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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Press Releases and Film News  |  Seems porn is doing a better job of presenting diversity than mainstream media « previous next »
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Author Topic: Seems porn is doing a better job of presenting diversity than mainstream media  (Read 1228 times)
AndyC
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« on: May 18, 2012, 06:59:45 AM »

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/the-lay-scientist/2012/may/15/1

This article caught my attention, because I've often said that the mass media has given us a narrow, homogenized idea of beauty that is, quite frankly, boring. If, like me, your taste runs to shorter and darker hair, fuller figures and distinctive faces, it's not very representative of you. And as far as showing the diversity of real women in the real world, it is not very inclusive or realistic. Going by the posts in "Oddly Attractive Actresses" and other threads, I know I'm not alone in thinking that.

My favourite analogy is to processed cheese. It tastes all right to most people and suits a wide variety of applications. If you're feeding a crowd, it works. But there is a very wide selection of very different cheeses beyond that, and people will name lots of different ones if you ask them their favourites. For some reason, when it comes to standards of beauty, people are encouraged to believe that the processed cheese slice is the pinnacle, when it is really the lowest common denominator.

This is where porn appears to be getting it right. While most of the mainstream media show us a picture and tell us it's attractive, the adult industry seems to take more of a "something for everyone" approach. Looking at a few adult websites, they don't so much tell you what to like as ask what you like and direct you to it without judgment.

There's an interesting irony in that.
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tracy
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2012, 01:54:43 PM »

I have seen that some men do prefer something besides the blue-eyed blond stick figures that the media tells us is the heighth of perfection. I myself am a shorter,fuller figured lady with dark hair and my husband,God bless him,loves me just as I am. This Barbie doll stereotype,however,will probably always be held up as the ideal lady. I guess the porn industry has more of a heart for "imperfection".
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AndyC
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2012, 03:28:59 PM »

What I find really troubling is how seriously some people take these unrealistic standards of beauty. It's not enough that they believe they must look a certain way and like certain things. A lot of them go as far as to believe that is what everyone should like or want to look like, and to feel otherwise is weird, stupid, wrong. And some have no qualms about expressing such thoughts.

I like what I like. That is my personal taste and nothing more. What other people like should be no concern of mine, and it is certainly not the duty of every woman to try and appeal to my personal taste. The whole of humanity isn't there to look good for me. Fortunately, some do, which is really all a person can ask for.
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lester1/2jr
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2012, 08:00:37 AM »

thats why kim kardashian is so popular.
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tracy
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2012, 11:20:01 AM »

What I find really troubling is how seriously some people take these unrealistic standards of beauty. It's not enough that they believe they must look a certain way and like certain things. A lot of them go as far as to believe that is what everyone should like or want to look like, and to feel otherwise is weird, stupid, wrong. And some have no qualms about expressing such thoughts.

I like what I like. That is my personal taste and nothing more. What other people like should be no concern of mine, and it is certainly not the duty of every woman to try and appeal to my personal taste. The whole of humanity isn't there to look good for me. Fortunately, some do, which is really all a person can ask for.
Good for you! Personal taste is just that....personal. We can't all possibly think or feel exactly alike and the very notion kind of creeps me out. I also don't need anyone trying to convince me that their way is the only way....sorry but I'm a bit too stubborn and set in my ways for that. Wink
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2012, 08:12:11 PM »

I've been thinking about this a little bit and have arrived upon a theory.

The Porn Industry is selling the product itself, so it makes sense to focus on 'different tastes.'

The rest of the media culture is selling the image, or more to the point, the illusion of something one can use/do to attain the image.  Skin creams, diets, thinning clothes, hair coloring, fashion in general, the "in" toy or gadget....nothing is for real or for real taste, it's all just to 'fit in.'

Porn maximizes profit by appealing to as many tastes as possible.  The mainstream maximizes profit by trying to convince as many people as possible to jump on the band wagon.  "I'm Lovin' It" ....
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AndyC
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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2012, 09:16:16 PM »

I've been thinking about this a little bit and have arrived upon a theory.

The Porn Industry is selling the product itself, so it makes sense to focus on 'different tastes.'

The rest of the media culture is selling the image, or more to the point, the illusion of something one can use/do to attain the image.  Skin creams, diets, thinning clothes, hair coloring, fashion in general, the "in" toy or gadget....nothing is for real or for real taste, it's all just to 'fit in.'

Porn maximizes profit by appealing to as many tastes as possible.  The mainstream maximizes profit by trying to convince as many people as possible to jump on the band wagon.  "I'm Lovin' It" ....

I hadn't thought of that, but it makes perfect sense. The mainstream makes its money from the advertisers, and it serves the advertisers to promote an unrealistic conformist ideal. They aren't delivering sex appeal so much as promoting a definition of it. Porn, on the other hand, makes its money directly from people who are paying to see the imagery they produce, and therefore must make the imagery appeal to the customer's taste. The mainstream benefits more from trying to influence the our taste through their imagery, to make us more receptive to the advertising. The advertisers are their real customers, and our attention is the commodity they're selling. The product is merely a means of cultivating that attention.
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tracy
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« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2012, 01:44:00 PM »

I've been thinking about this a little bit and have arrived upon a theory.

The Porn Industry is selling the product itself, so it makes sense to focus on 'different tastes.'

The rest of the media culture is selling the image, or more to the point, the illusion of something one can use/do to attain the image.  Skin creams, diets, thinning clothes, hair coloring, fashion in general, the "in" toy or gadget....nothing is for real or for real taste, it's all just to 'fit in.'

Porn maximizes profit by appealing to as many tastes as possible.  The mainstream maximizes profit by trying to convince as many people as possible to jump on the band wagon.  "I'm Lovin' It" ....
Yes....that does indeed make sense. Cater to what people really want instead of merely presenting some unattainable "ideal".
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« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2012, 02:42:48 AM »

Well, you've got to think about the markets each is selling to.

A movie or a television station or a magazine makes its money by selling to the broadest possible population. They have to be reactionary because they need to be as homogenized as possible to sell to the maximum amount of people. People tend to hedge their bets when millions of dollars are involved. That's why you get something like Playboy, where the bland, blonde, airbrushed models are just about as exciting as mayonnaise.

Porn is a sort of grassroots low-budget where anything that sells goes. Throw everything at the wall and see what sticks, which is only slightly a metaphor where porn is concerned.

I'm always surprised at the mainstream idea of beauty, at least where prurient interests are concerned. It seems to have no connection to what people (okay, men) find attractive. I haven't been to a strip club in years, but the strippers that get the most attention are not the super-tall anorexics that beauty magazines love. It's the full-figured girls who make men throw all their money away.

I'm not defending the porn industry, because if you look closer than the surface it is not fun at all. However, every guy I know has a kink in what he thinks is attractive, and it usually has nothing to do with the current trend in supermodels. Unless, of course, you are talking about large breasts, which never go out of style.
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AndyC
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« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2012, 08:02:13 AM »

However, every guy I know has a kink in what he thinks is attractive, and it usually has nothing to do with the current trend in supermodels.

I wonder how many men, when asked what they consider sexy, would answer honestly. I don't doubt that some are more inclined to give the answer they think most likely to meet with approval and agreement. I'm speaking as someone with a relatively unusual kink, who spent years hiding any hint of it from even my closest friends. While there are still people I wouldn't want to know, I don't see it as such a big deal anymore, and actually feel good about sharing it. I've come to believe every guy (and possibly every gal), as you say, has a kink of some kind. We just don't feel comfortable letting anyone else know about it. Kind of a cycle of shame.

That is undoubtedly also a factor in the diversity found in porn. This is an industry that recognizes and capitalizes on the unexpressed desires of its consumers, while the mainstream media is all about outward image.
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