Tag: beauty

Your Own Ethics, or Someone Else’s

Posted by – September 11, 2013

The essential issue with a surgery that people get to eliminate or “westernize” the epicanthic fold in their eyelid isn’t dissimilar from too many other arguments about similar surgeries: do you get bigger breasts to fit in, to feel happier, to get ahead? Then what’s wrong with it? If a trans woman gets Facial Feminization Surgery again, so she can fit in, and not to “as trans” as she might otherwise, then what’s wrong with it?

Long ago I decided that unless I were in a similar situation, I couldn’t judge and won’t judge. People make what decisions they do for themselves.

The financial argument – the ‘how dare someone spend that kind of money on vanity?’ kind of critique – also strikes me as a moot point. Every single day people in the industrialized nations spend money on stuff when other people need malaria netting for their beds and clean water.

So where do you end up? I don’t know whether to focus this issue on the marginalization and orientalism that contribute to the kind of discrimination Leo experienced or on the aesthetics and our absurd beauty standards:

The truth is more complicated, if you ask Jiang: “There is a difference between looking more like a white person and looking less like your race,” he believes. “At the highest echelons of beauty, the categories all begin to look the same. We’re all trying to achieve racial transformation, but in a homogenized center ground. My personal view is that there is a white, idealized version of beauty associated more with Western beauty ideals. The argument is whether it’s coincidental or constructed.”

There are two major ways of thinking about it, for feminists: on the one hand, that no one who lives in a culture with all of these intersected oppressions can possibly make a choice out of their own free will (and that a feminist, in rejecting these oppressions, will reject any decision that compromises her ability to resist patriarchy/beauty standards/sexism/etc, OR, that every individual has to make choices based on personal agency and the ability to recognize systemic oppressions and choose to do something to circumvent or resist them.

So which is it? Is he grabbing the bull by the horns or being gored by it?

Personally, I find the epicanthic fold beautiful, and always have.

Dustin Hoffman: Tootsie Was Never a Comedy For Me

Posted by – July 11, 2013

If you haven’t seen this by now, you’re living under a bigger rock than I do. Still, this is astonishing. He cries. You will too. I did.

“Sorry, that’s as good as it gets. That’s as beautiful as we can get you.”

Here is an interesting response by Alexandra Petri:


I am not sure this video of Dustin Hoffman crying about female beauty standards is as good as everyone says it is. Is he crying about the fact that he’s missed out on a lot of interesting people because he had been brainwashed to not talk to them? If so, he can fix this so, so easily. All he has to do is walk over and start talking. Or is he crying because this– this brainwashing idea that the way you look determines your inherent interest, this is real, and it won’t occur to everyone to walk over?

That’s quite powerful.

But I’m not sure I understand what her point is, other than that Hoffman is right: women are judged unfairly on their looks first before anyone even wonders if they’re interesting. She doesn’t seem to disagree with Hoffman – just clarifying how we dismiss women until or unless they are attractive – which is sadly the truth.

There are times I wonder if women know that women are people. Most days I don’t even hope men know as much, to be honest.

He gives me hope that maybe, maybe occasionally, there are men who can see women’s humanity.

Manscaping

Posted by – December 29, 2011

Honestly, I understand why people are starting to turn to ’70s porn: now everyone looks like (a) a child, (b) a plucked chicken, or (3) some kind of weird sea organism.

Robert, a 25-year-old investment manager from Massachusetts, trims his pubes with an electric razor—“the kind that barbers use for shaving heads,” he says. Just as he prefers a woman to be groomed when he performs oral sex (“the less hair, the better”), he imagines girls don’t want a bush in their mouths either.

How downright egalitarian.

Still, if genitals unframed by pubic hair are your thing, this decade’s for you.

Pretty Green

Posted by – April 24, 2010

An article by SirensMag.com, which I found via BlogHer, and via Sarah, tell us the truth about what it means for women to spend so much money on our looks:

More money on mascara means less money donated to politicians who can do you favors.
More money on pedicures means less money for the non-profits like shelters, crisis centers, and halfway houses.
More money on haircuts means less money for more education & training.
More money on moisturizers, face lifts and boob jobs means less money, less influence, and less power.

Period.