Beauty Blogosphere 3.29.13

What's going on in beauty this week, from head to toe and everything in between.

From Head...
Put a bonnet on it:
"Next to the circus, what better sign of spring than Easter bonnets?" Indeed—love this midcentury newsreel on the joys of Easter bonnets. Actually, last time I made it out to St. Patrick's on Easter, meaning 13 years ago, there were still a handful of people parading some wildly imaginative Easter bonnets. I imagine the tradition is hanging on, albeit by a thread. (I'm also going to take this opportunity to make a rare fiction recommendation: Later, at the Bar, by Rebecca Barry, a stunningly human collection of short stories—one of which centers around the sort of Easter parade I suspect many a Beheld reader would enjoy.)

...To Toe...
Easy feet:
 If you have a condition that necessitates orthotics, good news: You're not limited to "nurse shoes" anymore.

...And Everything In Between:
 What is L'Oréal hoping will give it an edge over Procter & Gamble in China? Mushrooms.

Smells like fame: The evolution of celebrity fragrances, featuring a juicy anecdote with none other than Audrey Hepburn.

Mamm's the word: The fascinating, contradictory, complex sociopolitical history of breasts—specifically what we can draw about North Korea's contemporary preference for small breasts from the busty post-WWII U.S.

All wrapped up: If you're interested in product design, you'll enjoy this slideshow of upcoming innovations in cosmetics packaging. (Actually, if you're really interested in product design you should check out The Makeup Museum, stat.)

Tattoo you: Getting a temporary tattoo? You may want to ask the technician if the ink contains hair dye, which, besides just sounding like a bad idea, has been garnering consumer complaints to the FDA.

Stop the presses: Women's magazines objectify women just as much as men's magazines. I'm glad to see this argument being articulated (and well-articulated, btw), but is this really news to any readers of women's magazines?

Recipe for recovery: This is a fantastic idea: a cookbook for recovering from an eating disorder (direct link here). One of the hardest things about recovery isn't just stopping old behaviors; it's learning how to create new ones, and eating disorders mess with your sense of appropriateness around food. Having a guide like this as a supplement to a more comprehensive treatment program would undoubtedly be helpful.

Where the boys are: Kate has a hard-hitting yet poignant essay on male body image issues—and she's particularly astute to use superhero images to illustrate it. The only way to save the world is to look like that? (And be a man, natch, but I digress.)

Hottest Women in Tech: Not sure what to make of this shitstorm surrounding Complex's "Top 40 Hottest Women in Tech." The writer insists that he took the assignment but made a point to not reference the women's looks, in an effort to make another "hottest women in_____" list not be about, well, being hot. Gawker seems to say he's at fault for even taking the assignment, and that his attempts were paltry. But here's the thing: Looking at the piece the writer actually turned in, it's in good faith. Change the headline and you have a nice roundup of women in tech. (Naturally, the magazine took away some of the writer's submissions and added their own—like TV hosts, complete with cleavage-baring glamour shots.) I actually see this as subversive, in a way: By titling a list "Hottest Women" and then listing accomplished women without once referencing their looks, this actually challenges the definition of the word "hot." When we think "hottest women," we think of hot-as-sexy, but "hot" has other definitions. Hot stock tips, hot piece of gossip, writers who are hot right now—we're using "hot" here as "exciting" without the prefix of "sexually." I'm under no illusions that "Most Exciting Minds in Tech Who Happen to Be Female" was Complex's vision for the piece, but I think that the writer took a risk here in interpreting "hot" in that way (even if he didn't realize that's what he was doing) and frankly, I'm bummed that people are vilifying him. I don't want to give pats on the back for halfhearted attempts at not being douchey, but I guess I just don't necessarily believe Audre Lorde's maxim of the master's tools never dismantling the master's house. To create change, we need people who are willing to work within the confines of existing structures and tweak the rules just as much as we need people creating change from the outside. 

Hey ladies!: If you've ever enjoyed my "Thoughts on a Word" series or just enjoy musing on the words we use to describe women, you'll have fun taking this survey from a graduate student (and reader of The Beheld) on the language of womanhood. Babe, bitch, chick, tease, lady—have your say on these words here.

Sniff test: A Rorschach test of sorts, with men describing newly released fragrances for women, and artists rendering the results from their words alone.

Wordy girls: I'm honored to have been named in this IFB (Independent Fashion Bloggers) post on blogs that focus on wordsmithing. (And by the lovely Ashe at that!) Best of all, I'm in excellent company: The Lingerie LesbianBusiness of Fashion, Final Fashion, and more are featured.

The pits: Yeah, yeah, women's waistlines and busts and legs are retouched all the times. But armpits?!

On womanhood: Tatiana asks how much of the "body love" message is about adhering to gender standards, even when the goal ostensibly is to shrug off expectations of all sorts. 

Pucker up: Becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable might sound like a contradiction, but Courtney explains how she does it, and how red lipstick helps.

Moody blues: The Reluctant Femme writes about the connection between beauty and mental health like no one else, and she does it again here, powerfully: In the midst of extreme moods, how eyeshadow becomes a point of therapeutic mindfulness.

Workplace woes: Bra blogger June on working in a male-dominated industry as a woman, and a busty one at that. "Then there's the staring. ... I haven't been brave enough to call a guy out on it yet. Maybe some day I'll get there, that's my hope at least. But at the moment, I stand my ground and make sure I'm looking them in the eye. I don't slump my shoulders and slink away. Slinking away contributes to the problem. If I'm not a vocal member of the community, how will younger women in my field have role models down the road?"

Curves: When physical muscularity intersects with lingerie, the result can be some nasty slurs—made even more complicated when you factor in race. (Thanks to Tatiana for the link.)