Wednesday, December 20

au naturel

Read this from the perspective of someone who needs half an hour of primping before she can leave the house. Kinda reminds me of the Brazillian millionaire plastic surgeon who devotes one day a week to "charity" work in the slums because, to paraphrase him, even the poor deserve to look beautiful.

The Natural Beauty Myth

Garance Franke-Ruta

The Wall Street Journal
December 15, 2006

What the critics of the beauty industry fail to recognize is that the doctrine of “natural beauty” and the desire it breeds in women to be accepted as they are or to be seen as beautiful without any effort, is a ruthless and anti-egalitarian ideal. It is far more punishing than the one that says any woman can be beautiful if she merely treats beauty as a form of discipline

Only in America do we think that beauty is a purely natural attribute rather than a type of artistry requiring effort. Look at the French: They are no more beautiful as a people than we as Americans, but they understand that every woman can be attractive – if not beautiful – if she chooses to be.

Yes, we are given forms by nature, but how we choose to present them is a matter of our own discretion.

Few people are blessed by nature and circumstance with the Golden Mean proportions that seem to be universally appreciated. Thus, in the end, it is more democratic to think of beauty or attractiveness as an attribute that one can acquire, like speaking a foreign language or cooking well.

Full story here.

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