Photo by Mateusz Raczynski on Unsplash
According to my loosey-goosey blog schedule, today’s post is supposed to be about Beauty, but I really have very little idea what to write about.
So, I do what I always do in these circumstances – a random internet search to see what comes up.
Here, in order of listing, is what comes up in the first five pages of a search for “beauty.”
1. “Beautiful” Faces
The first result is faces. Specifically white faces with lots of makeup. Even more specifically, mostly long blonde hair, dark rimmed eyes, and red or dark pink lips. Mostly with large and well rounded bottoms, wearing long flowing dresses and tiaras.
So my main thought about this, is fairy princesses.
And seemingly, that’s what advertisers think will lure us to buy their products.
2. Dictionary Definitions of Beauty
Dictionary Definitions! Including from the Cambridge English Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, and Dictionary.com.
- the quality of being pleasing and attractive, especially to look at.
- a person or thing that is pleasing and attractive, especially to look at
- the business of making people look attractive, using make-up, treatments
- treatments and products that enhance a person’s physical attractiveness, or the industry associated with this
- something that is an excellent example of its type
- the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit
- a beautiful person or thing
- a particularly graceful, ornamental, or excellent quality
- a brilliant, extreme, or egregious example or instance
- the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest)
- a beautiful person, especially a woman
- a beautiful thing, as a work of art or a building
It seems beauty is something women in particular embody. But also something that’s shared with “things,” art and buildings. Does that make women things?
And it also seems (somehow) (impossibly) that beauty is equated with spirituality.
I have no idea how that works.
3. Demonstrations of Sporting Prowess
Or men playing games. Presumable being “brilliant, extreme, or egregious examples.”
I’m not a big watcher of sport, so I can’t tell.
I’m not going to get into how hard it was to find an image for this post…
Nor am I planning to delve into the way a woman’s value in society is almost exclusively related to the perception of her beauty.
Perhpas my search was too broad, and the “beauty” industry has captured the keyword rather than the art industry.
And maybe that’s the fault of generations of fat old white men cornering the art market. The ones who patronised artists on the basis of their flattering portraits.
Regardless, it makes me weirdly uncomfortable.
How about you?