Sunday, March 28, 2010
Fashion's Moving Target
(fm the BC thread "The Girlie Men")
In a peasant society the woman will think the tanned version is a field hand
This is an excellent point that probably goes in cycles. The important thing for the rich is to not appear poor. For most of history only the very rich ate well but the diet, workplace and exercise performed by the masses varied over time. The anecdote of ridgerunner confirms this.
When the peasants are tanned and muscular the then aristocrats concentrated on indoor pleasures and doused themselves in scent. In France the monarch actively encouraged such corruption to weaken vitality of the First Estate, "Ancient Oaks rotted by time." There were real dangers in the elites adopting such a posture and hard reality pressured them to remain more vigorous and capable or suffer consequences. Think of the real life Playwright General Gentleman Johnny Burgoyne bringing his wine cellar with him on campaign or the fictional fops of the Scarlet Pimpernel. RCM makes the same point.
Later the commoners moved into dark satanic mills and grew pale while their lords ostentatiously played polo and sunned themselves in Monaco or more exotic locations. Memoirs have remarked on how in WW-I the British troops appeared pale and scrawny compared to their robust officers. This applied even to the Welsh coal miners who followed the sons of the English gentry into the machine gun fire of the Somme.
After WW-II cheap airfare, cheap protein, and gymnasiums gave every working stiff the ability to travel to the same places as and sculpt bodies that looked like those of their betters. In response the elites retreated into advocacy for vegan diets (an ostentatious affectation) and a sterile aestheticism. The motivation is always in the capacity of the majority and not the pretensions of their ostensible leaders.