An excerpt from my piece titled ‘The Economics of Fashion and Feminism’ that appeared in the pilot issue of MUJER!, a bilingual feminist fashion magazine.
Our obsession with female beauty – with rearing, celebrating, enhancing, preserving and recapturing it – has inevitably led to the beauty industry being valued at billions of dollars. Contrastingly, the idea of embracing our natural beauty, evidenced by initiatives such as the Dove Real Beauty campaign, and the clever marketing of products using feminist ideals – a concept aptly named ‘femvertising’ – have opened up further avenues for profit. But why bottle and sell confidence to adolescent girls and women when we could be raising self-assured girls who know better than to tie their worth to their appearance?
Renee Engeln, author of ‘Beauty Sick: How the Cultural Obsession with Appearance Hurts Girls and Women’, points out that “it’s hard to change the world when you’re so busy trying to change your body, your skin, your hair and your clothes. It’s difficult to engage with the state of the economy, the state of politics or the state of our education system if you’re too busy worrying about the state of your muffin top, the state of your cellulite or the state of your makeup.”
To view the full piece, order a copy of the limited first edition of the magazine here.