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A Diversity of Beauty

The Globe and Mail recently did a short piece discussing the overwhelming majority of white models in the fashion industry, and how it contrasts not only with the amount of racial diversity we see everyday, but with what research as determined is considered most attractive.

According to a recent study by Michael Lewis of Cardiff University, respondents found mixed-race faces more attractive than either apparently white or black faces. However, you wouldn’t know it if you looked at the fashion industry. The article quotes Elmer Olsen, owner of Elmer Olsen Models in Toronto, as saying, “I would say that 80, 90 per cent [of models today] are blond and blue-eyed.”

Check out the rest of the article here. It’s a quick read and starts to touch on issues of race in the beauty and fashion industry.

I hope to post more on this subject, especially as it goes completely unexplored in my book. I had wanted to talk about it, but I couldn’t find half as much information and I didn’t feel at all qualified to speak to the impact of the beauty standard on those in the non-white category. This obviously limits the book in an extremely important way, but I don’t think that it makes it inapplicable to girls of many different appearances. The beauty standard is intensely white and this has historically had an important impact on how people outside that category have experienced the pressures of this standard.

More links to come.


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