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Digital Subscriptions > DIVA Magazine > June 2017 > Looking so good, it hurts

Looking so good, it hurts

HOW ARE UNREALISTIC BEAUTY AND BODY IDEALS HARMING US, ASKS JANE CZYZSELSKA?

QUEER BODIES

Beauty is only skin deep; or so goes the saying, implying as it does that true beauty lies within.

This maxim was the work of Sir Thomas Overbury who waxed lyrical about the manifold charms of his wife in a poem written in 1613. Renaissance man Overbury was writing at a time when women who today would be fat-shamed were favoured. In other words, he believed a woman’s beauty was greater than the sum of her parts. If only.

Body beauty is a moveable feast. Transgender artist Ela Xora notes how in ancient Greece and Rome, despite the archetypes and binarised notions of beauty that were quite literally set in stone through sculpture and literature, a spectrum of anthropomorphic beauty was also recognised. “During noteworthy periods in the Greek and Roman eras intersex bodies were considered divine, ‘marvels’ or objects of delight.” The same cannot be said of the increasingly rigid contemporary notions of physical aesthetics.

Like many who are intersex (ie born with primary and/or secondary sex characteristics that are neither strictly male nor female), Ela was physically attacked and verbally mocked at school because she didn’t develop or present along the expected heteronormative male sex and gender trajectory.

Beauty and body image have long been mainstays of traditional women’s magazines, latterly becoming a battleground on social media platforms, ensnaring children of primary school age. Single lesbian mum Kay says her six-year-old tells her daily that she doesn’t like her legs. “She thinks they are fat. They are perfectly healthy, round thighs that come down from a gorgeous curvy bottom. She is black British, physically strong and beautifully healthy, but all around her are ads with white models.”

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About DIVA Magazine

She’s the self-confessed poster child of Pride, so who better to front this special issue than the one and only Lea DeLaria? In an exclusive interview with DIVA’s Roxy Bourdillon, the Orange Is The New Black star talks about Big Boo, bedding millennials, and reveals why she doesn’t go for other butches. If you’re a modern girl, check out our digital issue and enjoy bonus content including extra special snaps from our LA photoshoot. Also in this issue…. From terrified teen to published author: Lucy Sutcliffe’s book is changing lives – including hers Lost On You: Carrie Lyell falls under singer songwriter LP’s spell Body warriors: Queer people say bin your beauty standards Phyll Opoku-Gyimah on the origins of UK Black Pride Now you see me: Why having a boyfriend doesn’t make me straight This Is Your Pride: 10 lez/bi women share their stories DIVA does Dinah Shore Let’s beat loneliness: we need to do more for our LGBT elders PLUS Travel, family and much much more!
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