the beauty myth

“Before the Industrial Revolution, the average woman could not have had the same feelings about “beauty” that modern women do who experience the myth as continual comparison to a mass disseminated physical ideal. Before development of technologies of mass production — daguerrotypes, photographs, etc. — an ordinary woman was exposed to few such things outside the church.”

“Western economies are absolutely dependent now on the continued underpayment of woman. An ideology that makes woman feel “worth less” was urgently needed to counteract the way feminism had begun to make us feel worth more.”

“As soon as woman’s primary social value could no longer be defined as the attainment of virtuous domesticity, the beauty myth redefined it as the attainment of virtuous beauty.”

“Beauty discrimination has become necessary, not from the perception that woman will not be good enough, but that they will be, as they have been, twice as good.”

“While woman represent nearly 50 percent of the population, they perform nearly two-thirds of all working hours, receive only one-tenth of the world income and own less than 1 percent of world property.” (starts on page 23)

“But because “beauty” lives so deep in the psyche, where sexuality mingles with self esteem, and since it has been usefully defined as something that is continually bestowed from the outside and can always be taken away, to tell a woman she is ugly can make her feel ugly, act ugly, and, as far as her experience is concerned, be ugly, in a place where feeling beautiful keeps her whole.”

“Solidarity is hardest to fine when woman learn to see each other as beauties first. The myth urges women to believe that it’s every women for herself”

Published by Christine Gaffney Art

Christine Gaffney is a transdisciplinary performance artist from Dayton, Ohio. She is currently attending the California Institute of the Arts where she is pursuing a master’s in Art and Technology. She has studied art at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio, Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio and University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests include concepts of identity, gender and religion. Her work embraces ideas around body image, body politics, and feminism.

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