Beauty pageant contestants have long been accused of all looking alike. After all, their competition involves reaching towards an “ideal” standard of beauty. But the convergence of beauty ideals plus the ready access to cosmetic surgery may have taken the phenomenon to a new place: contestants in the Miss Korea pageant have been accused of all looking exactly alike. And no, it’s not just Westerners saying it either: in a country where one in five people go under the knife, the facial ideal of wide, rounded eyes and pointed chin is easier to attain than ever (as the photos of the contestants running alongside today’s roundup attest.) Still, some of the shock may still be cultural – both Jezebel and Gawker include galleries of Western celebrities, who, thanks to ideals, surgery, and styling, also look a lot alike. Jezebel. Gawker.
Speaking of beauty ideals, what’s this about chins? I need to be worried about my chin? Maybe if you’re in a Korean beauty pageant you do (though that chin is more of a jaw reshaping). But anthropologists at Dartmouth compared 180 different fossil chins from different regions and came to the conclusion that there isn’t one global ideal for chins (yet). PLOS One. Smithsonian.
Forget judges at beauty contests – why not ask the Internet if we’re beautiful? Teens are participating in Instagram “beauty contests”, asking, “am I hot or not?” Of course, asking total strangers to rate one’s looks isn’t the healthiest form of reassurance, and given that teen girls’ Internet popularity is mostly judged by the skimpiness of their tank tops, and that these “pageants” are usually done without their parents’ knowledge, the implications are disturbing. ABC News.
Another way to crowdsource a beauty pageant: Hawaiian Tropic has discontinued their “Miss Hawaiian Tropic” swimsuit pageant in favor of a neck-up contest, looking for a woman who embodies “beauty, confidence, style, enjoying the sun and keeping skin healthy.” The contest, which begins May 6, will be held on Facebook, with the winner chosen by fans of the brand. Which could go really well, or could be taken over à la People Magazine‘s 1998 Most Beautiful, when Howard Stern fans voted Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf most beautiful by 17 times more votes than Leonardo DiCaprio. The New York Times.
People Magazine has rectified the Most Beautiful situation, keeping their choices well within media and publicist control. To the point that most of us don’t even register it, except that I ran across Kjerstin Gruys’ post describing how Gwyneth Paltrow was her thinspo during her eating disordered teen years. Even those of us who haven’t suffered from eating disorders know what it’s like to wish we had someone else’s life as teenagers, though not many celebrities’ entire lifestyles are laid out for us to “emulate” as Gwyneth’s. But can you break up a friendship with someone you don’t even know? Yes, you can. Read the letter here: Mirror, Mirror, Off The Wall.
Pretty is as pretty does. Or not: After graduated from Parsons School of Design, Rina Bovrisse worked her way up the luxury retail ladder, first at Chanel and then at Prada, where she was moved to Japan and appointed senior retail operations manager. But if overseeing 500 Prada employees wasn’t working hard enough, senior management were also getting on her about her own looks, telling her, “the CEO is ashamed of your ugliness and will not introduce you to any visitors from Milan.” After her complaints to management resulted in the demotion and transfer of about a dozen employees – many of them top salespeople – for being too fat or old, Bovrisse sued in Japanese court. The court ruled against her, stating that such discrimination was “acceptable for a luxury fashion label.” Now, Prada is countersuing Bovrisse for “damaging the Prada brand”. NY Daily News.
I’m not the biggest fan of Dove’s latest installment of the “Real Beauty” campaign. But here’s an awesome list I came across this week of “Six People Changing the Face of Beauty Better than Dove”, from Narcissista. Narcissista.me.