Beauty Matters

Beauty Matters

Distribution: World
Publication date: 05/22/2000
Format: Paperback 60 b&w photos, 1 index
ISBN: 978-0-253-21375-4
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Beauty has captured human interest since before Plato, but how, why, and to whom does beauty matter in today's world? Whose standard of beauty motivates African Americans to straighten their hair? What inspires beauty queens to measure up as flawless objects for the male gaze? Why does a French performance artist use cosmetic surgery to remake her face into a composite of the master painters' version of beauty? How does beauty culture perceive the disabled body? Is the constant effort to remain young and thin, often at considerable economic and emotional expense, ethically justifiable? Provocative essays by an international group of scholars discuss aesthetics in aesthetics, the arts, the tools of fashion, the materials of decoration, and the big business of beautification—beauty matters—to reveal the ways gender, race, and sexual orientation have informed the concept of beauty and driven us to become more beautiful. Here, Kant rubs shoulders with Calvin Klein. Beauty Matters draws from visual art, dance, cultural history, and literary and feminist theory to explore the values and politics of beauty. Various philosophical perspectives on ethics and aesthetics emerge from this penetrating book to determine and reveal that beauty is never disinterested.

Author Bio

Peg Zeglin Brand is an artist and Associate Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis. Her new collection of essays, Beauty Revisited, is forthcoming from Indiana University Press.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Cutting Two Ways with Beauty Eleanor Heartney
Introduction: How Beauty Matters Peg Zeglin Brand
Part 1. Beyond Kant
1. Kantian and Contextual Beauty Marcia M. Eaton
2. Ethnicity, Race, and Monstrosity: The Rhetorics of Horror and Humor Nokl Carroll
3. Malcolm's Conk and Danto's Colors, or: Four Logical Petitions Concerning Race, Beauty, and Aesthetics Paul C. Taylor
4. Beauty and Beautification Arthur C. Danto
Part 2. Body Beautiful
5. Beauty and Its Kitsch Competitors Kathleen M. Higgins
6. Beauty (Re)Discovers the Male Body Susan Bordo
7. Miss America: Whose Ideal? Dawn Perlmutter
8. Female Bodily Aesthetics, Politics, and Feminine Ideals of Beauty in China Eva Kit Wah Man
9. From the Crooked Timber of Humanity, Beautiful Things Can Be Made Anita Silvers
Part 3. Body as Art
10. Whose Beauty? Women, Art, and Inter-subjectivity in Luce Irigaray's Writings Hilary Robinson
11. A Man Pretending to Be a Woman: On Yasumasa Morimura's Actresses Kaori Chino
12. "A New Kind of Beauty": Karole Armitage's Early Ballets Sally Banes
13. Bound to Beauty: An Interview with Orlan Peg Zeglin Brand