[click "Play" to hear Liz Lance on the Media and Beauty]
The conversation has never been more interesting. We live in a world of swizzle stick celebrities, binge diets and surgeons armed with needles, scalpels, lasers, whatever is desired or required to overhaul anyone with a chunky checkbook from head to toe. Make-up, skin and hair care, cosmetic surgery, health clubs and diet pills rolls up to a global industry worth over $160 billion per annum.
Pressure to be pretty – or just not butt ugly – comes from the mirror, men, our own mothers, sisters, friends, and the media, and confers big advantages, both genetic and social, to those who are.
Most of the research to date was compiled in the West. For her ten-month investigation, Liz Lance shifted the focus East to Nepal, where a rapidly expanding media landscape in the midst of a growing democracy is impacting the way adolescent girls and young women feel about themselves, particularly about their bodies.
Poets and besotted lovers argue beauty is more than skin deep, but young girls aren’t buying it. And who can blame them? Much of the world, now including Nepal, measures beauty by the height of a woman’s cheekbones and the size of her booty.