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The Beheld
By Autumn Whitefield-Madrano
Examining questions surrounding personal appearance: What does it mean to be seen? What is the relationship between "beauty labor" and cultural visibility? And why do two lipstick shades combined always look better than one?
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Beauty Blogosphere 2.1.13

What’s going on in beauty this week, from head to toe and everything in between.

From Head…
Hat head:
I don’t enjoy wearing things on my head—scarves, hats, fascinators. I like the look of them, but they always slide around and leave me with a headache. So I was particularly intrigued by this account from a Jewish woman who wanted to cover her hair after marriage to fit in better with her community, but who found it a pain, quite literally—and the response of Maya Resnikoff (who does cover) is equally interesting.

 

…To Toe…
Babies underfoot:
Can getting a pedicure induce labor? (Spoiler: No.)

 

…And Everything In Between:

 

Anti-drone burka, Stealth Wear collection by Adam Harvey

 

Under cover: Fascinating Q&A with the designer of Stealth Wear, a counter-surveillance collection of clothes and accessories that subvert thermal-imaging technologies used in citizen surveillance. “I see a future where individuals are more in control of their privacy. And I see fashion as a vehicle for getting there. Conformity is what surveillance wants and fashion is anti-conformist. And I think the decision to conform or not happens on a personal level. The projects I’ve been working on act upon surveillance in a way that exploits a vulnerability and makes this vulnerability accessible through using something ordinary (hair, makeup, or fashion) in a non-conformist and legal way.” (Big thanks to Nancy for the link.)

Work it: Not beauty-related directly, but some good solid career advice from the global chief marketing officer of Revlon.

Body lines: What is it like to be in art school when you’re not allowed to draw or sculpt nudes, as has been the case for art students in Egypt since 1979?

On comfort: Always cold in your office during the summer? Blame The Man. 

Powder puffed: The Lingerie Football League—excuse me, the Legends Football League—has listened to its critics. With one tin ear. (Also from Fit and Feminist, which, if you’re, well, a feminist interested in fitness, you should absolutely be reading: a fitness discussion group, and a Goodreads book club “covering everything from athlete memoirs to historical books to cultural criticism to fiction.”)

On bravery: Ekaterina Sedia on something that can’t be said often enough about eating disorders: It’s not the same thing as wanting to be thin, and by framing it as a “battle” or “fight” in which one must be “brave,” we equate illness with choice.

SWF seeking giant: Even adjusting for the general height difference between men and women, people still like to pair off in taller-man-shorter-lady combos. What gives? (Busted. I’ve never dated a man under 5’10″—something I just wrote off as “my type” until a friend pointed out that wasn’t so far from “no fat chicks” dudes saying that was just “their type.” The realization didn’t change who I was attracted to, but it did make me question where my preference came from.)

What’s that smell?: Maxim magazine is partnering with Omni Scents to create a new fragrance, featuring notes of leather, vetiver, and douchebag.

 

Me, in my head, upon donning a slip

 

Slipped my mind: If you, like me, are a lover of the slip, read this interview with lingerie blogger A Slip of a Girl now, and then put her blog on your radar. Many interesting bits from the interview, but this stood out to me because it made me think of a part of Rosie Molinary‘s book Beautiful You in which she encourages readers to use the item you’ve been saving for a special occasion (you know the one): “The reason we have so many of those lovely pieces left is because they were truly special-occasion items to be worn with a specific dress or when the lady of the house felt she deserved to wear it. We find many of them still wrapped in the original boxes and tissue paper because a bride might get a beautiful chemise or slip and then maybe put it away for a special day. And she never felt she was worthy of it. It breaks my heart, but that’s the perfect-condition stuff we have today.”

Welcome to the dollhouse: Poignant, solemn portraits of adult women with their childhood dolls. (via Final Fashion)

Life is plastic: Human Barbie and Human Ken don’t play Dream House well together, it turns out. (This story has to be a joke, right? Please?)

One color fits all: Brittany Julious rewinds her elegant prose to her junior year of high school—the first time she was handed a package of “skin tone” tights for dance team.

Pride and prejudice: How can we express pride in our bodies when we’re on high alert for women who think they’re “all that”?

Real men: There’s been some talk on the blogosphere about the term “real” when applied to women’s (imperfect) bodies—talk that made me rethink my own use of the term. (In ladymag lingo, “real” is used to describe any woman pictured in the magazine who isn’t a model, no matter how “perfect” she looks, so I picked it up from there. It’s problematic nonetheless.) But I hadn’t thought about what it means when applied to men; luckily, Hugo has.

Phoenix rising: What does it take for a product or brand to have a community form around it? Cassandra at The Reluctant Femme looks at the question through the lens of perfume company Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. (Which, by the way, is totally awesome.)

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