Words Alive! Writing Contest Winner: Cole Duncan (Review)

“Wrong Century”

Have you ever heard of the painting; “The Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus” by sir Peter Paul Rubens? This piece has been such an inspiration to many since being created in 1618. One such inspiration was brought to the world by Tomas Kucerovsky in the form of “Wrong Century.” After doing more research into the painting, I learned that when it was painted it was to show that back then heavier women were a sign of wealth and beauty, whereas skinnier women were a sign of poverty. It’s a shame that today if someone were on the heavy side they are considered unattractive to many.

In today’s culture it is depicted that the skinnier you are, the more beautiful you are and bigger people won’t receive a second look, besides to make a “fat” joke or to laugh at them. Our society has such lofty standards for young girls. In magazines and T.V., the beauty advertisements show these skinny “beautiful” women and anything over a certain pants size is sickly, or lazy, or nasty. Today’s society has many boxes we put women in depending on how they look or what we put in their bodies.

So much emotion comes crashing down when looking at this picture; it is sad, and even happy all at the same time. It gives such heartache that people must tear us down to make themselves feel better about their selves. It is so inspirational to see people like this who are comfortable being who they are much like the fabulous actress Gabourey Sidibe, who was such an inspiration to so many people with her portrayal of Precious Jones in the movie Precious. Much like many people, in 2016, she secretly went and had weight loss surgery to become more “beautiful, and attractive.” We are so prone to what we see in advertisements, our society today is killing themselves to meet everyone else’s standards.

When we think of the color red, we think of anger, hatred, or even evil. Some other representations we may not think about would be: strength, power, and love. The main color in this image is red, and in this case red feels more of strength to overcome other people’s bigotry and their own personal judgments to make her feel bad about herself. “Wrong Century” also shows love as a main element of emotion, the woman loves herself and who she is. She feels that she just grew up in the wrong period of time. In this period in time bigger people both men and women are always looked down on, and are made to be the butt of many horrible jokes. These jokes are passed down to different generations. In the words of Nelson Mandela “no one is born to hate another person, people must be taught to hate and if they can be taught to hate, then they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than hate.”

In conclusion, love yourself for who you are! Follow Tomas Kucerovsky’s “Wrong Century” example and love yourself. If you feel the need to change yourself, do it for yourself not because you feel pressured to please someone else, regardless of if it is a friend, a family member, or even a lover. Express who you truly are and love yourself, you were made unique, and remember it is not all about the outside appearance. If you have a good heart, soul, and personality many people find these traits to be more attractive than changing your hair color or getting breast implants.

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