Friday, May 31, 2013

Beauty Blogosphere 5.31.13

What's going on in beauty this week, from head to toe and everything in between.

From Head...

Dry heat: Among the many delightful morsels in Meli's history of the hair dryer: "That annoying cut-off switch on your modern blow dryer? It keeps electrocutions from hair dryers to about four a year, down from the hundreds before safety switches were invented and required." Still annoyed by it. But thankful!

...To Toe...
Happy June!: In honor of the inaugural blisters ushered in by flip-flop weather, some tips on avoiding blisters, including the one time socks with sandals is a good idea.

...And Everything In Between:
Rinse and repeat:
Meet the new Procter & Gamble CEO, A.G. Lafley! His résumé includes a nine-year stint as...Procter & Gamble CEO. 

Holy waters: Using religion as a cosmetics selling point: kosher or not-kosher?

Urban style: There's plenty to be said about the state mandating that women cover themselves, but one thing that can't be said about it is that it keeps Iranian women from kicking ass at parkour.

Wax on, wax off: "[P]ubic hair removal injuries increased fivefold between 2002 and 2010." This begs the question of what those injuries might be, you say? Why, there's a list. (Thanks for the link, Nancy!)

"You are less beautiful than you think": Scientific American offers another counterpoint to that damn Dove ad—one I'm pleased to read, though I think the holistic truth of the whole "do women like the way they look?" question is far more complicated.

Beauty myths: After 10 years in ladymags, it's hard to show me a "beauty myth"—as in beauty product myth—that I haven't read already. But this piece has a couple of things I haven't heard before, like how some "oil-free" products actually contain oils.

Whiter shade of pale: Pale skin is in! For, like, a minute. I really don't think that tans will ever truly go out of fashion, though the importance of the tan (and the degree it's "acceptable" to darken) waxes and wanes over time. It's nice enough to read that Downton Abbey and Mad Men are helping (white) folks embrace a porcelain pallor, but trust me: Next year, if not sooner, you'll see copy about how a "healthy glow" is in.

"I am not the target market": When personal fitness coach Rachel Cosgrove—who stresses strength training for women, not lots of reps with stupid little weights—released her most recent book, Drop Two Sizes, plenty of her fans were dismayed by what they saw as catering to the thin imperative. But as so often happens with women's media—I saw this all.the.time at ladymags—it's not that the idea is lost, it's that it gets buried in the attempt to hook readers by leveraging what you think they think they want. Cosgrove's explanation to her readers is intriguing, and leads to the moral: You've got to go to where the audience is. (via Caitlin)

Trolled: "Don't feed the trolls" is an oft-heard admonition (one I usually follow myself) 'round the internets—particularly when it comes to trolls who bait women by arguing that ladies should all look like Barbie. Skepchick offers a solid argument in favor of feeding that variety of misogynist troll a fact-biscuit in the form of, "No, that's not always true."

Earthly concerns: This is what it's like to shave. In space.

Still from Making Soap, Orestes de la Paz, 2013

Fight Club: Yes, artist Orestes de la Paz made soap out of his own fat. It's gimmicky enough to be a thing for that alone; taken in totality it's a dark look at the beauty industry (the video, not for the faint of heart, shows de la Paz's liposuction surgery as well as his rendering process).

En pointe: The long history of connection between ballet and fashion. Fact: Coco Chanel was the first designer to come up with costumes for the ballet, 1924's Le Train Bleu.

Sticky fingers: Not specifically about beauty, but given that cosmetics are consistently among the top targets for shoplifting, this piece about the association between women and shoplifting is relevant—and fascinating.

Lady of the ring: Cassie gives a history—and her history—of ring-wearing, spurred not by a ring with significance, but rather by the first non-emotionally-significant ring she's ever worn, despite never having been married: "The matrimonial ideal of rings as a symbol of commitment was so deeply engrained I still acted like these rings were more or less engagement rings."

Nature's child: Kate skewers the idea of "natural beauty," and a particularly sharp part of her analysis here is her latching it to failure—for what could feel like a greater "failure" than the failure to magically possess something that's supposed to be natural?


  1. This week's post demonstrates, perhaps a little too vividly, how not all news about "beauty" is beautiful...

  2. I did not know that about the cut-off switch on my hair dryer. I will never curse it out again.

    Also, that parkour article - and the videos inside - are amazing. I love seeing photos and video of women with headscarves being active. It's such a different representation of Muslim women than what we normally get to see in media.

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