Much the buzz at the Miss America Pageant this year as Miss Indiana sashayed across the stage during the swimsuit competition. As contestants go, she was the veritable “chunky monkey” of the group. Twitter was alive with comments regarding the “normal” look of Mekayla Diehl. Most complimented her on her normal body appearance and one woman stated it was nice to see someone was was not just “a bag of bones.”
The majority of the tweets, oddly enough, were from women and compared Miss Diehl’s average shape with their own. Others quickly fired back that Miss Indiana was hardly normal. According to Livestrong.com, the average American woman in 2010 was 5’4″ tall and weighed in at a hefty 166 pounds. Miss Indiana wears a size 4 and the average American woman dons a 14. Miss Indiana is a towering rail next to Jane Average.
So, are women deluding themselves when they compare themselves to Mekayla Diehl? To understand this subject a little better, let’s consider the female form throughout the ages. At the dawn of enlightenment, namely the Renaissance, women and men, weren’t concerned about a few extra pounds on a lady. In fact, voluptuous women were the order of the day and like a good pizza, men preferred their women with a little “extra cheese.”
When the Victorian age came into being in the early 1800’s, women became body conscious and cinched waistlines were born. Of course, this didn’t mean that the body beneath the torturous gear was thin, but the look was there.
The roaring twenties brought the first skinny women of fashion onto the social scene, as “flappers” hid their curves, bobbed their hair and danced around waving a finger at everybody, but the following decades took a turn for the curvier. Women were conscious of muscle tone and began lifting weights, besides laundry baskets, which accentuated natural curves in the hips and breasts. Then tragedy struck!
In the 1960’s, curves went to hell in a hand basket! One word sums up the worst figure in modern history– Twiggy! A apt name and the antithesis of a healthy looking figure in a world full of food. It was a turning point for the Madison Avenue look regarding models and other advertising figures. Big name designers now preferred skinny women in their photo shoots as not to”distract” potential buyers from the product.
Since the 1960’s, many young women starve themselves, literally, to achieve that All American cover girl look, a look, unfortunately, that most others find displeasing. Anorexia and bulimia ruin many young teen women’s lives simply because they wish to emulate this look. Sadly for them, most men still prefer their women they way they like their pizza. Hugh Heffner knew this when he cast Marilyn Monroe as his first cover girl in December 1953.
So when the average American women praises Miss Indiana as the new “normal” and compares herself to her, is it a delusion? Or maybe, just maybe, women are becoming comfortable again with their looks, shape and weight. And if you’re a guy reading this, go kiss your wife or girlfriend and order a pizza.