Some hospital psychologists understand the maintenance of feminine beauty practices to signify “mental health” and enforce makeovers for women they consider recalcitrant. Resistance by women to these practices is seen as a symptom of ill health. Thus Michael Pertschuk says that the first thing medical students are taught is to observe the patient: “How is he dressed? Hair neat? Hands clean? If the patient is a woman, is she wearing makeup? How well is it applied? Has she attended to her hair and nails?”
How come I quote from Sheila Jeffreys Beauty and Misogyny?
Well, it’s like this.
Normally, unless the blogger is 14, I just can’t get behind these chain-letter blog “meme” things where you have to list 1000 things about yourself as though it were some meaningful excercise in self-discovery and then “tag” 47 other people to do the same; blogs are dorky and self-indulgent enough as it is.
But, I just saw one (at SecondWaver, who has the good taste to link to I Blame The Patriarchy in her sidebar) which enjoins the would-be memist to pick up the nearest book, train the eye on page 123, and reproduce without permission the sixth through eighth sentences.
This exercise was irresistible to me, once a survey of my desk revealed that I would be quoting not from the Logic Pro 7 reference manual (it was 2 centimeters further away) but an author who wants the UN to recognize feminine beauty practices — yup, including lipstick — alongside FGM and honor killing as harmful cultural practices that stand in violation of human rights.