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Beauty is controversial. Beauty can be dangerous. Articles on this web-site cover many different aspects of beauty from different points of view. Most pages also have a different web poll. What do people think and feel about beauty? Find out at 'Beauty Worlds: The Culture of Beauty.'

Introduction to the Site is dedicated to the experience of beauty in nature and cultures past and present. Why do we find certain things or styles beautiful? Why do we worry about aging and hair loss? Why are people in contemporary societies so obsessed with beauty? Visit this page to find out what this site is about.

Click here to see the xml version of  Global Beauty NewsThe Beauty Blog : A weblog with regularly updated news from around the globe on beauty, cosmetic surgery, fashion, design, pageants, and art.

Beauty in the News

NewASAPS Cosmetic Surgery Attitude Study Shows Big Gender Differences: American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Reports 2004 Survey ASAPS Press Release: "Women are more than twice as likely as men to consider having cosmetic plastic surgery, and the gender gap may be widening. According to a February 2004 attitude study of 1000 Americans 18 years of age and older, 34 percent of women said they would consider cosmetic surgery, an increase of 4 percent from February 2003. Among men, 14 percent said they would consider cosmetic surgery, a decrease of 4 percent from a year ago."

NewFor Many Muslim Women, Head Scarves A Matter of Personal, Not Political, Conviction From Radio Free Europe, Kathleen Knox: "An item of clothing worn by many Muslim women has become a hot political topic in Europe recently, as France prepares to ban head scarves from public schools, along with other overt religious symbols. There's been anger and protests from Muslims around the world. What is the basis for the wearing of the hijab and other forms of Islamic dress?"

NewFDA Issues Regulation Prohibiting Sale of Dietary Supplements Containing Ephedrine Alkaloids and Reiterates Its Advice That Consumers Stop Using These Products Press Release February 6, 2004: The US Food and Drug Administration is immediately prohibiting the sale of dietary supplements containing ephedrine which can be found in weight loss or sport enhancement products. These supplements pose an unacceptable degree of risk to consumers.

NewBotulinum Rejuvenation: Men Finding Benefits Are More Than Just Skin Deep Press Release February 6, 2004. The American Academy of Dermatology reports on the growing numbers of men seeking 'botulinum rejuvenation' (Botox) and the need for the differential treatment of men from women.


Hair Disorders: Dermatologists Identify the Top 3 Causes of Tress Distress Press Release February 6 2004. This useful article from the American Academy of Dermatology identifies three major causes of hair loss and provides information as to what are FDA recommended treatments.

New2003 Cosmetic Surgery Statistics Show Strong Increases Press Release January 26, 2004: The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery has released its statistics for 2003 which show growth in nearly all cosmetic procedures. The greatest growth area was non-invasive treatments. Over 870,000 patients received treatments in 2003. This figure is up 6.7% on 2002.

New10 Cosmetic Surgery Predictions for 2004 Press Release: American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Read this article to find out what the ASAPS thinks will be hot next year in the world of cosmetic surgery.

Love is Not Blind, Survey Says Press Release January 20, 2004: The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery conducted a survey which revealed that most men and women would like to change at least one feature on their partner's face. Men were usually insulted by this suggestion, women took it as a sign of love.

Surfing for the New You From The Toronto Star. San Grewal: "Fantasy has always been television's bread and butter but today's viewers are turning it into reality, embracing the shows about transformation — What Not To Wear, Extreme Makeover , Nip/Tuck , Skin Deep for the way you look, Trading Spaces , While You Were Out , Facelift, Queer Eye For The Straight Guy for the way you live — and pursuing the idea that perfection is, as Martha would say, a good thing. "We can rebuild him," the scientists said of Col. Steve Austin. Well, today's message is: We can rebuild you."

FDA Says Not Yet to Silicone Gel-Filled Breast Implants Press Release, January 8, 2004. American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery: Despite advice from its own panel of scientific experts the FDA has taken the nearly unprecedented step of saying not yet to silicone gel-filled implants.

French tussle over Muslim head scarf is positive push for women's rights Cheryl Benard: "French President Jacques Chirac has been sharply criticized by Muslim clerics around the world for his recent call for a ban on the Islamic head scarf, or hijab , in French public schools. Mr. Chirac's move has been attacked as a curtailment of personal freedom and an assault on Islam. But the proposed ban has also kicked loose a debate among Muslims everywhere. Indeed, a growing number of Muslims worldwide are coming forward to say the hijab is not a valid symbol either of freedom or Islam." From The Christian Science Monitor.

Neurological Basis for Romantic Love No one would question that beauty and romantic love, while different, have a profound relationship with one another. Romantic love can certainly turn the average into 'the most beautiful in the world.' Neuroscientists are now beginning to find out what the chemical correlates of romantic love are and what sectors of the brain are involved.

Facing the Age Old Question…How to Turn Back the Hands of Time American Academy of Dermatology: A recent survey conducted by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) finds 94 percent of women are confused by the myriad of anti-aging treatments available both over-the-counter and by prescription, and those cosmetic treatments available in a doctor’s office.

Breast Implant Update American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Press Release: "Breast augmentation, also called augmentation mammaplasty, involves surgical placement of an implant behind each breast to increase its volume and enhance its shape. Breast augmentation has been available in the United States for over 40 years. Here is the latest information on breast augmentation which, according to statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) , is the second most popular surgical aesthetic procedure (249,641 in 2002)."

Good Grooming: The Secret Shopping Life of Men News Canada: According to Proctor and Gamble, men around the world spend $13.5 billion dollars a year on cosmetic products. Nearly 10 million men used hair colour last year.

Iran: Generation Gap Widening As Conservatives Try To Enforce Islamic Social Codes From Radio Free Europe. Golnaz Esfandiari: "It's hard to have fun in Iran -- that is, if you're one the more than 45 million people under the age of 35 looking for casual ways to socialize with members of the opposite sex. Conservative authorities in the Islamic Republic are taking steps to shut down Western-style establishments that proved popular gathering places for young Iranians. But social experts say such moves may only end up widening the value gap between conservatives and Iran's young majority."

When It Comes to Plastic Surgery, Extreme is "Out," Subtle "In" Press Release. American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery: "Despite the popularity of "makeover" reality shows, most Americans who might consider cosmetic plastic surgery would not want to drastically change their appearance, according to a national survey of 1000 American households sponsored by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)."

NewGoodHousekeeping Ranks City Lips Most Effective Lip Plumper Press Release: City Lips Cosmetics is a cutting-edge company that has developed a revolutionary Collagen Plumping Treatment that can actually increase the size of your lips with NO pain! City Lips safely stimulates your lips to produce their own collagen and hyaluronic acid. City Lips has become an International success with sales into 74 countries!

Faces of Beauty-Yesterday and Today Press Release January 2003: The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery nominated Halle Berry and George Clooney as the "modern day ideal face of Beauty" in 2002. This press release informs the public of the standards for facial beauty held by facial plastic surgeons.

The Call of Beauty, Coming In Loud & Clear! From The Washington Post. Joel Garreau: An interesting article about the wide-spread resurgence of interest in beauty in contemporary global cultures after the demise of modernism.

The Skin We're In From The Observer. Tim Adams: An interesting article about the complexities of our relationship to our bodies in the age of the Human Genome Project.

Featured Articles

Garden of EdenNewGardens of Myth and Legend Linda Robbins: Beautiful gardens have been part of human experience from very early times and in many cultures the creation stories involve gardens. These myths, including the story of man's disobedience are strikingly similar in many cultures.

NewVenus in Exile Carrie Keats: In her book, Venus in Exile: The Rejection of Beauty in 20 th -Century Art , Wendy Steiner underlines the assertion that modern art is purposely ugly and attempts to trace the intellectual roots of this monstrosity through the philosophies of Immanuel Kant and Edmund Burke, early twentieth century arguments of the avant-garde and the movement to banish the feminine, the sentimental and the beautiful in striving to attain the shattering experience of the sublime.

The Ideals of Motherhood - Aesthetics of Form and Function Nitin Kumar: This fascinating article looks at why so many voluptuous and beautiful women figure in the traditional art of India. The very early relationship of the suckling infant to the maternal breast and its later manifestation in Indian art is explored. A fascinating read with some lovely graphics. From Exotic India.

Botticelli, The Birth of VenusThe Psychoanalytic Conception of Beauty Donald Kuspit: This interesting article outlines a psychoanalytic theory of aesthetics, exploring the relationship between beauty and ugliness, with reference to Botticelli, Titian, Rubens, Goya, and Picasso as well as 20th century psychoanalysts such as Freud, Klein, Segal, Meltzer, Rickman and others. Though a bit difficult you will find it well worth the effort.

A Review of D. Meltzer's and M.H. Williams' book The Apprehension of Beauty: The Role of Aesthetic Conflict in Development, Violence and Art Linda Robbins: This is a fascinating, interesting, but difficult book about the 'apprehension' of beauty. The title is a rather complicated pun as to 'apprehend' something can mean to grasp it but 'apprehensive' can also mean to be fearful of. Beauty attracts us, we want to grasp it, but it also makes us anxious. Our anxieties about beauty are epitomized in John Keats' (1795-1821) poem 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci': "They cried—“La Belle Dame sans Merci/Hath thee in thrall!”

On Blondes by Joanna Pitman"Why Doesn't She?" : A Full-Length Review of Joanna Pitman's On Blondes Michael Sones: If you are interested in the history of beauty, hair color, and hairstyles within the social context of culture then I think you will find Joanna Pitman's  On Blondes a book with all of the compelling fascination of a 'blonde' itself. Beginning with the ancient Greeks and concluding with the holy female trinity of Madonna, Princess Diana, and Margaret Thatcher it is an intriguing and knowledgeable study of the history and place of the 'power of the  blonde' within the 'symbolic code' of different Western cultures.

NewMelanie Klein: Beauty and Envy Linda Robbins: Many different reasons have been put forward as to why there is such an obsessive preoccupation with beauty in modern cultures. Most focus on social factors such as male domination of women or competition between women. This article outlines some possible individual unconscious factors. Melanie Klein was a psychoanalyst who thought that the obsessive preoccupation some women have with beauty has its origins in earliest infancy and a little girl's envious relationship to the beauty of her own mother.

Beauty Therapy: Health Profession or Cultural Practice? Eloie James: As the obsession with beauty becomes a global phenomenon, beauty therapy is becoming a profession in increasing demand. What is beauty therapy? It seems to have elements both of a health profession and a cultural practice.

Japanese GeishaBeauty In Japan: The Geisha Sofia Patterson: The Geisha, primarily women trained in the traditional arts of Japan, are renowned throughout the world for their beauty, poise, talent, witty conversation and confidentiality. This article discusses aspects of Geisha life and history. Find out what Maiko, shamisen, Tachikata, Jikata, and hanamachi mean.


Hathor, Lady of Beauty Judith Illes: Hathor was the goddess of beauty and sacred sponsor of the cosmetic arts but simultaneously their living embodiment too. It is difficult to consider the Egyptian vision and concept of beauty without also considering the roles played by this prominent goddess. Read this fascinating article about Hathor, the Ancient Egyptian Goddess of Beauty, and the centrality of her role in Egyptian life. From TourEgypt

Rebel Poets, Hula Hoops and Elvis Margaret Manning: In 1954 a poor white boy from Tupelo gyrated onto the stage of American culture. With greased back hair and swivelling hips, Elvis Presley, the High Priest of Rock and Roll, was instrumental in the 1950s and 1960s rebellion against conservative Eisenhower era notions of beauty and attractiveness.


Gustave Klimt: The KissThe Dark Beauty of Gustave Klimt Michael Sones: Klimt was apparently interested in the more perverse aspects of human sexuality. Many of his paintings have a femme fatale motif or are darkly suggestive in other ambiguous ways. He was clearly attracted to the beauty of women and once said of himself that he was not an interesting person but that women were. However, there is a darker and more sinister side to women's beauty in Klimt's paintings......

American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society: Position Statement on Cosmetic Foot Surgery There has been a lot of controversy in the press recently about women seeking out cosmetic surgery in order to cure 'defects' which either arise from or prevent them from wearing the rivetting shoe fashion of designers such as Jimmy Choo or Manolo Blahnik. Some doctors consider unnecessary surgery as reprehensible given the risks.

Body Beautiful/Body Perfect: Challenging the Status Quo: Where Do Women with Disabilities Fit In? Disability Cool: An interesting and thoughtful article about being a disabled woman within the beauty culture and how having a disability can impact on a woman's self-image and self-esteem.

The Transformation of Beauty: Hair Styles in a Global Culture Michael Sones: Globalization is leading to global beauty standards. Not much can be done about natural skin color but hair can be curled, kinked, straightened, dyed, and extended. A new beauty, no longer dominated by Western cultures, is emerging.

NewHairstyle Gallery You can see our latest hairstyle gallery, with dozens of fantastic hairstyles, here. There are loads of different styles here ranging from the sensuous siren to the commanding businesswoman. There are some retro styles as well. Take a look. We're sure you won't be disappointed.


Modifying the Body: Tattoos and Piercings Kasey West: Body modification in the form of tattooing and piercing is traditionally viewed with reserve in contemporary Western societies. Those with tattoos or piercings are seen as rebellious and defiant of social conventions. However, body adornment in other non-Western cultures plays an expressive role in the articulation of cultural and religious values.

Ties that Bind: Wang Ping Doesn't Wear High Heels Anymore Jennifer Thaney:Wang Ping, a Macalester College professor, only wears oversized shoes and hiking boots. Her research for her book, Aching for Beauty, which is an historical and sociological study of Chinese footbinding affected her deeply.

Beauty and Imitation: The Theory of Rene Girard Kasey West: Rene Girard's theory of mimetic desire offers some useful insights into the power of beauty in cultures.

Button advertising humidifiers as a means of helping beautyBe Beautiful and Carry a Big Stick: Physical Attractiveness and the Maasai Aesthetic Robert Biswas-Diener: The Maasai of Kenya find attributes, such as carrying a big stick, an essential part of their aesthetic of beauty. Their concept of beauty differs considerably from that of most Americans and they seem to be happier.

Capturing Nature's Beauty Richard Fray: Richard is a wildlife photographer living in Tucson, Arizona. He is is entranced by the beauty he finds in nature and takes some absolutely riveting photographs. Read about his work and see some of his photographs here. He also supplied the photographs for our web page on Hummingbirds Further examples of his work can be seen here.

Beauty and the 'Cult of Celebrity' Kasey West: There have always been celebrities but in the 20th and 21st centuries this has become something of a cult. Some interesting ideas here about why we are fascinated by celebrities, their beauty, and the products they use.

Chinese Beauty Through the Changes of Time Kasey West: A fascinating account of the history of beauty standards in China from the 1st century B.C. to the 21st century. Some great photographs too.

Beauty Under Islam Kasey West: When the Miss World Beauty Pageant was held in Nigeria in 2002 it led to rioting and over 200 deaths. More recently, the Afghan beauty,Vida Samadzai, sparked controversy by wearing a red bikini at the Miss Earth Beauty Pageant. Beauty and the role of women within Islam are controversial. Can Islamic ideas about beauty be reconciled with modern Western values or is the gulf just too great?

Beauty Goes to Bollywood News headlines about the cinema of the Indian subcontinent and its stylized depictions of beauty which are now becoming heavily influenced by Western standards.

Hairstyles Well-groomed hair is beautiful and sexy. It can signify youth, health, and vitality. Many women don't feel right unless they feel that their hair looks good. If their hair looks good they feel great.

About Beauty Images of beauty are everywhere. In the developed world the preoccupation with the body and with Beauty is intensifying and the Beauty Industry, despite nearly thirty years of feminism, is a multi-billion dollar a year business.

Marilyn Monroe One of the most famous women of the twentieth century, was born Norma Jean Mortenson in June, 1926. She was Marilyn. Her story, her legend, has touched the hearts of the generations.

Jumping Through Hoops Stephanie Lynch: Well written overview of body image issues in modern America with annotated bibliography. From Stephanie Lynch.

Rethinking Barbie Deb-Moore Henecke : Every young girl in America longs to own Barbie or play with her hair. From Images: A Journal of Film and Popular Culture

The Unfair Female Beauty Burden: American women face unrealistic pressure Terry Duschinski: Better to be an ugly guy than an ugly girl in this culture. From Florida Fitness

Electoral Beauty Myths Virginia Postrel: We judge politician's looks but should not assume that tells us anything about their characters. From Reason

Looks Matter Virginia Postrel: Looks matter in the new aesthetic economy. From Reason

Black Beauty Aïda Croal: Black beauty reflected in a Western gaze. From

Beauty and Desire in Edo Japan Peter Symonds: Ukiyo-e, "pictures of the floating world." From World Socialist Web Site

Chinese Foot-Binding Jim A. Crites: Over a thousand years a billion Chinese women endured the torment of footbinding in the name of beauty. From Jim A. Crites

Looking Good: The Psychology and Biology of Beauty Charles Feng: Read about beauty from the perspective of evolutionary psychology with particular reference to ideas about symmetry.

On The Evolution of Human Aesthetic Preferences Andrew T. Chamberlain: How did our aesthetic preferences for some things over others arise. From Assemblage

Beauty, Fashion and the Coolidge Effect Understanding the 'Coolidge Effect' can help to make sense of the desire for "newness" and "uniqueness" in fashion.

Form and Symmetry Christy Turlington credits the symmetry of her lips for much of her success. Proportion and symmetry in an object seem to be nearly always essential to our visual perception and experience of that object as being beautiful.

Theory of Beauty Beauty has a simple biological purpose and that is to attract for purposes of sex. The biological purpose of sex is not fun but reproduction.

Modern Standards of Beauty: Nature or Nurture?© An Evolutionary Perspective Jennifer Goehring: In modern America for the sake of an arbitrary standard of beauty we still witness an alarming rate of anorexia and bulimia. From Evolution's Voyage

History of the Beauty Pageant Paris of Troy had to choose which of three beauties was the most comely and the Trojan War was started. The controversy over beauty pageants continues to this day.

Goddesses Fly Again: Butterfly Images in Mexican Myth and Textiles Gary Noel Ross: Butterflies in Mexican mythology linking beauty, butterflies, the feminine and death. From The North American Butterfly Association.

COSMETICS, STYLES & BEAUTY CONCEPTS IN IRAN Massoume Price: An interesting historical overview of cosmetics and beauty concepts in the ancient Middle East with particular reference to Persia (Iran). The article has some very interesting photos of ancient statues revealing hairstyles and dress. From The Culture of Iran

What was it like to be an Ancient Egyptian woman? Did she worry about how she looked, about her weight, about the first appearance of wrinkles on her skin? Did she diet and compare her figure with her friends? Was she bothered about bad breath and stretch marks?

The Beautiful One is Come: Nefertiti The legendary Nefertiti, one of the most beautiful women in history.


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Exotic Allure nubian hair growth formula Exotic Allure hair vitamins can make ethnic hair faster growing, stronger and healthier in as little as a month! Exotic Allure is an all natural dietary supplement for fast healthy hair growth specially formulated for the needs of ethnic, african american, or black hair. It's special blend of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential oils deliver optimum nutrition and moisturization to the hair. Exotic Allure nubian hair growth formula

For an unbelievable selection of hair styles at an incredibly low price visit: Hair Styles, Cuts, and Do's Our hair styles gallery contains 3,950 new hair styles, hair cuts, and hair dos for you to choose from. Each new hair styles photo is thumbnailed for fast and easy viewing. Hair Styles, Cuts, and Do's featured book of the month February 2004

Virginia Blum, the author of Flesh Wounds: The Culture of Cosmetic Surgery, is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Kentucky, a feminist, and someone who has had cosmetic surgery. This book is based upon her field research into cosmetic surgery in the USA and interviews with cosmetic surgeons and patients. It makes for a fascinating trip into the heart of the 21st century American psyche. This is a psyche which has been formed by consumerism, photography and the celluloid images of Hollywood and celebrity culture, immigration and the desires of immigrants to assimilate, advertising and the ambivalences and ambiguities of modern cultures grappling with the body in the post-industrial digital age. Loss and desire, hopes for the future, the erasure of the past, troubled lives healed-all are themes central to the role of cosmetic surgery within modern American culture and the 21st century American psyche.


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