Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Is a single, smoker in NYC beautiful?

I sat in on today's show: Diversity on the Runway. (You can download the mp3 here.) A Dove commercial from a while back came to mind. Here's the video.

Beauty is a huge and complex issue for women but largely misunderstood in the mainstream. This includes men, regardless of sexual orientation (and lifestyle, including metrosexuality) or occupation. Every woman who has grown up watching Sex and the City or reading Seventeen has some sense of the mild panic mainstream beauty causes at some point or another. This usually occurs early in the morning when you're looking in the mirror or getting dressed.

When there's a model who breaks the mold, maybe a smoking New Yorker who mixes designer couture with flee market finds like SATC's Carrie, we get the message. Authentic beauty is best expressed in who you are, a unique style that fits only you. In high school, I thought that was nearly impossible in public. I planned outfits weeks in advance. At 23, it's easier but workplace attire expectations, I'm still not convinced authentic style can be mainstream.

Maybe I'm missing the message. A campaign on thepoint.com is betting that beauty can be authentic and mainstream. With a pledge to buy two magazines, you can support publishing a cover photo without photoshop or airbrushing: Show Our Beauty Campaign.

My question for readers is what is authentic beauty? And can it have mainstream commercial value without ruining the message? Feel free to bring in popular culture references. You know I love them.


Brian Dunbar said...

s what is authentic beauty?

Being comfortable with yourself and who you are.

Then, when you're out and about, you relax and let the real you out, not having to hide it behind a facade.

That is authentic beauty.

Plus it works at the gym, the office or on the lake.

Joe Hardtke said...

Hey Brian,

Thanks for visiting the blog. Please drop by anytime with your ideas, comments or suggestions.