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Most perfect bodies: No.1 Jeneil Williams

Most perfect bodies: No.1 Jeneil Williams

posted on Wednesday April 6, 2011 | in Tuning in to Josephine | 31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. the lifestyle maven (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

    Big up my Jamaican Sistah!

  2. safs (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

    How does one define a perfect body? Quite subjective…

    • shala (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

      Great question!

  3. Phindile (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

    The perfection of Jeneil’s body lies in the mahogany of her skin. That lingering coffee that wont rub off, I imagine it even influences her walk and talk. Perhaps she prowls…

  4. safs (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

    There is much to do but even as I attempt to get things crossed off an ever growing list, this concept of “what defines beauty?” as suggested through Shala’s post has persuaded me to take a break and share a bit of these thoughts that will persist only until they’re allowed some freedom. Jeneil Williams is Jamaican. As any Caribbean native knows, someone of Jeneil’s color and physiognomy is quintessentially African and considered perhaps the dirtiest derivation of the black skin color, yet is the perfect physical description of what African is presumed to be. Of who slaves were in Caribbean, of athletic build, pronounced facial features and skin the color of volcanic dust. To be such a Caribbean means that you will be ridiculed for such features, that you will be considered perhaps ugly in some places (keep in mind that the Caribbean is an amalgam of east indian, african, asian and western cultures). Beauty is subjective…this is the intellectual founding of the famous quote, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Yet if the beholder’s eye has been muddied by media that portrays someone else’s idea of beauty then the beholder’s view is not quite uniquely his own. And we are all guilty of this charge for having watched TV, flipped through a magazine and taken part in conversations about media icons our idea of beauty too has been subliminally affected. Shala lists Jeneil as the most perfect body and I agreed yet my agreeing with Shala concerned me for I suddenly asked myself, “what makes my body not perfect?”, the body that I have lived with and will see change as I continue to get older. And I know the reason for this. It is the same reason that caused me to believe that I should be skinnier or that my legs should not touch, or that somehow I did something wrong in my past life for now possessing a large chest and not black enough skin. It is because my idea of beauty has been dictated by what society’s advertising and fashion magazines have decided beauty should be. Jeneil is beautiful but so am I. Jeneil has the most perfect body but so do I. Jeneil’s body is perfect for her profession and my body is perfect simply for me! Today I wish no longer to be like the Jeneil’s of the world but continue to work on being comfortable literally in my own skin!

    I should note that Jeneil much in the same way as her predecessor Grace Jones allows designers and artists an opportunity to portray their vision using a different background. I think that is wonderful and it is with much hope that this vision continues to be proliferated in fashion. Yet with that said I’d also like to add that society’s idea of beauty is dynamic although it may feel like it isn’t. From 19th century art to present day internet, one would realize that women of all shapes and forms have been worshipped and used as inspiration throughout our history. Before there was nudity in art photography, there was nudity in paint. Woman with rounded hips, large breasts, thick thighs and noticeable bellies could be said to be the most perfect body of 19th century media! As well, beauty continues, even today to be influenced by culture! Do not rely on a western idea of beauty to define your own. Let it start first by looking in the mirror!

  5. safs (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

    I should also note that I am not accusing Shala of only assuming Jeneil-esque bodies are perfect – only opening a dialogue on perceptions of perfection in bodies of the modern woman! Stick around and perhaps Shala will continue to explore this idea of perfect bodies and the results may surprise you!

  6. dante (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

    open your eyes
    be simple
    beauty has many faces
    that’s one of them
    david

  7. Liz (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

    Safs, you ARE beautiful, and I hope someday you see that. You’re tall and elegant, and you wear your hair in a beautiful natural way. There are many types of beauty, just own your type. We’ve joked about being like Nicole Richie & Lindsay Lohan, but we an never be like that and we never should be. We will never be like that, and if we ever did look that way we would most likely be dying. We need to love the bodies we have, try to keep them as healthy as possible, and treat them right. You are beautiful and I hope you always know that.

  8. Phindile (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

    Safs. I agree with you. The question on beauty is one that can be written on time and time again. The simple answer i suppose, if one was looking for one is that beauty, in every being, irrespective of height, weight, ethnicity or anything else is based on one thing, who you are. As vauge and somewhat obscure as that may seem, the eye, as you have pointed out Safs, has been distorted by what we see and thus tell our brains to believe is beauty. “Beauty” in the magazine, media sense can be falsified, like an identification card, but who you really are can remain hidden for a little while. I had commeneted earlier that I believe that Jeneil is beautiful and I still stand by my statement. As a black woman [although a few shades lighetr than Jeneil], I’ve always been drawn to darker skin tones. This is not to say my own mocha-complexion is not beautiful because it is. Every inch of it and more. But my beauty trancends my skin, it goes deeper than that, and so should yours.

  9. shala (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

    So to be thought provoking; if there is a consensus in the media on what beauty is does that mean that we are brain-washed into believing that only a specific idea of beauty remains true? If there is a consensus then this means that this idea is what society in general holds as the ideal.

    I have to agree with Dante though that “beauty has many faces” What is more interesting would be to question why those many faces are not considered beautiful. Like Michael says in a previous post: “beauty is a language that changes with time” I think it’s more interesting to question what it is that causes perceptions of beauty to change.

    Now this is not to say that I disagree with both Safs and Phindile, on the contrary I agree with both of you, I think beauty also something that is innate, that shines from within and once that light surfaces it doesn’t matter what container houses it that container becomes beautiful because of that beauty within.

    I also want to add that my post is titled: Most PERFECT bodies. No.1. Does perfect = beautiful? And perfect for what?

  10. Tasja (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

    “Perfection is all there is.”

  11. malika (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

    “beauty has many faces”

    An obsession to change / developpe the look with an amused eyes !

  12. malika (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

    Beauty and perfection to honor the life. ART :)

  13. safs (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

    Shala, I’ll attempt to respond to the following:
    “if there is a consensus in the media on what beauty is does that mean that we are brain-washed into believing that only a specific idea of beauty remains true?

    I think to some extent that this idea of beauty peddled by media does influence our individual perception of beauty.

    “If there is a consensus then this means that this idea is what society in general holds as the ideal”

    This is bit more difficult to answer as I don’t know what society decides “ideal” beauty should be. Though the main point I’ve been making and will continue to make is that having certain similar images of “beautiful” and “perfect” defined by media can be detrimental to a young person who perhaps isn’t comfortable in his or her own skin.

    Does perfect = beautiful? And perfect for what?

    Again another tricky but thought provoking question. Anything that has perfection should have beauty. Anything that is described as being perfect regardless of aesthetic, if having had perfection, therefore is beautiful. I can’t think of anything that I regard as perfect that I haven’t regarded as beautiful too. So my answer to you therefore is yes perfect = beauty (my opinion) and perfect for you – i.e. if you haven’t been influenced by social politics i.e. you think Picasso is beautiful because it is generally accepted that it is by certain prominent individuals who spend as much to have it in their possession, but if a Picasso for you isn’t perfect or beautiful then it isn’t. Again subjective … perfection and beauty are never always viewed objectively and if they were, how would one do that, for as you and Dante stated, “beauty has many faces.”

    And I do agree that it is worth taking a look at what influences our evolving perceptions of beauty…

    • shala (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

      I think that there is beauty in imperfection and that if one trains the eye, one can find beauty in “ugliness” too, so much so that something “ugly” can become beautiful. Now does ugly become beautiful because more people believe it to be or was it always beautiful?

      Regarding your comment,”having certain similar images of “beautiful” and “perfect” defined by media can be detrimental to a young person who perhaps isn’t comfortable in his or her own skin.” the documentary AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL comes to mind. It illustrates your point perfectly. The trailer can be viewed here: http://americathebeautifuldoc.com/

  14. claudette (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder true or false it is true and at the same time it is false. Beauty should not be determined by what you see but by who you are yes Shala imperfection can be beautiful too, the fair skin, straight nose, perfectly formed lips used to be considered the ultimate beauty until we felt guilty about discriminating and started shouting “that perfectly black skin broad nose pouted lip african woman is beautiful too, ( Black models from when?)But what happens to that brown skin, broad nose, kinky to staight hair, thin lipped, pocked face(maybe from pimples, no $ for exotic treatment) girl, woman, man or boy, is he or she ugly?
    Yes I am beautiful!!!! regardless of how u see me. and guess what i am so confident about my beauty, it shines thru that peole passing cant help but turn their heads. “Isn’t she beautiful” me the confident, kinky haired, broad nose, thick lipped, yellow hair, pocked face, snub nosed, woman of the world even fat!!!!!
    Let us try to see other for the positive vibes we can give, even if we have to look for it (not everyone is as confident as me) u might discover the most beautiful about me , you, each other and LIFE!!!!!
    Keep up the vibes shala, I understand u are caribbean, we are beautiful toooooo

  15. shala (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

    Claudette, I can feel your beauty already, without even seeing you.

  16. Mioara Roncea (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

    This movie only confirms the idea (that most Europeans have) that Americans seem to be quite superficial. I am sorry but “you” (in general) seem to forget that there is a person behind a beautiful package. In Europe, is not quite like that. but this shallowness is like a disease. It’s spreading. And i think it touches young people first. Teenagers. Do you think is it because the parents do not have enough time to spent with their children any more? Do you think that people are starting to lose their values? It is alarming. I am so grateful to my grandmother for all the beautiful things that she taught me when I was a child.
    Thank you.
    Mioara Roncea.

  17. Phindile (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

    So much discussion to learn in these discussions has been enlightning and and interesting. In response to Safs comment on how “having certain images of “beautiful” and “perfect” defined by media can be detrimental to a young person who perhaps isn’t comfortable in his or her own skin.” I have this to say. I am a 21 year old South African female who is what one might call average looking, if I were placed up against the images that shape the young men in my society. To rub salt on the “wound” I was also born with HIV. So mix the combination together and it seems all that could come out was ugliness. Ugliness because HIV is still a taboo here and also because no one was willing to look past my status because I am supposedly “average”. I could have been affected and admittedly, for a while I was affected by the images that not only potrayed “beauty” but also the “ugly” one’s of HIV. The thing that I think we should keep in mind is that we create our own images, are we not given the gift of chose, or a filter.

    I learnt that my beauty surpassed what any media form put up or said. Funnily enough I am studying screen writing and we discuss “beauty” all the time, my response is simple, you have a choice, you have a brain, an eye, an opinion and a voice, create your own images and also be wise and strong enough to acknowledge other peoples beauty.

  18. Michelle (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

    safs unfortunately i know exactly what you speak of. I’m a 2nd generation American born Caribbean. I’m constantly fighting off peoples ideals of beauty. Now I’m somewhere between fair skinned and caramel because of my grandmother and some dutch ancestors but my mother who is darker has always been told by society that she wasn’t beautiful. I beg to differ my mother is freaking beautiful and not because she is my mom, she has the most beautiful skin, small almond eyes, and bright smile. I think beauty comes in all shapes, and most importantly shades. I had to argue with a friend because she said she would never date dark skinned men, and she made a sideways comment about alec dang (sp) and I basically told her that she was delusional if she couldn’t see the beauty in someone who had such beautiful dark skin. So i know exactly what you mean especially when people in Jamaica are putting themselves at risk to lighten their skin and potentially expose themselves to skin cancer. Its a serious issue when the poorest of the poor as scraping up money for bleaching cream.

    But back to the point of me commenting before reading the comments, this woman has a beautiful body, beautiful features, and photographs well.

    Shala! I totally know what you mean in finding beauty in something that deemed ugly. For years growing up I was picked on, for being too big, for being one way or another, for not falling into the norm. One day I sat in the mirror and told myself I was beautiful, and I started finding things about myself that I had to love, no matter what. My calves, my eyes, smile, the bump near my eye, the mole under my lip. i know it sounds cheesy, but eventually I stopped caring what people where saying about me. I just had to love myself period! I found beauty underneath all the mean words, the stares, the shoves, and whatever else people hurled my way.

  19. safs (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

    Phindile – Thank you for sharing your story! I must say that you have reminded me of such an important life lesson, one that my mother constantly hammers into my head and which I forget ever so often – that I am beautiful just the way I am and Phindile like Shala said to Claudette, I cannot see, nor do not need to see you, to feel your beauty in your words! Thank you for reminding me …. perhaps now I will never forget. And please continue to shine on and write!

  20. Phindile (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

    India Arie says it best “Brown skin, you know I love your brown skin…” Insert any other skin colour and you still have beauty…

  21. safs (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

    Phindile – I use this for inspiration:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtXOVKNazYU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4a8QtvOkBQ

    “I’m beautiful in my way
    ‘Cause God makes no mistakes
    I’m on the right track baby
    I was born this way
    Don’t hide yourself in regret
    Just love yourself and you’re set
    I’m on the right track baby
    I was born this way”

    And I love India Irie! Do you know musicians Corinne Bailey Rae and Ayo?

  22. Phindile (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

    Safs I do know Corinne Bailey Rae and I love her, as for Ayo, I’ve never heard of her/him.
    Will do some investigating, music is my life source. The reason I get up in the morning {usually grumpy as hell but with a good song in mind).

    Aso try some Amel Larrieux….

  23. Naome (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

    Beauty is…
    Bold. Confident. Fearless. Fearful. Speechless. Forsaken. Torn. Painful. Carefree. Young. Old. Colorful. True. Sexy.
    Beauty is strong, when I view the image that Shala posted, I feel confidence, the mood that the model is expressing is confidence. I believe that we call people beautiful for many different reasons, beauty does not always have to do with the looks, a person can be beautiful for their words (Maya Angelou for instance.) A person can be looked at as beautiful until they open their mouths, what we speak plays a major part in how we are perceived. It is surprising to me to see how many women will deny their beauty due to insecurity. Women are beautiful creatures, we are the true definition of beauty. Our ability to do, to learn, to love, to teach, to give; that is beautiful! The people of the world shouldl walk with open minds, especially when it comes to love and beauty. To love is beautiful, you cannot brutalize two people for loving the beauty in one another, it is impossible.

    • shala (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

      so well said.

  24. malika (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

    25 – Beauty is … eternel
    Everwhere
    Love is … eternel
    Smile

  25. Dru (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

    So very late to seeing this, but it’s always interesting to contemplate what we consider “beautiful”, because for me beauty is not about a person’s physical features, it’s more about personality. I’d wager that most of us having this conversation are female, which brings me to my second point – beauty is something that seems to be expected, almost obligatory for women today. Sure, everyone is subjected to pressure, but I really think it’s harder on women. How many adverts and magazines are out there sending the message that we’re not really complete, not properly ourselves, hardly worthy of being called female until we (take your pick of one or all of the following) wear high heels, “fix” our hair, depilate all body hair irrespective of how much it hurts to do so, lose weight, wear makeup, wear jewellery, wear “feminine” clothes….etc etc etc?

    Not that there is anything wrong with doing all those things as long as your choice comes from a place of joy and celebration (I might not like wearing clothes I see as “girly” or getting beauty treatments, but I do know that other women like dressing that way and enjoy them, which is fantastic) and not as a result of society making you miserable for NOT doing them. And it’s all of society that fosters this attitude – when I was a child and my mother (a very beautiful woman by most people’s standards) told people she had a daughter, the first question people asked was “Does she look like you?”. Not even “how old is she?”. I doubt the question would have been the same had I been a boy. It’s a rubbish thing to be focusing on, really, even if the individuals involved mean no harm.

    I do like the way everyone’s addressed the subject of perfection here, though – Shala, I don’t know if you’ll see this, but you seem to treat it as a very personal, individual thing here, something that is about the intangibles. It’s very different from the usual, somewhat impersonal ideal of what constitutes ‘perfection’ as we’re conditioned to think of it.

  26. karhol (Reply) on Wednesday 6, 2011

    stunning features!
    Jeneil’s shape ! skin ,

  27. […] For No.1 click here. […]

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