The Ugly side of Beauty

16 Dec

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? From Snow White’s mirror to the very first Selfie, people have been trying to objectify beauty. And now, a 1,000,000 ‘ like ‘ years later, we still stare breathlessly to our own reflection, while we are pondering over the larger mysteries of true beauty. Model and photographer Coco Young challenges the traditional ideas and appointments. She uses her past as a model to the underlying being obsessed with himself to expose this generation.

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What interests you most about the myths of beauty and the self-obsession of a generation?
The beauty ideals are -of course- skewed, but what interests me, is the structure of these standards and how the crowd reacts to them. This isn’t necessarily about people, but also about products and about the world itself. Why does everyone want the iPhone 6 so bad? Why do we think sunsets are so pretty? And why does J.M.W Turner paint the sea time after time?
Vanity is a human trait, but our generation has the technological tools to make vanity public, with which it has become socially acceptable.

Vanity dates back to ancient times, like the search for ideal beauty. Are things changed over the years, do you think?
As we all know, the ideals changed and they also seem to differ per culture. I question the idea of beauty and why we continue to stick to this arbitrary standards. The scale of the “catwalk model” for example is the new golden ratio of beauty. These images are created to be posted as small ‘thumbnails’ that are only intended for the internet. I wanted them to get rid of their original function and blow them up as a life size format. It’s weird, because the original purpose of these images does not work on this new scale. This idea of “perfection” that is prescribed, will not translate to beyond the digital world …

ugly beauty 3Do you think that vanity is something typically feminine?
I think vanity is unisex, since it is part of the human being. Yet this question interesting indeed, because we are seeing more women who are curating their identity on social media with revealing selfies and such. I do not really know what to think… On the one hand, a woman can feel more powerful by that, but it can also be seen as humiliating.

How has social media affected our ideas of beauty?
Social media has made beauty irrelevant. The illusion of beauty is a collective secret: we all know that it’s a lie, but we all play the game all along.

Does social media show better versions of ourselves?
I don’t think so. I see social media as a perfect tranquilizer for the fear we all have for death. By posting a picture, we let publicly know that we live. The image provides the illusion of immortality.

I think Coco has a really realistic view on beauty. Because she’s a photographer, she has more than one perspectives on beauty, which she can spread to the world. This short interview with her, fits perfectly in the sector Appearance. At first you’d think Appearance is all about make-up, beauty and pretty people and products. By posting a blog about the ugly side of beauty, and how it’s find its way to society, others would also get a realistic view about appearance over all.

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