San Jose, California: Former beauty queen Saman Hasnain (she was Mrs. Pakistan World in 2008), has been charged with 18 felony counts of conspiracy to commit grand theft. With her husband, she allegedly placed fliers and ads in ethnic grocers promising cheaper rates for home mortgages. As many as 80-100 people signed up for lower rate mortgages, placing deposits in an escrow account. When the loans failed to materialize, the victims found that the fine print on their contracts allowed Hasnain and her husband to withdraw the money, leading to several losing their homes. The couple have fled to Pakistan, which has no extradition treaty with the United States. ABC News.

 

  • Indian Islamic university Darul Uloom Deoband has issued a fatwa against Muslim women running beauty parlors, stating that Sharia law does not allow adornment. Muslim women, who have been both frequenting and running beauty parlors, mostly disagree. Seema Mohsin, the first woman member to be nominated to the State’s Wakf(holy land trust) Board, states:” I think such fatwas on trivial issues are unnecessary….We all respect the Darul Uloom Deoband but such fatwas are wrong.” The Hindu.

 

  • We in the United States know Tupperware as snap-lid-containers-for-leftovers, but in Latin America it’s home sales representatives sell beauty products first. Realizing that consumers in the region spent 20 times as much on beauty products than they did on leftover containers, and taking advantage of the lack of retail outlets outside major cities, the company spent $557 million buying up beauty brands. With a growing middle class and women wanting to earn money, the direct selling model is popular, and now about half of Tupperware’s $711 million annual sales in Latin America comes from beauty product sales. The Wall Street Journal.

 

  • Asian airlines are famous for their service, and also for the exquisite beauty of their flight attendants – a quality attained by exacting near-Hollywood standards on applicants during their hiring process. The strict codes of physical appearance aren’t just young, beautiful, and graceful, though. At Asiana Airlines, there is a Head of Image Making who teaches new hires how to smile, act, and how to apply their makeup and do their hair, so as to keep the company’s brand image. Some women’s rights activists are criticizing these rules as outdated and sexist, but other women see this as part of superior customer service. Says a flight attendant named Jade: “It’s a unique experience that some people are less accustomed to in the West.” Korean Herald.

 

  • Toddlers in Tiaras in Australia? No thanks, say a group of concerned parents and MP’s. While there have been a few child beauty pageants there already, parents are growing concerned that entering children in pageants so young just isn’t in their best interests. Pull The Pin (on Child Beauty Pageants) organizer Catherine Manning, puts it this way: “I always ask people, would you stand your two daughters side by side in the lounge room and tell one of them that she’s more beautiful than the other?” ABC Australia.

 

  • In Pictures: The ephemeral nature of beauty, both in humans and in the natural world, are the focus of “A divining Lens”, a photography exhibit at Public Pool in Detroit. The exhibit, which runs until April 28th, features three photographers whose work features the evanescence of physicality. Of special note: Lauren Semivan, whose self-portraits in front of drawings in her studio both reveal and conceal. The Detroit News.