Monday, March 12, 2012

Susan Faludi, Backlash 11

In Susan Faludi's 1991 book, Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women, Faludi states the following on page 203:

"...the beauty industry helped to deepen the psychic isolation that so many women felt in the '80s, by reinforcing the representation of women's problems as purely personal ills, unrelated to social pressures and curable only in the degree that the individual woman succeeded in fitting the universal standard----by physically changing herself."

This chapter is about women's attempts to physically change themselves----at the cost of money, and (in some cases, when it comes to breast implants) their lives. Faludi notices backlashes that occurred in the 1920's-1930's and the 1950s, as lighter-skinned women (Marilyn Monroe, in the 1950s) replaced tan, athletic, independent women as archetypes of beauty.

My conception of beauty tends to overlap with that of many American males. I'm not sure if I can help that. I hope, though, that I can treat fairly women who do not fit my conception of beauty, as well as remember to take inner beauty into consideration.

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