Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Beauty Interviews

Part of what makes beauty a complex subject for women is its secrecy and its illusions. We may talk explicitly about our favorite skin products and lipsticks. Among our intimates we may talk about beauty and self-image--our fears and our joys alike: I love this picture of us, we look great! / I feel gross today / It was for the best but I miss having someone to tell me I'm pretty.

But because we place so much emphasis on beauty, we are unable to talk about it freely. We don't share our deepest vanities for fear of being judged narcissists; we don't share our most terrifying moments of  doubt because it's impossible to put it into words. We may touch on it, with terms like "confidence" and "inner beauty," but we all know that confidence alone is not the answer to the beauty conundrum.

The interviews in this blog are a space for women to cast a spotlight on their own take on the beauty mystique. Artists, cosmetologists, photographers, dancers, models, plastic surgeons, actresses, professors of women's studies, sex workers: The professions that directly deal with questions of beauty are plentiful, and here many of them will have space to put forth their views on beauty. Of course, it's not only women whose professions and passions bring them into the beauty sphere who have a take on the matter: veterinary assistants, office managers, writers, bartenders, and retirees will have voice here as well.

In the weeks since I started conducting these interviews, I've learned a helluva lot about the myriad ways there are to approach the question of beauty; already I've found myself approaching the mirror, and indeed the world, with more nuance. I hope that reading some of these interviews does that for readers of this blog as well.

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