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Showing posts from December, 2017

Beauty's neglected harms

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In a just published paper I consider what beauty would look like if we changed the lens and looked at beauty not as a collection of individual choices, but as a public health concern. Would changing the lens transform how we regard the harms of beauty and the extent to which we think we should intervene to address such harms?
Changing the lens from individual choice to public health has been decisive in a number of debates. The classic example is attitudes to smoking. Whether or not to smoke was once regarded a matter of individual freedom and choice. The dominant view was that adults who know the risks should be left to make their own decisions. In an era where stop smoking campaigns are routinely promoted by States, health professionals and NGOs, and it is even regarded as acceptable to shame pregnant women for smoking, the notion that this is an individual choice which should not be intervened with is long gone. Sometimes intervention is justified on the grounds of 'harms-to-o…

Women, hair and anarchists

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How often do you think about your hair? Every morning looking at yourself in the mirror and thinking is this going to be a ‘good/bad hair’ day? How often do you change the colour of your hair? How often do you substantially change the length or style of your hair? When is the time right for such a change? I have personally been quite unadventurous with my hair for most of my life and never really worried until it started to grow grey… I have always had long or longish hair and never even considered having a really short ‘boy’ haircut; not that I don’t like short hair but it never even occurred to me to try and have a short haircut — so established is the custom for many women to have their hair long. One of John Tenniel’s illustrations of Alice in Wonderland (1865), which is part of the ‘visual’ of the GLAREproject I am working on, triggered a comment from a colleague: “love the Alice picture (very different from Disney princess — but still big eyes and long hair!”)so I set off for…