Monday, June 14, 2010

random books and stuff about beauty

This fascinating article led me to put Deborah Rhode's book The Beauty Bias on my reading list. Interesting quote from the article's review:
"In the most troubling chapter in her book, Rhode explores the feminist movement’s complicated relationship to eternal youth. The truth is that women feel good about competing in beauty pageants. They love six-inch heels. They feel beautiful after cosmetic surgery. You can’t succeed in public life if you look old in America. Of the 16 women in the U.S. Senate between ages 46 and 74, not one has gray hair. Rhode cites one feminist icon after another who changed her mind about the evils of cosmetic surgery, hair color, and Botox the instant the sagging, graying, and wrinkling set in."

Then, a friend recommended Survival of The Prettiest: The Science of Beauty by Nancy Etcoff, which, according to the amazon review,
"argues persuasively that looking good has survival value, and that sensitivity to beauty is a biological adaptation governed by brain circuits shaped by natural selection..." and "Rather than denigrate one source of women's power, it would seem far more useful for feminists to attempt to elevate all sources of women's power." (Plus, Publishers Weekly promises that with "Topics as wide-ranging as penis- or breast-enlargement surgery and the basics of haute couture [treated with wit and insight]... Etcoff's arguments are certain to initiate a great deal of discussion.")
I'm sure I'll have all manner of conflicting ideas and cognative dissonance about beauty after reading these two books. (HA! As if I didn't already.)

So anyhow, random bit of personal anecdote; today I didn't have to ride my bike to work. So, on a whim, I dressed up: A skirt, heels, (a corset too), a little extra make-up. Just because, woohoo! And I admit, I felt hawt.

Then DH refused to kiss me: "ew, you're wearing MAKE-UP..."


So go figure.

(BTW... was SO relieved to finally take off those heels/corset/skirt at the end of the day and hang out the rest of the evening in t-shirt, shorts, and bare feet. Yep.)


angryyoungwoman said...

Have to admit, that outfit is pretty blasted hot. I really like the cuffs of that shirt. Very nice.

I'd like to read those books. I've been trying to bridge the dissonance in my relationship with physical appearances.

G said...

AYW~ thanks! I altered those cuffs myself a few years back to make the blouse part of a steam-punk [sort-of] costume.

and yes: dissonance, beauty, gendered expectations... etc. yah.