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…

There is such a thing as an ethics of the beauty salon. On the development of national ethical guidelines for beauticians in the Netherlands - By Eline Bunnik

Ahead of the 4th Beauty Demands Workshop - 'Routine Maintenance' & 'Exceptional Procedures' - Eline Bunnik (Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre Rotterdam) reflects on her work (with Frans Meulenberg & Inez de Beaufort) on a range of ethical issues related to beauty salons and beauticians in the Netherlands.

Worldwide, beauticians are progressively employing equipment and compounds that pervade more deeply into the skin, such as IPL/laser or chemical peelings. Present-day skin treatments aimed at hair removal, skin rejuvenation or therapeutic options for skin problems such as acne, may also expose clients to risks and irreversible outcomes. In the Netherlands, some beauty salon owners contract medical doctors to perform in-house cosmetic interventions, using botox and injectable fillers, sometimes to devastating effect (e.g. deformations, burn wounds). In the Netherlands over the past few years, ‘cosmetic errors’ have been highly publicized in national newspap…

(De)Constructing Body Positivity on Twitter - By Emilie Lawrence

In this post, Emilie Lawrence (UCL) discusses her work on body positivity discourse as it plays out on social media.
The paper I am presenting at the forthcoming Beauty Demands workshop explores social media sites as platforms for creating networked communities (Papacharissi, 2010, 2011 & 2012) notions of the performative body (Butler, 1988) and embodied subjectivity (Braidotti, 2013.) I will explore body positive feminism ( an emerging form of online and offline activism stemming from Love Your Body (LYB) discourse, ‘positive, affirmative, seemingly feminist-inflected media messages, targeted exclusively at girls and women, that exhort us to believe we are beautiful, to remember that we are incredible and that tell us that we have the power to redefine the rules of beauty’ (Gill and Elias 2014; 179) complicit beauty and glamour labour whilst discussing Kim Kardashian and women troubling dominant beauty norms.

I will draw upon the ethics of nudes, Kim Kardashian as a body posi pow…

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…