Nina Coomes unpacks the origins and legacies of the Japanese word hafu, or half.
#FrenchGirlGoals: Artful Dishevelment and Animal Fats
There’s big money for fashion and beauty companies in encouraging the women of the world to emulate the French Girl.
Before the Avon Lady, There Were a Bunch of Monks With a Bottle of Vinegar
Meet the lifestyle and wellness hawkers of 13th century Italy: the Monks of Santa Maria Novella.
When Medieval Monks Couldn’t Cure the Plague, They Launched a Luxe Skincare Line
Whether you were European royalty desperately seeking a cure for impotence or a working-class neighbor looking for the latest deodorant, Santa Maria Novella was the place to go.
Resonant and Beautiful: The Meaning of ‘Allahu Akbar’
Mehreen Kasana reveals the many true and beautiful meanings that you’ve never heard of behind “takbir” — the expression of Muslim faith, “Allahu Akbar” — literally, “God is great.”
When Beauty Brings Dishonor: Beauty Shopping With My Mother, A Former Cultural Revolution Red Guard
In Racked, Noël Duan — A former beauty editor — reflects on the differences between the definition of beauty in America and in China during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, where an “unadorned woman was a symbol of liberation from a patriarchal capitalist system.”
Beauty Shopping With My Mother, A Former Cultural Revolution Red Guard
A former beauty editor reflects on the differences between the definition of beauty in America and in China during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, where an “unadorned woman was a symbol of liberation from a patriarchal capitalist system.”
On Beauty: Franzen’s Shallow Male Problem
I had many problems with Purity, Jonathan Franzen’s new novel. The book had me hooked and turning pages from the first. There’s plenty of intrigue–a murder; the mystery of the title character’s parentage; unfolding backstories that link assorted melodramatic subplots, far-flung over geography and time. But to a large degree I was racing through it […]
How the Modern Modeling Agency Came to Be
This was a precursor for what would become the protocol by which models were paid for the rest of the century, but as Natálie [Nickerson] put it to Eileen [Ford] in their late-night Barbizon conversations, the system was back to front. According to Eileen, Natálie told her, “Models were treated as if they worked for […]
François Truffaut on an Aging Joan Crawford
As she neared fifty, determined to keep going, she became almost grotesque, answering her own needs and the wiles of directors eager to exploit her. In Nicholas Ray’s odd, beautiful, impassioned Western “Johnny Guitar” (1954), she’s Vienna, a tough businesswoman who runs a saloon and constantly faces down groups of armed men. Vienna is both an […]