Sounding out Idols

In his essay Éloge du maquillage (‘In Praise of Cosmetics’), Charles Baudelaire advocates among other the use of rice-powder designed ‘to rid the complexion of all the blemishes that nature has outrageously strewn there, and to create an abstract unity in the texture and colour of the skin; a unity which, much like that produced by the leotard, instantly assimilates the human being to the statue, that is to say a divine and superior being.’ For Baudelaire, not only are women justified in their attempts at reforming nature, they are performing a kind of duty by attempting to make their beauty appear supernatural, even divine. Continue reading Sounding out Idols

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