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Irina Pino: I was born in the middle of shortages in those sixties that marked so many patterns in the world. Although I currently live in Miramar, I miss the city center with its cinemas and theaters, and the bohemian atmosphere of Old Havana, where I often go. Writing is the essential thing in my life, be it poetry, fiction or articles, a communion of ideas that identifies me. With my family and my friends, I get my share of happiness.

New Beauty Standards

August 18, 2017 |

Irina Pino

Foto: eltoque.com

HAVANA TIMES — It’s hard to be both beautiful and intelligent. Many people say it’s the perfect combination.

When you are young, you don’t think too much about your appearance, you just have to be a bit charming, as firm skin makes up for a not so beautiful face. And it’s true, once your body begins to age, you begin to worry, in tandem, about your breasts that are sagging, the fat around your hips and other disasters that befall the female form.

But this goes way back, almost none of the women I have ever known have been satisfied with what Nature or genes have given them. This is when proportions come into play; some women complain about their breasts being too small, others that they don’t have a waist or behind. In short, we are queens of dissatisfaction.

Fashion and subliminal messages via mass media contribute greatly towards increasing non-compliance among women. Now, voluptuousness means big breasts and a round ass. If you have money, you can put implants in, but if you don’t, you’re exposed to having men criticize you (not all of them, of course). Although the daily bombardment of images makes general consensus advocate for this natural or bought aesthetic.

Wrinkled faces aren’t a thing. That’s why botox and so-called “corrections” exist. These treatments are expensive. I met one women who had silicone breast implants put in. She’s a size 36 now. That little party cost her more than 800 CUC (900 USD), plus the extra presents she had to give to the surgeons.

She did it to satisfy her husband (who gave her the money). She also got rid of the wrinkles on her face. The guy likes women with big breasts and watching porn is his hobby. Will he force her to make them a size 38 in the future to make him happy?

In other cases, its women who have undergone breast cancer surgery or who have had accidents who put in these implants, they need them.

I even hear harsh criticism coming from teenage boys about the girls around them. Their jokes about “ironing board” girls, the ones who have nothing in front or behind. The desired woman is round, for them. The other girls are ugly and are no good to have sex with.

Another fashion that has become popular is hair: straight hair is the best, curly hair isn’t in fashion anymore. You have to go for a keratin treatment to straighten it out. If you don’t have the money, start digging and find it somewhere, but you have to do this treatment.

Years ago, curly hair used to be more striking. Straight hair used to be called “dead hair”…

Intelligence is undervalued; however, they say that intellectual women don’t need beauty, because they have more than enough talent.

A good conversation about cultural subjects is important to cultured men, who are interested in talking about books or artistic movies. They need this feedback. Nevertheless, if the woman is not attractive or she doesn’t have at least a certain grace, they can lose their willingness to share or even have something with this “intellectual woman”.

I don’t think you need to not look after your physical appearance, but I do think you have to nourish what’s inside of you. Physical exercise, diet, spirituality, culture, dressing according to your personality and age, and feeling fulfilled in all aspects, is the best treatment for a woman to be more and more beautiful in the eyes of others.

Diversity is beautiful, this should be respected. Who tells the Amish that they have to use buttons on their clothes?

For those who practice some kind of belief, spirituality is what prevails. They appreciate life’s processes, including death, as self-transformative. They live trying to avoid following precepts imposed by Western culture. They get rid of the superfluous, whatever isn’t needed to exist. For them, all spiritual experiences are a lesson.

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  • Nemi Aweni

    I like this article, it is thought provoking so i decide to participate.

    There was a popular television show here in the states called the “Twilight Show” This particular episode was about a woman who was in the hospital whose face was bandage up completely. The nurses who were attending to her would talk in whispers amongst themselves as to how sad her case was. They were hoping for the best outcome for her, hoping that the doctors would be able to successfully repair her disfigurement. Finally it was time for the patients bandages to be removed from her face. Now the audience never saw the face of the nurses who attended the patient nor the doctor who did the surgery. As the gauze bandages were being removed from her face, the audience/t.v. watchers, heard a gasp from the nurses and the doctor. So the audience knew by their reaction the surgery did not go well. The camera panned to the patients face and she was beautiful by western standards, blond and blue eyes, chiseled nose, small lips. You could hear the doctor apologizing to her. He was sorry that the operation did not go well and she was still disfigured, what!!! that is when the camera panned to the nurses and doctors face. Their faces by all of our standards was disfigured horribly. Whats going on, the standard of beauty was different. Here there was no value to the usual western beauty at all but to something we would describe as hideous. The moral beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    Our current society makes women feel that cannot show their age, criticizes and body shames women for not having what is seen as the perfect body. Wealthy women can easily afford to use botox and what ever else is out there to maintain outward beauty and so called perfect body. Wealthy women do it because they can and that is what is valued in their world. Women with less finances and are alone do it because, they don’t want to show how hard life has been for them and their inability to stay youthful due to their hardships. So they might make sacrifices and try things that are dangerous only to make themselves outwardly more appealing to find a husband. Young women do it without deep thought or reasons. Now mind you, if surgery is done to correct a health issue, birth defect (even then a decision might be based solely on how society looks at them and not purely for health reasons) or to loose weight that is causing them health issues, this is different.

    Throughout history there as always been an allure around and about women. This cannot be denied and should not be denied, there is indeed something natural beautiful about us, we are alluring, sexy and wise women. We feel it innately without words to describe the spiritual beauty we feel as women. We feel beautiful when we are cooking, giving birth, taking a bath, looking at ourselves in the mirror with appreciation. Ultimately women have to feel comfortable about ourselves but it is not easy in our society that does not welcome natural aging in women. We have to find balance within ourselves to redefine what feminine beauty is and what it looks like for us as individuals that makes us happy and comfortable. Understanding that it might not be the standard of our society. We also have to be honest in saying that we have incorporated some of those standards about our image, whether we like to or not.

    Thank you Irina for the article.

  • Carlyle MacDuff

    I recall Sophia Loren being voted the most beautiful woman in the world. She was 76 at the time. Beauty and youth ought not to be confused. The men and boys who make their foolish comments ought to take a long look in the mirror first.
    Cuban men in particular with their Spanish background of being macho, ought to reflect that 65% of Cuba’s professional positions are held by women.

  • Cyress

    I think after reading this article, the old adage holds true, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” AND “Age is only a state of mind, you are only as old as you think you are.” Now not less than 3 hours ago, I met an “older” lady(in her late 30’s) for the first time, and she was looked more fit than most 20 year olds. Sooooooo, if you take care of yourself, you will look good no matter what your age. Who give a f____ what other people think. AND, being voluptuous doesn’t (AT ALL) guarantee that you would be better in bed than say an “ironing board.” Some of the hottest sexual partners I’ve EVER had, were in fact the latter. And Carlyle, Sophia Loren IS STILL HOT to this day. :)

  • bjmack

    The one adage that stands as well as it did when founded; “beauty’s only skin deep!”