Showing posts from December, 2016

Happy Beauty Christmas

We hope you are all enjoying the countdown to the holiday season. If the magazines are to be believed, this means sparkles and metallic when it comes to clothes, make-up, and the increasingly ubiquitous semi-permanent manis (glitter of course!). Glamour’ s front cover says “Sparkle: Tons of It”, while Red ’s cover advice is for “Berry Lips and Grown-up Glitter”. Preparation is more than surface, and if you follow Cosmo ’s advice you start with a pre-party routine – “The Party Prepper Workout” – “to help you nail that dress”. [1] This involves a 14 minute fat-burning circuit of lunges, push-ups and burpees, after which you might be forgiven for feeling that partying on top is a bit much to ask! An interesting development in beauty at Christmas is the advent of the beauty advent calendar. While beauty calendars have been available for a number of years, until recently they have largely been fairly niche. This year they have exploded – who wants to face chocolate in the mor

Can beauty concerns promote positive body image?

In light of research (e.g. Williams et al., 2013) indicating that beauty concerns can be utilised to reduce unhealthy behaviours such as tanning, smoking and more recently, alcohol consumption, a central question remains about the ethics of doing so. In other words, in a society where appearance increasingly defines who you are, and unrealistic beauty standards are a distinct marker of social class (Grogan, 2016), is it responsible of researchers to further emphasize this? Beauty, and particularly youthfulness, has long been the main standard on which women (and increasingly men, albeit not to the same extent) are judged (Wolf, 1991), but perhaps never as intensively as in a time where media images are omnipresent. Walter (2010) goes as far as suggesting the 21 st century to be the era of “new sexism” - related, but not identical to, Glick & Fiske’s (1996) concept of Benevolent Sexism - where traditional aspects of patriarchy such as objectification and sexualisation of