What's going on in beauty this week, from head to toe.
Hottentot Venus hollaback: Interesting take on toxic cosmetics and why black women are particular targets of "dirty" products--nice historical look.
I got a B- in chemistry but liked this anyway: Science-oriented breakdown of the future of green cosmetics. That's clean/natural cosmetics, not St. Patrick's Day eyeshadow. (Via Safe Cosmetics.)
Eastern bloc beauty: Tidbits on the globalization of beauty: The last state-owned cosmetics company of Bulgaria is being sold (it was privatized in 2002, the last one to do so), and "aspirational shopping" hits another former Iron Curtain area, the Ukraine. I'm particularly amused by the fact that the Ukraine is such a rich source for beauty labor--models--but imports 98% of its beauty products.
Last gasp for communist beauty company Alen Mak (Bulgarian for "Scarlet Poppy").
Meanwhile, I'm still pissed that I lost on "maverick": "Pedicure" is the winning word in Fort Wayne, Indiana, fifth-grade spelling bee.
Sole mates no more: The end of the scandalous saga of "the Heidi Klum of foot models" and her doorman-turned-husband-turned-
...and Everything in BetweenWe're so vain: Virginia at Never Say Diet takes down the whole Facebook-pics-mean-you're-
Welcome to her dollhouse: I'm not surprised to read that Eliza Dushku is pretty frank and articulate about body image issues. If any of the other twelve people who watched Dollhouse are reading this, you know what I mean: The show presented the usual Wheedon-voyeurism-feminism conundrums but was an interesting exploration of bodily ownership and personal agency. She's not saying anything you haven't read before, but it's nice to hear anyone in Hollywood speak at length about this--usually there's just a quote sandwiched into a profile for good measure.
Are men to blame for women's body insecurities?: In aggregate the answer is no, and I hope that we're all past that line of thinking. But this piece at Beauty Redefined nicely lays out why and redirects the focus to where it belongs. I still don't think that media is the entire issue here, but certainly it's more of a factor than men sitting back, arms crossed, and judging women's bodies.
Fashionable feminists: Fantastic, thought-provoking answers from feminist fashion bloggers in answer to the question "How do you express feminism in the way you dress?" (Mrs. Bossa's post is excellent, and scroll down for a list of bloggers who answered this, myself included.) A lot of talk about labor--labor of the wearer and, of course, of the people who make the clothes we wear--and the gaze, objectification, aesthetics, celebration, and just love of fashion, always written with an intelligent, feminist eye.
Reverse engineering: You know, for all the talk about Photoshopping, we don't frequently hear from the people who are Photoshopped. So while the original poster at Good makes some nice points about the use of photo retouching when representing "real" people--in this case the first female engineer to grace the cover of Wired--what's truly thought-provoking here is the engineer's response. "If I'm happy with this and I say it's looks like me isn't that GOOD :)" The real problem here, it seems, is that it's two thousand frickin' eleven and Wired is just now getting around to putting a woman engineer on the cover. (Also, while I think she looks great, and I also love Rosie the Riveter, can we think of something else that represents capable women? And no, Wonder Woman doesn't count. Are there really so few icons that we must resort to Rosie again and again and again?)