Then Linda Grant at The Thoughtful Dresser posted a piece titled The Tyranny of Beauty in which she pointed to, and elaborated on, an article Lisa Armstrong had written for The Times about "our lookist society." In that article, Armstrong quotes Sheila Jeffreys, author of Beauty And Misogyny: Harmful Cultural Practices in the West, who says that we are seeing in the media "virtually no challenge to the wall of thin, youthful images. The definition of what's attractive is becoming narrower." Grant adds to her citation of Armstrong that her conversations with makeup expert Mary Greenwell have made her aware of the lack of reality in magazines: "There are no photographs, apart from paparazzi ones, that are not airbrushed and photoshopped. No-one hasn't had botox, fillers, at the very least. This means that the (apparent) gap between what we look like and that the celebs look like gets wider every day. Born beautiful, they appear not to age." As a result of this phenomenon, as Armstrong points out, women in responsible, senior positions in business and in government, are being dissected and ridiculed in the media for their looks or their failure to dress stylishly enough.
While some might argue that by posting photos of what we wear, myself, Une Femme, Mardel, are fanning the flames of lookism, I like to think that in our own small way, we are providing those realistic images that other media fail to offer. When we show that we still care about style even as we age, we make it a little bit more possible that we will like what we see in the mirror rather than compare ourselves despairingly with the impossible-to-achieve looks of media icons.
What do you think? Is that too grandiose a claim?
Some other blog connections this week: Nancy, over at Sewwest, was justifiably awarded an E for Excellent blog award, and she's passed along the honour, listing mine as one of a number of blogs she enjoys -- I've checked out the others and I'm flattered to be in their company.
To pass along the compliment, since you already know what blogs make my day, I thought I'd concentrate on the excellent blogs I look at for a dose of Paris when I'm away from that city and to get psyched up for returning to it.
1. Aimée at PutYourFlareOn who's just opened her dream café in Paris
2. Tara at ParisParfait
3. Polly-Vous Français who recently posted about shoes from a Frenchman's perspective
4. Café Mode
5. Garance Doré
6. the wonderful Paris Daily Photo
7. David Lebowitz, former pastry chef at Chez Panisse, now one of the funniest food/Paris bloggers around
And finally, one last connection in my blogging neighbourhood. Thanks to Thomas at The Sunday Best for the gorgeous photos of spring flowers in his city, and for introducing them as a tribute to my own garden photos. Thom's greater control of his photography equipment is immediately apparent and reminds me that one of my goals for this summer is to spend some time learning how to best take advantage of my camera's offerings.