'de mythe van de schoonheid', al 20 jaar actueel

Twintig jaar geleden verscheen 'The Beauty Myth' van Naomi Wolf.

Een feministische klassieker die ook voor vandaag nog interessante en actuele dingen te vertellen heeft.

Naomi Wolf vertelt over haar boek in The Washington Post:

Twenty years ago, I argued that as feminism took hold and women gained new access to power, popular ideals of beauty were being used to undermine them. Ideals of femininity, such as the Victorian-era “Angel in the House” and the 1950s domesticity Betty Friedan attacked in “The Feminine Mystique,” tend to arise as a means of constraining women anew after each major step forward.

When my book was published in 1991, I noted that a burgeoning epidemic of eating disorders was engulfing what should have been the feistiest, most confident generation of women ever. The field of cosmetic surgery, especially breast implant procedures, was booming. Pornography was chipping away at young women’s sexual self-esteem just as insult-ridden advertisements for anti-aging creams were shaping the way women thought about the experience of getting older. The way we looked determined our value to society.

Since then, many of the issues I warned about have, indeed, gotten worse. The body size of fashion models and starlets has dropped still further; fashion ads showcase women who look as if they should be hospitalized. The technologies of cosmetic surgery have become so commonplace that there are communities in which women with unreconstructed faces are seen as bucking the norm. Breast surgery is almost universal in pornography, and pornography is almost universal in the sexual coming-of-age of both young women and young men; those images now have greater impact than they did when I wrote the book.

One would have thought that with all of this trending “worse” that the fear of aging would be worse, as well. But despite these pressures, a substantial subset of women are simply not buying the hype. In 2004, beauty brand Dove commissioned an international study to see how women felt about themselves and what it meant to be beautiful. Their results demonstrated that about 17 percent of women felt more trapped than ever by the ideals of attractiveness; about 53 percent have good days and bad days. The rest, about 30 percent, are “change agents” who are defining beauty for themselves.

Ik zou zo zeggen als de vliegende weerlicht naar de lokale bibliotheek en lezen die handel.

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