Photoshop is so laughably overused in today’s media that it’s become a rarity to see an image untouched by digital doctoring. Photoshop allows advertisers to construct the modern fantasy face, and beauty product ads entice consumers with absurdly manicured images of the human form. In most cases, we know it’s not the product that makes one’s skin perfectly blemish-free but the digital alterations, yet we are are continuously urged-- ... Read More
We all know that heavily Photoshopped images don’t accurately depict the human form, yet it’s still easy to become lulled into believing that idealized bodies are relatively uniform. Photographic subjects are too often deemed attractive or not, depending on seemingly arbitrary cultural ideologies. We see fine art and the media portray women as familiar hourglasses; men are often pictured with authoritative stances and broad ... Read More
Most skin care products are filled with icky chemicals, and when Cynthia Besteman was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was inspired by her fellow women to create heathy and luxurious products that fit easily into all women’s lives. She founded the skincare company Violets are Blue, and with the help of a biochemist, an herb farmer, and a cancer researcher, Besteman has created a one-of-a-kind “Chemo Care” line. With an eye for ... Read More
Popcorn Venus, 2012. Joyce II.
When you think of women photographers who work in self-portraiture, you probably think of Cindy Sherman. The artist has made a career of transforming herself into everything from a bleached blonde spray-tanned socialite to Mae West. Her impressive body of work is such that she appears to be everywhere, capable of metamorphosing into anyone she chooses.
It’s almost impossible to work in self portraiture without ... Read More
Meet Vanessa VanDyke, a twelve-year-old academic superstar at Faith Christian Academy in Orlando, FL. Vanessa is a member of the National Junior Honor Society, and she also enjoys wearing her hair naturally. She explains that her hairstyle “says that [she’s] unique. It’s puffy and [she likes] it that way.”
Unfortunately, much of modern society still insists upon conforming to Western beauty ideals, and natural ... Read More
In a recent documentary, the Image Activist Michaela Angela Davis, the founder of Un’ruly Antonia Opiah, and the model Autumn McHugh join the Miss Black Massachusetts Safiya Songhai and several other black women in a discussion and study of hair. In June, they hosted a public exhibit entitled, “You Can Touch My Hair,” in which women of color held signs inviting passersby to touch their hair. They chose to call it an ... Read More
Fashion photographer Billy Kidd is used to the airbrushed, youthful aesthetic of editorial work, but his personal fine-art work isn’t what you might expect. In Transience, his upcoming solo show at Masters & Pelavin Gallery, he aims to challenge the way we think about beauty, womanhood, and age. He tells New York’s Julie Ma, "Life changes, beauty changes. That’s what I want to say here. Beauty isn’t always a constant. It’s not always one ... Read More
There are few things more intimate and magical than a bathroom haircut from a friend, a relative, or a lover. The technique is also one of Jane Birkin’s secret beauty tricks. In a piece for The Guardian, she writes, “My best friend cuts my hair with kitchen scissors.” The 66-year-old fashion icon also likes to keep it simple with her favorite outfit, “an old pair of jeans, Converse and a man’s jersey.” She ... Read More
I recently came in contact with Beauty Without Cruelty. I was drawn to their array of colorful lipsticks and, of course, the idea of all-natural beauty. I found out their products are 100% vegetarian and 100% natural. The company was actually founded by an animal welfare organization, so you know they're legit. Naturally, their mantra is all in the name. They sent over a few products and I'd like to tell you a little about products ... Read More
Let’s face it, lipstick is pretty cool. It takes so much skill and grace to apply it, and it oozes vintage glam. But it also contains toxic metals: eek! The majority of lipsticks contain lead, but the amounts are pretty trace. Until recently, researchers were relatively unconcerned, but then they figured out that higher levels of eight other metals are also present in many brands.
University of California at Berkeley environmental health ... Read More