Francesca Lana’s thoughts on beauty
Looking at an airport news stand recently I (Francesca Lana) found myself feeling unsettled as my eyes glanced over the covers of the fashion and celebrity magazines in front of me. At first I couldn’t work out why – it wasn’t envy – as a woman I’ve always appreciated and celebrated the beauty of other women. It wasn’t disapproval, I grew up reading these magazines and enjoy a fun read as much as the next woman.
It wasn’t aesthetic, the covers were beautiful and beautifully shot. And then finally, as my eyes scanned from cover to cover, I put my finger on why I felt such discomfort – sure, the women were all stunning and all beautifully dressed but, they were also all …eerily similar – the same tiny neat chin, the same tiny retroussé nose, the same tiny body, the same shiny long wavy hair, even the same cheekbones…
If this seems exaggerated, do what I did – look at any newsstand and compare the women on the front covers. And then do an Internet search of beauty icons of the past from Audrey Hepburn to Marilyn Monroe to Ava Gardner – all beautiful and all different.
“So what?” you might be asking. Well the emergence of this identikit image of female beauty reflects a troubling trend of our current day epoch which goes much further than celebrity and modeling and affects us all. When there’s only one standard of beauty, it means anyone who doesn’t conform to it feels inadequate and any survey from the last few years will show increasing dissatisfaction from women about their looks. And as that dissatisfaction grows so does the incentive and opportunity for women to do something about it.