Screwtape on False Beauty

We have engineered a great increase in the license which society allows to the representation of the apparent nude (not the real nude) in art, and its exhibition on the stage or the bathing beach.  It is all a fake, of course; the figures in the popular art are falsely drawn; the real women in bathing suits or tights are actually pinched in and propped up to make them appear firmer and more slender and more boyish than nature allows a full-grown woman to be.  Yet at the same time, the modern world is taught to believe that it is being “frank” and “healthy” and getting back to nature.  As a result we are more and more directing the desires of men to something which does not exist — making the role of the eye in sexuality more and more important and at the same time making its demands more and more impossible.

Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

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