Since I'm only now beginning to acknowledge the reality that Google Reader is disappearing—it took me six years to deal with Prescriptives discontinuing their concealer pencil, so this is swift for me—I've also taken a good look at my blog feed and have realized it could use a renewal. I love being able to direct you to so many blogs I adore, and I'll keep doing so, but let's reverse the information flow for a bit. What blogs or news sources do you turn to for sharp, insightful takes on beauty, fashion, femininity, feminism, social criticism, or anything else that might be relevant to The Beheld?
What's going on in beauty this week, from head to toe and everything in between.
Kale humor: Kale fascinator! I don't care if this was an April Fool's joke, I'm in. (Actually, this was a big week for kale, and possibly jokes about kale: The last question on this "do you have orthorexia?" quiz is "Do you enjoy kale?"—because clearly kale cannot be enjoyed unless one has an eating disorder. Atossa floated the idea that it's a joke, which I hope it is, but the rest of the piece is totally straight so I'm not sure. Thoughts?)
The house that soap built: The palatial erstwhile home of James Gamble, creator of Ivory Soap and son of the original Gamble of Procter &, was demolished this week in a suburb of Cincinnati.
Hair/style: The buried lede on this piece about how the men's personal care sector is recruiting women as spokespeople, presumably because men pretty themselves up to impress women: The new term for manscaping is body hair styling. Styling! I'm picturing love beads and beard braids à la Vikings.
Who took my body wash?: You know how men's grooming products are now suddenly huge? Turns out that what's actually new here is men buying products for men instead of just borrowing from the ladies.
"This was about me being me": Britt Julious has an excellent piece on what's seen by some (including her) as an overpoliticization of black women's hair—a politicization that forgets that at the root of said politics lies the matter of personal agency. (Her follow-up is worth a read too.)
"Pics or it didn't happen": The rise of the "ugly selfie"—and how it's not necessarily as courageous as it might seem to post them. "More confronting than the intentionally 'ugly' selfie is the unintentionally ugly candid. If I take a picture of myself poking my tongue out, scrunching up my face, or pulling my neck in to create a double chin, it does little to threaten my sense of self or attractiveness. In some respects, it is even less threatening than a conventionally attractive 'selfie,' in which I am declaring, without explicitly saying so, that this is a photo in which I think I look good. .. But in a photo that is taken unawares, in which I am staring blankly at my computer, or standing at an unflattering angle, or just caught making a less-than-flattering expression, there is the suggestion that perhaps that is what I 'really' look like."
Speaking of selfies: Mr. Teacup muses on why we decry the narcissism of self-portraits without dropping the beauty standard that plays into that narcissism in the first place (and in doing so, brings readers to a CBC debate on the topic—which is all well and good and features Sarah Nicole Prickett, who consistently has interesting things to say, but given that so much of the criticism about selfies is directed toward women, I can't help but wonder why she was the only female guest panelist. Picky, I know, but that's me).
One less worry: Taking "empowering" beyond a buzzword about beauty and fashion, here's Sally: "We live in a world that frequently evaluates women based on our looks and, if those looks are found to be somehow lacking, dismisses us. ... To help women have one less thing to worry about as they chase their dreams, rise to power, or express their creativity is to help them tap a vast reservoir of potential."