Beauty and Women

File:Lady Godiva (John Collier, c. 1897).jpg

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The interest is obsessive, the power not to be denied. How much of our life revolves around the irresistible beauty of women? Power, territory, body hunger, reproduction, and that most elusive quality of all, feminine energy, all are bound up with the image of the nude woman.

File:ADORNED FOR MARRIAGE.jpg

If we ask someone what beauty is, chances are he or she thinks first of a woman. But what is it that makes a woman beautiful?

RT has suggested elsewhere that all women are beautiful. Surely, our first sense of satisfaction and comfort is felt in the arms of a mother or nurse. Nursing (or merely being cradled by arms) is an experience so immediate and physical that (at least to some extent) it defines feminine energy–the power to nourish and heal. The power of touch and sympathy.

It’s difficult to imagine how we extend such happiness to more distant and abstract realities. It helps to remember that there is such a thing as masculine beauty, defined by its own set of physical memories and characteristics. Some of the common traits of attractiveness have been defined as proportion, order, harmony, and unity. All of these things have to do with the principles of art.

But when we enter the realm of art, we have escaped an exclusively feminine notion of beauty; art can express both feminine and masculine energy.

File:A cone being held by a woman.jpg

What does the student of beauty bring to his or her understanding of women? A much broader sympathy to the wide variation in women’s appearance (and to the differences in their energy as well). This may be why, as we age, that we can appreciate the beauty in older women, tied once again to feminine energy, but not one so explicitly bound up in reproduction. Wisdom, as Socrates would point out, can be beautiful too.

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Images: top: Lady Godiva, John Collier (1898) ; middle: Adorned for Marriage, Northcote Thomas (1922); bottomA woman holding a cone. Author: tomwsulcer. All images: WikiCmns; Public Domain.

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  1. March 22, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Reblogged this on ram0ram note book.

    • March 22, 2013 at 7:56 pm

      ror: thanks for the repost; it’s much appreciated! RT

  2. March 26, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    We would love to post that at toemail if you do not mind? With a link to your blog, of course. What is your location so we can put it in the title? http://toemail.wordpress.com

  3. March 30, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    And your location would be?

    • March 30, 2013 at 11:41 pm

      tm: i’m not sure what you mean by “location”: i haven’t got a request for one before. will google the term in a second.

    • March 30, 2013 at 11:43 pm

      tm: got it! it’s less technical than i thought: Martinsburg, West Virginia. RT

  4. April 1, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    It’s posted now. Thanks so much, we really appreciate it! 🙂

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