The only popular thought about beauty today, the one that has the widest currency in the world, is the idea that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. It’s a kindly notion. It seeks to make peace between people who have very different tastes.
People are delighted by wildly variant things and that’s how it should be, the thinking goes – so don’t get worked up trying to figure out which things are beautiful. Yet the success of this generous approach keeps attention away from deeper, more important questions.
Whether it is a Baroque Cathedral, the face of a child, or the coast of Sweden seen from a plane window, we have all had the mysterious experience of finding something beautiful. But what is actually going on when we find these things beautiful?
Aeon Magazine: Can beauty help us to become better people?)
Photo of the Day: June 28, 2012
Fourteen women ranging in age from 74 to 97 vied for the title of “Miss Holocaust Survivor” in a beauty pageant in Haifa, Israel. The pageant was sponsored by Yad Ezer L’Haver, an organization that helps needy survivors.
10. Indianapolis, IN
5. Columbus, OH
2. Richmond, VA
1. Memphis, TN
To compile the list of the fattest cities in America, we turned to Gallup’s Well-Being Index, one of the most comprehensive studies of American health and happiness. The study, published early last year, provides the percentage of the population that’s obese, as well as other integral health indicators such as frequency of exercise and diabetes prevalence, for more than 50 large metro areas. The locales were ranked based on obesity, but we listed other factors for reference.
This is an amazing Kickstarter photo project by NEWSWEEK photo editor Cara Phillips — featuring haunting color portraits of the insides of plastic surgery offices, shot using the original lighting setup in each surgery room. Cara was a child model; ultimately, she turned her lens on the beauty industry in an effort to question the role beauty plays in our culture. See her Kickstarter page for Singular Beauty — and donate even the smallest bit ($1) if you can.
Allison Samuels, on why Gabby Sidibe on the cover of Elle sends a disturbing message
This, by the way, is really great; a look at the changing standards of female beauty over the years, from our feature on the beauty advantage.
Remember Debrahlee Lorenzana, the chick who sued Citibank, claiming she was hired for being “too hot”? Well, she may be a total attention-obsessed moron, but she does highlight the double-bind of women at work: that we’re expected to be attractive at all times, but if we’re too…
Is not feeling sad worth a face full of botulism? (maybe?)
“The idea was to see whether the treatment affected their ability to feel certain emotions. We already know that Botox affects the ability to convey emotions such as anger, and a 2006 study found that it might even alleviate depression, as NEWSWEEK reported, presumably by the same mechanism: block the facial expression of sadness, prevent the related emotion.”
How to Hold a Husband, 1932
This Palmolive soap ad borders on threatening—buy our soap or else!
I’m convinced we wives grow careless—that husbands watch our complexions much more than we think. I realized it—not a moment too soon—and it was my beauty expert who warned me: keep your complexion young—that look of youth is what men seek.
Don’t neglect your complexion. Don’t use your face as a testing ground for soaps. How can you expect to retain beauty that way.
PHOTO: Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library
This is from a project we started on Tumblr last year and quickly abandoned (hey—there was an election going on! And, um, drinking to do!). We still like it though; you can see a completed version, here.