Even in terms of presenting a healthy appearance, tanning, extreme dieting and high heels all come to mind as highly unhealthy practices that many in modern Westernized culture seem to associate with “beauty.”
The tanning is no more unhealthy than the whole anemic look that Westernized culture used to be obsessed with.
I don’t know about “no more unhealthy,” but the evidence for links to malignant melanoma (skin cancer) is pretty compelling: http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/indoor_tanning.htm I’m not saying the “anemic look” was healthy. Certainly being bled or plastering lead compounds on the skin are not healthy activities. http://www.vintageconnection.net/ModesInMakeup.htm
My point is that there are a wide range of cultural practices that are considered to enhance “beauty” within the culture, but which are quite unhealthy. And further, that “beauty” when considered an indicator of health is therefore going to be pretty skewed, no matter which culture we’re talking about, and isn’t a “universal” value. A large number of the studies I’ve reviewed that claim to have discovered some universal constant were conducted only on Western culture subjects (often only on college students in North America or Western Europe). The only effect I was able to find strong support for across cultures is the neonate effect on female attractiveness, i.e. facial features that look childish are more attractive to men, and even that was moderated by location in the face (primarily eyes and nose).
As someone else has pointed out, the primary market at this and other 3D content stores is probably Westernized consumers, with a skew toward males, so if what we’re talking about is what’s going to sell at DAZ3D, sure, Western ideals are probably right on target. I just think it’s a mistake to think that these ideals represent some kind of universal virtue.
As far as “getting the conversation back on the rails” goes, is there anything more to say, other than that content creators are finding it more difficult to make a living making V4 products in a saturated market?