‘I Feel Pretty’ and the Rise of Beauty-Standard Denialism - The New York Times
Comment les normes de beauté se maintiennent à travers l’impératif du bien-être, et comment l’insistance sur la « confiance en soi » permet de faire peser la responsabilité de leur non-conformité sur les femmes elles-mêmes
The movie suggests that the only thing holding back regular-looking women is their belief that looking regular holds them back at all. That attitude puts the onus on individual women to improve their self-esteem instead of criticizing societal beauty standards writ large. The reality is that expectations for female appearances have never been higher. It’s just become taboo to admit that.
This new beauty-standard denialism is all around us. It courses through cosmetics ads, fitness instructor monologues, Instagram captions and, increasingly, pop feminist principles. In the forthcoming book “Perfect Me,” Heather Widdows, a philosophy professor at the University of Birmingham, England, convincingly argues that the pressures on women to appear thinner, younger and firmer are stronger than ever. Keeping up appearances is no longer simply a superficial pursuit; it’s an ethical one, too. A woman who fails to conform to the ideal is regarded as a failure as a person.