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Five Friday Questions: Frank Boyd

The beauty myth tells a story: The quality called beauty objectively and universally exists. Women must want to embody it and men must want to possess women who embody it. This embodiment is an imperative for women and not for men, which situation is necessary and natural because it is biological, sexual, and evolutionary: Strong men battle for beautiful women, and beautiful women are more reproductively successful.

 

Women’s beauty must correlate to their fertility, and since this system is based on sexual selection, it is inevitable and changeless.  None of this is true. “Beauty” is a currency system like the gold standard. Like any economy, it is determined by politics, and in the modern age in the West it is the last, best belief system that keeps male dominance intact.

 

Nor is beauty a function of evolution: Its ideals change at a pace far more rapid than that of the evolution of species, and Charles Darwin was himself unconvinced by his own explanation that beauty resulted from a sexual selection that deviated from the rule of natural selection; for women to compete with women through beauty is a reversal of the way in which natural selection affects all other mammals.