I meant to post this the other week, but that pesky thing called life got in the way and I back-burnered it. Newsweek has put together an awesome special feature on the advantages (and yes, even disadvantages) of being beautiful and how it can affect our lives, careers and health. There are a lot of great multimedia links to follow, but here’s a few that caught my attention:
- Six Ugly Secrets of the Cosmetic Counter: How cosmetics companies trick you into spending hundreds of dollars for that ‘free’ makeover.
- The Beauty Breakdown: What a lifetime of cosmetic maintenance will cost a modern diva
- Picture Perfect: The backlash against magazine airbrushing
- Unattainable Beauty: The decade’s worst airbrushing scandals
- Youth in a Jar: A century of outrageous beauty ads
- Through the Looking Glass: A former child model on the perils of growing up in front of the camera and why she chose to become a photographer
- The Beauty Advantage: Why most of us will never live up
(And in my own addendum on the subject, I highly recommend Kathy Peiss’ Hope in a Jar: The Making of America’s Beauty Culture and — what I consider the definitive work on the history of American cultural beauty standards — Lois W. Banner’s American Beauty: A Social History…Through Two Centuries of the American Idea, Ideal, and Image of the Beautiful Woman.)
I think that most of us would agree that lookism is A Bad Thing, but surprisingly, in a survey conducted by Newsweek, only 46 percent of the public said they would favor a law making hiring discrimination based on appearance illegal. Is this a case of a deluded public who’s bought the beauty myth hook, line and sinker? Or could it be a pragmatic public realizing the practicalities of such a law difficult to enforce? Your thoughts on this and the other columns and galleries in Newsweek’s special feature on beauty?