24th May, 2022 / 19:30
30th January, 2013
The Cultural and Historical Studies hub present
Slap! The Culture of Make-up
a presentation of work in progress by Janice Miller
This presentation focuses on an in progress research project that will result in a published monograph on make-up. This research considers some of the complex and often contradictory cultural and historical ideas that lay behind the reading of the inscriptions that form part of any made-up face. The work presented here will consider some of the ways in which make up functions in relation to gender identity.
First it examines a general imperative identified in many discourses around cosmetics to produce a face that ‘seems’ natural in relation to dominant ideals of beauty. Here it argues that underpinning such priorities is the association between ‘natural’ beauty and healthy femininity that goes beyond the body and to the very heart of gender politics.
Second it thinks through some of the ‘problems’ of make-up use as an expected technology for women. Of particular interest are expressions which some writers might argue to be ‘post-feminist’ that attempt to resolve such tensions through the language of female empowerment. This, it is argued, creates a problematic separation between practices of female embodiment and the struggles of feminism.
Thirdly, it uses Pierre Bourideu’s ideas of ‘being and seeming’ to consider how notions of quantity and application, or excess and lack in relation to make up use can be seen as expressions of classed identity, social position and feminine taste.
This event is open to staff and postgraduate students across University of the Arts London.
Please RSVP and direct any queries to Janice Miller: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information please click here.