Closing the year 2022, the global beauty industry market size is estimated at 528 billion dollars. Realizing this industry’s power over our mental health and economy, many are fighting the idea of a “neutral” beauty, detached from race, class, and gender.
This link list looks at the intersection between geopolitics, culture, and beauty. From honoring our ancestors and the features we share with them to questioning and adjusting our beauty routines, this compilation both deconstructs and expands our understanding of beauty and what we can do to find our place in it.
The Ritual to Beauty
In this compelling documentary, directors Shenny De Los Angeles and Maria Marrone ponder the relationship between hair and trauma in Black women’s experience. Exploring their beauty rites rooted in joy and honor, they trace paths to healing trauma passed on and survived from generation to generation.
Celebrating 50 Years of Andrew Logan’s Alternative Miss World Pageant
In this article, the British artist and sculptor Andrew Logan shares memories of the ‘Alternative Miss Word Pageant’—a “pansexual beauty pageant” initiated in Logan’s loft in Hackney in 1972. Over fifty years, the pageant has become an institution for artists, drag queens, and fashion designers in London.
The fashion photographer and lingerie designer who are redefining beauty
“I spent a lot of my early career reacting against what the fashion industry was saying was beautiful.” says fashion photographer Nick Knight. In this article, Knight talks about their collaboration with lingerie designer Michaela Stark, using 3D-scanning technology to create sculptures and images defying ideas of femininity.
A Signature Beauty
In the wake of anti-trans policies, ‘Them’ invited nine trans and nonbinary people in New York City to talk about body love, beauty, and the politics of desire. In this piece, artists, models, and poets reflect on the impact of white supremacy, ableism, and ageism on the trans community.
Beauty rituals are deeply connected to mental health for these L.A. artists
The pressure on how we present ourselves to the world can be a heavy and daunting one. In this article, three LA-based artists talk about how their beauty routines affect their mental health while allowing them to heal and redefine beauty on their own terms.
Indigenizing Fashion with Amber-Dawn Bear Robe
According to curator and art historian Amber-Dawn Bear Robe, “decolonizing is a utopian idea, whereas I look at Indigenizing as something that is practical and that can happen. To me, Indigenizing fashion is quite simply having representation of Indigenous designers on a national platform.” In this interview, she talks about her trajectory and work “indigenizing” fashion and how pivotal Native American artists have been for American and European fashion.
What does race have to do with beauty?
Have you ever wondered why we find some features more beautiful than others? In this episode of #AskCodeSwitch, we learn about the origins of beauty standards, how capitalism benefits from creating pressure about the way we look, and what we can do to fight it.
This collection of articles taps into beauty as a changeable sociopolitical issue. If you want to read more perspectives on beauty, visit the story on how Michelin-starred chef Dalad Kambhu’s perception of beauty focuses on confidence and sustainability.
Text: Maria Paris
Photography: Collin Hughes
Images: Michael Costiff, Nick Knight, Nico Reano, Dania Maxwell, Tira Howard, and LA Johnson