lights off.

    April 10, 2012 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
    • jujubeans

      so true!

      April 10, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  16. YerMom

    Michelle Obama? Huge mistake.

    April 10, 2012 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
    • LISA C

      Michelle is pretty....can you please keep "Politics" out of this...or is just because she is Black...I bet its both!!!
      GROW UP!!!!!

      May 3, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  17. Gonzo

    Obesity is a disease. So is anorexia. However, there's less of a difference between an anorexic build and a healthy one than between the typical obese build and a healthy one. Enough of this self-esteem pampering rubbish: America is fat.

    April 9, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Linda Davis

    I believe you get to a certain age where your heart shows on your face. If you are a beautiful person inside..that is what will be reflected in your face. I am almost 53yrs..about 200 lbs and only 5'6"...but I will have strangers tell me, "Wow, you are gorgeous (or beautiful)" and have men from 20 somethings and men older than me complimenting me and/or asking me out. But I also dance, just learned how to ride a motorcycle, have taught myself guitar and still play the violin from childhood, write love to read and get excited about snowflakes and flowers and a new movie...Beauty is many things and if it is only in your face because you are 20 something..you better start working on your other assets because your beauty will fade if there is not a light underneath to illuminate it when you are older.

    April 9, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Thinks2010

    When I was younger I had a nice average looking face and a fit curvy body (always within 5 pounds of the ideal weight/height charts of the time). Even though Twiggy was the ideal of the time and I in no way resembled that ideal, I had plenty of male friends and companions. I ascribe that mostly to the fact that I was and am a nice, intelligent, funny person who always gives and gave as much consideration to a persons character as to his looks. Also, men of the 60's and 70's still appreciated women with curves, and I got a lot of whistles from the bus loads of GI's that sometimes passed by when I was walking to work. I'm old and a bit of a blob now, so I don't care, but my advice to both men and women and boys and girls is to look beyond both physical beauty and ugliness for someone with character, wit and intelligence when you are looking for a life partner and when you are evaluating your own self worth. You'll be a lot happier in the long run.

    April 9, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Thinks2010

    I wonder why you see so many unattractive men with better looking women. I guess woman are more forgiving on that score and are more willing to consider other characteristics such as intelligence, humor, goodness, and of course wealth and power. Guys better hope that intelligence, humor, and goodness carry at least as much weight as wealth and power. If not, they may just find themselves as out of luck as with women as ugly women are with men as women gain a greater share of the wealth and power. I know many men are not as shallow as most of the ones posting here so the following advice is not for them. Shallow guys–mature and look beyond the surface beautiful, average and ugly women when you are looking for someone to be with. If you do, you may be a lot happier in the long run. Just as their are some wonderful average and ugly women, there are some awful beautiful women. If you are lucky, you will find someone wonderful who will be with you all your life, beautiful or not.

    April 9, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinks2010

      Oops–sentence should read: ". . . as out of luck with women as ugly women are with men . . . ."

      April 9, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jorge

      Many men are more self-confident, loving, resourceful and intelligent than you give us credit for, and we know it. We choose not to settle on matters close to our hearts, and rightly so. You also seem to assume that just because a woman has good looks, she wanes in desireable properties of character and intellect, which is not necessarily true (I know this firsthand). Until you realize how broadly you generalize concerning the tastes and traits of others, you will continue to "...wonder why you see so many unattractive men with better looking women."

      April 10, 2012 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
  21. wannabe

    You can look at actresses and singers and see how many dye their hair blonde. After all the stuff that is said about being true to one's self and finding the "real me" and "inner beauty", there you have it. Still a bunch of people wanting to be blonde.

    April 9, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  22. jeff

    everyone is beautiful in the eyes of the lord

    April 9, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Josie

    I had a chance to go into modeling when I was younger, and ended up not doing it. I figured out what they wanted me to do to stay the way I was (I was 14, almost 5'9 and topped out at 130 lb)...to keep that up I would have to change my diet and life style (I ate a lot but I was involved in dancing at the time and very physically active). Now over a decade later, people tell me I should get my daughter in and if she in the future decides to, then I'll support her...but I'll make sure she will understand what she will go through. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder anyway. At that age I was having guys in school telling me I was ugly and would never find a guy to like me....so hey to me that just proves beauty is in how a person sees themselves.

    April 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  24. joe

    beauty used to be a word that only applied to physical appearance. but then unfortunate looking people got jealous and decided it should be confused with personality traits to make themselves feel better. whatever. sorry ladies, but you never see a man who is signifigantly more physically attractive than the girl dating. so ya if a physically unattractive girl found some guy who calls her beautiful its because he can't get a more physically attractive girl based on his looks, income, personality etc. anyways im not saying fat and ugly people are bad people. but im saying some of them act like they think that a beautiful personality somehow makes them physically beautifully and are offended when people don't agree with that. i don't think they themself truely beleive that, but its a mental aberattion of denial that makes them feel better about themself. anyways just my 2 cents.

    April 9, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  25. victor

    This article is simply poorly written and is all over the page...it starts by saying that the standards of beauty are changing and then it talks about how the standards of beauty haven't changed. Maybe it's the standard or wrting that needs to change...or of editing...come on CNN can't we do better than this?

    April 9, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Flip

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, which works out nicely as there would be lots of ugly single girls if this weren't the case.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Don

    Penelope Cruz is beautiful, pretty and hot. I'm hungry like the wolf.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • C.Roland

      Penelope cruz couldn't be more ugly.

      April 9, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jorge

        So, C. Roland, Justin Beiber would be more to your taste?

        April 12, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  28. Samantha S

    great article by a great writer.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben Frankly

      You don't really think this is a well written article. Judging by the "by line" your her mother.

      April 9, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Skylark

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There is no woman anywhere in the world that is every man's epitome of female beauty. Women can stop trying to be all things beautiful to all men, because it isn't possible. Decide who you want to be, who you can be based on your genetics, and find the men who like you. And learn to love yourself enough that you don't take it personally when some men have different preferences. No one is everyone's type. There is no all-american beauty. There are instead a million different beauties, every one appealing to some and not to others.

    April 9, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Thinks2010

      Just don't worry about it. You are who you are. Strive to be fit and healthy. Don't strive to look like someone else's idea of beautiful. You'll be happier. If you are a fit, healthy, happy beauty, wonderful. If you are a fit, healthy happy average, wonderful. Your chances of finding someone if you are looking for someone are really good. If you are a fit, healthy, happy and less good looking than average, your chances of finding someone may be less too but certainly not out of the question, but if you are depressed, angry, down on yourself, down on everyone else, constantly trying to be someone you are not, your chances of finding someone are zilch. Even depressed, angry, down average or good looking people who are obsessed with being something they are not find it difficult to find someone and to remain with those they do find. sure it pretty great to be good looking, but life can be great even if you are not especially if you ignore all the superficial crap.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • RiRi

      One of the best, and truest, comments I've ever read and I agree 100%. Women need to stop obsessing over their looks because at the end of the day, you're not going to please everyone. Worry about pleasing yourself.

      April 12, 2012 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  30. WhatNow

    Why do we have this constant need to label people? I do not see the reason. Does it make us feel better to fit in a category? How one looks has nothing to do with who they are.

    April 9, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • victor

      To answer your question..."yes" beause we as humans are shallow and we gain comfort from categories.

      April 9, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  31. MandoZink

    Rolanda – I was thinking about countering your argument to prove how wrong you are. I usually look for the good inside a person, then their outer beauty seems to grow. Then I though about the effect of willing and determined ugliness WITHIN a person. That made me think about Anne Coulter. You may have half a point there, but you should have picked Anne Coulter. This comment really does describe my last thought process while attempting to counter-point. Incurable inside ugliness is a problem. For some that is all they choose to see. For some that is all they project.

    April 9, 2012 at 1:23 am | Report abuse |
  32. NJshoreGuy

    Emily Tarver is a classic American beauty.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  33. MandoZink

    I love the experience of getting to really know someone who I never noticed physically, only later to realize I now find them absolutely beautiful. The beauty inside makes the outside more attractive. The more that happens, the more beautiful everyone seems.

    April 8, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Will

      Clearly you've never encountered ugly women.

      April 9, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
      • julie

        lol ..... there are plenty walking around.

        April 9, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  34. KR

    IMO people are confusing "Pretty" with "Beauty". Pretty is Subjective, Beauty is universal. Pretty is the shape of the body and everything in it being in right size , shape and lusture. Beauty refers to the quality of the person within. It has to to do with gracefulness, the way a person carries himself/herself, kindness, gentleness, affectionate, the positive energy, innocence etc.

    It is possible to be beautiful even at an old age.

    It is

    It is possible

    April 8, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Will

      Another pathetic, clueless liberal, making "facts" up to suit his/her own personal biases.

      April 9, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • MB

      I teach my 6 year old daughter the same thing... Pretty is on the outside but to true beauty shines from within. That isn't liberal malarkey, that is maturity.

      April 9, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  35. evan5

    Of course there can be – once you break out of your rigid ideas. Where the heck are the pics of beautiful MEN? It's a fact that more people are attracted to men, and therefore find them, not women, beautiful. There are more women than men. Add in the gayy guys, and those who favor women are a minority. Lose the cast-iron grip of centuries of male-domination and open your eyes!!

    April 8, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • MoValRick

      Of course there can–as long as she's Apache, Navajo, Cherokee . . .

      April 8, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • evan5

        As long as she is a HE.

        April 8, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  36. BLakeq

    Not all women are beautiful. Its a simple fact. However, all women have the capacity to be liked and loved no matter what she looks like. Its women that put beauty on a pedestal and think it matters more than all other traits. I can't change how attracted I am towards a woman, its against nature. And yes, it is the first thing I notice when I meet a woman is her appearance, however what would keep me around is her character. Looks fade, character does not. When I'm old and grey, I want to be sitting next to a lady that made me smile and laugh, not a grumpy old tart that once used to be able to fit into a size 2.

    April 8, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Valerie

      Love this comment! How true for ALL of us! : )

      April 9, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Thinks2010

      Wise.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Kevin

    What in mtnmedic's statement makes you think his girlfriend is ugly or fat?

    April 8, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Saturn 4321

    There is hate on BOTH SIDES! The tabloid media we've allowed to entertain us, the churches with people who cheer the hateful preachers who fuel the fire of racism.... the human nature that enjoys to put down the others in order to exalt one's self... all those contribute to racism. Never think racism is one sided. When I came from overseas I quickly understood that it is both sides that are guilty of it! Often it is the outsiders that have the clear picture of what is really going on... Americans are not very alert people when it comes to living in rality!

    April 8, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Saturn 4321

    Can there ever again be an 'all-American' beauty?

    Who cares?!

    I think the world is sick of 'all-American' anything and everything!

    April 8, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brannng

      That's a bold statement considering you'd be a hypocrite if you owned anything that is American. Hate usually stems from jealousy or hurt. And considering you're probably not North Korean or part of Al-Qaeda, there's no need to be jealous.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  40. david

    the only racist pig here is you. and some men and women definitely consider the first lady beautiful, she is intelligent, in great shape, tall, and very well educated... where did you go to school? in some white suburb hating non-whites?

    April 8, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Evan

    I've always wondered if people who say ugly things about others are themselves ugly internally? And how do these hateful people live with what's staring back at them through those two "windows of their soul" in mornings? Comments like these are especially creepy after seeing the photos of Charles Manson. In the case of Michelle Obama these comments are sociopathic and make me hope the CIA is doing its job to protect her from people like you.

    April 8, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Pink

    Yes, all women are beautiful. Please just keep the trannys out of our category.

    April 8, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • victor

      By definition everybody cannot be beautiful since beauty itself implies a difference. There are plenty of ugly women and ugly men – inside and out – get over it...if you're an ugly woman with a butter face...simply wore shorter skirts...it worked for your mother it will work for you.

      April 9, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  43. DCS

    All women are beautiful, it's just some are more beautiful than others.

    April 8, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Hagen

    There is an all American beauty. Just talk to the American Indians who are still pure blood.

    April 8, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doodlebug2222

      Looking at the news in the past year or so, you would think there are only two races in America, and only one has suffered extensively. As far as beauty goes, it sincerely begins with the inside.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  45. voiceofreason

    it is the individual's perception...the eye of the beholder.

    April 8, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Dynamic

    Beauty is in the way we treat one another, our relationship with our environment.

    April 8, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Dizzyd

    To all those bashing fat women, I'd say grow up! It's because of morons like you that so many women and girls have eating disorders. They have been duped into believing that the only attractive body is impossibly thin. So if your wife or daughter got fat, would you refuse to love them unless they starved themselves into thinness? Fat women learn to care for themselves 'cuz we live among too many trolls who have bigger mouths than brains – and I am sure some of you are 'kind, caring Republicans'. You love to blame evolution for the way you think – nope, you guys are idiots, always will be – and no self-respecting fat woman would spit in your face, let alone date you – must be why you're so bitter. Sucks to be you! To my fat sisters, keep loving yourselves. I found true love, so can you!

    April 8, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dean

      Nailed it.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan Green

      We're all holding our sides from laughter at your remark...seriously. Guess I'm going to hell, but that was seriously funny.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • victor

      Enough with the fat acceptance stuff...people are going to like what people like. There may be slight variations in what people find attractive (within a few pounds) but being sloppy fat will never be considered attractive to most people – men or women. No amount of making people feel guilty is going to change that. Take that as a given and chose your lifestyle accordingly. And...for any woman who says I'm fat but my husband/boyfriend still thinks I'm beautiful...HE IS JUST BEING NICE...if you want proof, lose weight and see how much more attention you get from him.

      April 9, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  48. twang

    I think latino women are the prettiest,women from india,and whitewomen are next.Chinese women are just plain ugly.Blacks arent even human,so they dont count

    April 8, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • sqeptiq

      Racist trash!

      April 8, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinker

      Twang it's easy to make unkind remarks about others while hiding behind a internet user name. I am a white dude and I think black women are gorgeous.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Moiphy

      Russian women the are best loooking over all. Just my opinion.

      April 9, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • ehomer

      No, Scandinavians are by far the best looking people.

      April 9, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • pauljack

      @Twang – shame you feel that way because historians have determined that Eve was Black. Black women are the only women who have all the mitochondrial DNA of all the races. So if we aren't human than neither are you since you are our offspring. Care to retract that statement?

      April 11, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • gimarie

      Sure, Just like you and the rest of your generations.

      April 16, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  49. multi-racial rainbow

    Do you have color perception problems or get knocked on the head? What ever the case, only someone who is very unhappy and dissatisfied with their own lifes post such incoherent messages.

    April 7, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Space Cowgirl

    This is why I've given up trying to please other people and focused on looking the way I like. Self-confidence is much more versatile than "good looks" defined by society's conflicting standards of beauty, which are just something large corporations are selling us anyway.

    April 7, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Space Cowgirl

      Ribbing from opposite sides of the aisle aside, a great deal of our perception of beauty comes from the media. Companies pay fashion magazines to "review" and "recommend" their products and services, celebrities wear "free samples" to the most covered red carpet events, and Botox and gastric bypass are hawked during prime time commercial slots. As a beauty blogger, I've been offered "press samples" with the expectation that I'll give favorable reviews whether deserved or not. While there are definitely components of genetic preference and "peer pressure," the media and our perception of beauty are inextricably linked.

      April 9, 2012 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Space Cowgirl

      Oh, and while I'm on a caffeine roll...I never said corporations are inherently evil. Silly troll. Don't put words in my mouth. That space is reserved for chocolate Easter bunny #216372.

      April 9, 2012 at 1:27 am | Report abuse |
    • victor

      That is just incorrect...stuides have continuously pointed to certain features and the balance of certain proportions which are found to be universally attractive. So you can think what you think...but it has no basis in fact. Good luck!

      April 9, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • just a human

        but that's the thing, victor - studies and the term "universally attractive" aren't all encompassing.

        i work in a research lab. don't trust studies! really. they are often padded, sometimes finagled and tweeked, and many times the cohort is not large enough to produce accurate or entirely true results.

        and, as a human, i find the guys i am attracted to deviates from what society thinks is attractive or what is considered "universally attractive". there isn't a guy in hollywood that "does it" for me. i'll take the scrawny, the bearded, the unique, the odd, any day.

        April 11, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Paganguy

    'Women of mixed race represented the "epitome of beauty." Olive skin, full lips, nice legs and butt. I love you all. Too little time.

    April 7, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Will

    This is so easy....

    EXTREME BEAUTY: thin, fit, large eyes, full lips, tan-looking skin. Examples include Zoe Saldana, Halley Berry, Rihanna.

    EXTREME UGLY: Rosie O'Donnell

    April 7, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  53. lulz

    You're confusing that with your mother.

    April 7, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  54. multi-racial rainbow

    I think a lot of people missed the point of this article. One of the main points they mentioned is that when you have a blending of features, it may make someone universally attractive. That really is all they are pointing out. The intent is not to put one race or ethnicity above another. If you have blended features because of a multi-racial background, then it is likely a wider variety of people may be attracted to you.

    As for the All America ideal that has everyone up-in-arms. This is really pointed at what the media for a long time protrayed as the ideal. Even when it was mostly white people, can all white people really say they resembled the people protrayed in the media? No. At the end of the day, what the media protrays is about commercialism and making money.

    Everyone has the capacity to be attractive whether that is physical or because of who they are on the inside. Be whoever you can be rather than a puppet of Lancome, Mabelline or Botox.

    April 7, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Kuka Kehlon

    Gay male fashion designer and gay male glamor magazine editors and gay media head honchos continue to dominate and define female and male concept of beauty which is stupid. Straight men and women never sit on gay magazines and shows to define their concept of beauty and impose it on gay population. You just see the recent example of Karl Lagerfield who went on to say a talented and gifted singer Adele is "fat". There is nothing wrong in being gay. But gay people should not start imposing and defining straight peoples concepts and popular culture. That's gross and gay folks know it but they still do it and get away with it. Straight people don't get hired in Cosmo i.e. straight males. lol

    April 7, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • MannyMota

      Adele IS fat. Just because she's extremely talented and has a pretty face and is brave the way she exposes her feelings and may be "beautiful on the inside" doesn't mean she's not fat on the outside. Let's stop kidding ourselves. If Adelle, who seems to be losing weight, can get her physical act together and lose another 40-50 lbs, get down to 120-125 – she'd be stunning.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Doodlebug2222

        And stunning would get her where again? Any place she is not now? Maybe she is happy being how she is now? If we change and evolve ourselves into what others want.... well it's simply impossible. People have different perceptions of beauty, and there would be no possible way to appease everyone, so ... how about just starting w/ whose opinion counts – your own... humm...

        April 8, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chappy

      Truth be told, there are gays who are as much defined by hatred of women, as love of men. When they decide to decorate women, I think the ability to make a living off people starving to death all around you is a noticeable characteristic of the character of those involved and propagating starvation as acceptable.

      Truth, but I'm sure I'll be shot at for it.

      April 18, 2012 at 4:17 am | Report abuse |
  56. Herby Sagues

    All that discussion about skin color, eye proportion, complexion and all that is nonesense. There's one simple technical measure of female beauty: Boobs.

    April 7, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • DUH!

      So I guess you like overweight women now huh?

      April 8, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Meh

    White is beautiful.

    April 7, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • hem

      White looks plain.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • C.Roland

      Sure if you are pure evil.

      April 9, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  58. male dude

    its kind of sad because women are their own worst enemies. THey are the ones propagating what is deemed as beautiful – thin, big brea_sted. Having these beauty pageants and beauty models, just makes things worse...

    April 7, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  59. William

    This makes me think of an experiment run with infants.They were shown a pair of pictures,one of a woman with a pretty face,and one of a woman with a plain/homely face.They consistently looked longer at the pretty face,which indicates the perception of beauty is hard wired in our species.

    April 7, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  60. LifeCrust

    Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. Different people perceive it differently.

    April 7, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Chinatown

    All women are human beings, but I wouldn't go so far as saying they're all beautiful.......some ppl are ugly on the inside and outside........if all women are beautiful, then all men are handsome.......even that fat, slob who sits on the couch and eats chips while watching TV, right ladies?

    April 7, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Rachel

    This is a biased article. There was never such thing as a national standard of beauty. What they are talking about here is white people's perception of beauty. My latina, black, and asian-american friends all have different standards of beauty. This article is only commenting that white people didn't used to be attracted to other races and now it is more acceptable. As a Latina, I never felt any pressure for the white ideal because I didn't think it was an attractive look. As this article says, everyone has his/her own definition of beauty. It is a shame when a person gets peer pressured into thinking they need another form of beauty.

    April 7, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Varun

      my heart beats for latinas!

      April 7, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  63. bad2worse

    Being ugly sucks. I should know.

    April 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Dave

    The appreciation of beauty is deeply rooted in our genes. We are chemically, visually and intellectually attracted to a certain look for the basic instinct of procreation. To assume society can alter those inclinations is silly. You have the body and look you are born with. Doing the best you can to take care of what you have through good eating and exercise is the best you can hope for. There is always someone who will find you genetically attractive. Confidence and intellectual capacity can enhance what you have. USE THEM!

    April 7, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  65. lance corporal

    I've seen all the mean spirited comments about michelle obama calling her ugly and there is simply no way it is not prejudice, unless you find black characteristics ugly she is an attractive woman..empirically she just is

    it is shocking to me that the folks who claim the moral high ground are just in reality very limited amoral people

    April 7, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Brian

    It's all relative. Ann Coulter is beautiful compared to a rabid pit bull.

    April 7, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danny

      And a pit bull is beautiful compared to Palin.

      April 7, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
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