(Thegn's note: A wonderful short post here by regular contributor Eddie. I recommend reading this in combination with my previous post, "Fitspiration is BS", because the two have some wonderful synergies. http://www.philosopher-warrior.com/news/2013/5/7/fitspiration-is-bs)
I follow several strong women and I often hear them, and other people, talk about women who are "strong, athletic, and beautiful." The intention, of course, is to put down the anachronistic idea of the classically beautiful women: Blonde, make-up, stick-thin, big boobs, round butt, ready with a chicken dinner for her Man when he gets home from the man's work.
Honorable intentions, of course, but I cannot help but think it may be a little misguided.
This is because it is still using beauty as a paradigm of assessment, it is just changing the parameters of the paradigm. What, it seems to me, is trying to be accomplished by many, is replacing one idea of beauty with another. It is perhaps, as the saying goes, choosing the lesser of two evils.
I believe it alienates a certain amount of people who don't exercise, nor have any wish to. This is because, while most people probably won't take it this way, it leaves room for the same behavioral patterns makes the aforementioned classical idea of beauty so repugnant: not so much that we find people's physical traits themselves annoying (because if you do you have deeper problems) but the elitist and arrogant attitudes about those physical traits that, for the most part, people have no control over outside of cutting themselves up with all kinds of plastic surgery.
So the idea that "strength is sexy" or that "you can be strong and beautiful" still doesn't change the fundamental problem with trying to define social beauty, which, as any student of history can tell you, is hardly set into our genome. I have said before that sexiness is 90 percent attitude. I could go on to say that attraction is different for every person, and, as such, we as a people shouldn't be trying to simplify beauty into punchlines or "poster-girl" images, but I'm not here to go into that. I am more trying to raise a question about the strength's communities attempts to answer one ideology with another. Perhaps absolutism is not the best answer, because while the scriptures may be different, we're all fundamentally going to hell.