Showing posts from March, 2016

Faces - By Lois Rogers

In this post, journalist Lois Rogers - who is set to speak at our forthcoming workshop on 'Routine Maintenance' & 'Exceptional Procedures' - reflects on our changing attitudes to cosmetic procedures
Changing our faces used simply to be a matter of make-up, but now procedures involving Botox, microsurgery, fat transplants and cosmetic fillers offer the promise of radically altering, and hopefully improving our looks.
These procedures used to be conducted in the utmost secrecy. Although the results were usually crude and obvious, people aggressively denied having had ‘treatment’ for fear of being ridiculed.
We journalists soon learned not to comment. If you can’t prove something is true, there’s a risk of being sued. Many celebrities, confident they had paid for the silence of their surgeons, obtained big payouts from anyone daring to suggest their smooth middle-aged features were not entirely natural.
Since the 1980s however, the results of cosmetic treatment have impro…

Variations on ‘routine’ facial skin-lightening practices amongst Muslim Pakistani women in Sheffield; from ‘not too much’, to creating an ‘airbrushed’ appearance - Hester Clarke

Ahead of the 4th Beauty Demands workshop, our speakers we are publishing a series of posts on 'Routine Maintenance'  & 'Exceptional Procedures. In this post, Hester Clarke (University of Manchester), discusses her paper about skin-lightening practices amongst the Muslim Pakistani community in Sheffield. 

For Muslim Pakistani women in Sheffield, facial skin-care and beautification practices are considered routine and mundane; nevertheless essential for the cultivation and maintenance of a beautiful, feminine appearance. Whilst the desire to procure and maintain a fair complexion is considered ‘the norm’ for ‘us Asians’ by the Pakistani women I came to know, the discussions and definitions of ‘beauty’ that inform fair-skin preferences differ depending upon context.

This paper draws on fourteen months of ethnographic fieldwork conducted between July 2012 and September 2013 and addresses how narratives of acceptability surrounding skin beautification differ between everyda…