Clear Nude: The Lens + the Nude, Issue IV, Summer 2015 ClearNude: The Lens + the Nude, Issue IV, Summer - Page 62

1. Where women’s bodies came from 4. What men want and why it doesn’t matter If women are unique in having waists, hips, bottoms Because curves are so important in women’s health, and breasts, then why are they the only creature to over the millennia men have evolved to be hard-wired have got that way? What were the forces which took to desire them. They ‘know’ that a curvy woman is our newly-bipedal species and completely reconfig- most likely to provide them with healthy children – ured its females’ bodies? Why do women need to curvy daughters and curve-loving sons. So what ex- have twice as much adipose tissue as men, why do actly do men seek in a partner? How is the male brain they store it where they do, and what limitations does programmed to lust after curves? Why are most men this put on them? attracted to a wide variety of female body sizes but a relatively restricted set of body shapes? And have ae- 2. Where women’s bodies come from ons of male lust sexually selected women to be more Female babies are not born curvy. In fact, apart from curvy than, strictly speaking, they need to be? baby boys being slightly longer and leaner, the two sexes start off with remarkably similar body composi- 5. Trapped in a vessel of flesh tions. What are the processes which allow the won- Does it feel different to inhabit a woman’s body rather derfully distinctive human female form to be re-made than a man’s? Can we ever really know? Surprisingly, anew, as each girl grows up? Why do women’s bodies this age-old question is now being addressed by ex- vary so much? And how do girls feel about the fact perts in psychology and robotics. For example, build- that becoming womanly requires the accumulation of ing thinking machines is showing us just how much that much-vilified substance: fat? the functioning of a brain is influenced by the shape of the physical ‘body’ in which it is located. And dis- 3. The power of curves orders in which people feel detached from their own Considering the powerful forces that have driven the body or even their own existence have started to evolution of female body shape, it is perhaps unsur- show us how a woman’s body may affect her sense prising how much it affects women’s lives. However, of body-ownership, self and existence. only recently has it become evident that different curves exert different effects – adipose tissue in but- 6. Comfort and discomfort eating tocks, bellies and breasts have different, and some- For 99.9% of human existence, we have been times protective, effects on women’s likelihood of suf- scrabbling around to find food, but now all that has fering from killer-diseases such as diabetes, cancer changed. We have brains designed for starvation, and heart disease, as well as many other conditions. but the world around us overflows with calories. For Also, the role of fat in female fertility now appears to women the dilemmas are particularly stark – from a be far more complex that we ever suspected. young age they learn to restrain their appetites, to 62 Clear Nude | summer 2015