Friday, June 09, 2006

Face Value: The Politics of Beauty

from the diary: “Saturday 1/18/86

“I’m reading another provocative book -- Face Value: The Politics of Beauty. The authors tend to raise more questions than they answer: What is beauty? What makes a woman beautiful? Is beauty quanitifiable? Why is beauty so important?

“They make a good case for the importance of the questions but so far they haven’t gone a long way toward answering them. But then, they point out, nobody else much has either.

“… Whenever I hear or read about beauty or even when shown beauty (all of this usually being feminine beauty) I (consciously or unconsciously) run beauty past my mind’s eye in masculine forms. Female beauty, while it interests me and sometimes delights me, doesn’t have the powerful emotional oomph of male beauty for me. And yet I can’t admit it in words – even to myself in a great number of cases. Nonverbally and in private I can gasp at gorgeous men but in public, to anyone else, I hide, cover up, qualify.”

1 comment:

David Lee Ingersoll said...

I think Schuyler (or maybe her husband) did some studies on beauty from a statistical viewpoint. Beauty (at least in faces) seemed to have a lot to do with symmetry. The more symmetrical (and the more the proportions were within a norm) the more beautiful a face was perceived to be.