Beauty CULTure Exhibit

If you are in the LA area, or coming to visit me before November, please check out the Beauty CULTure exhibit going on at the Annenberg Space for Photography.   It’s free and you can park at the Century City mall for free too.

When Angela was in town last week, visiting this space was on her list of things to do.  I love going to museums with Angela because she is super art smart and I learn so much from her.

The space is small enough for you to get through and see everything in thirty minutes or less, but you should stay for the short film they show.

Here’s a little ditty about the exhibit:

Like most, I have struggled with body image issues and disordered eating, and while it’s no longer something that haunts me, I found that this exhibit really brought some STUFF up for me.  I think it has a lot to do with the fact that we went to the exhibit with baby Ilyse.

There is a room off of the exhibit where you can take a photo of your face and do silly photoshop type stuff to it (add crazy hair, change your eyes, etc), and while Angela played around with it, I held Ilyse.  Looking at her perfect skin, her beautiful eyes, her gummy, wonderful smile made me melt, and I just burst into tears wondering how anyone- even her super smart and amazing parents- can protect her from a world that wants girls to believe that they are not beautiful until xyz products are purchased and their waist is xyz small?  I don’t have kids yet, but I can tell you that for a long time I have feared having girls in particular.  Maybe poor body image is contagious…maybe disordered eating is genetic…maybe there isn’t a way to protect them…I just don’t know that I have the ability to do it, and that scares me.

Spending time talking all of this out with Clayton and Angela, I feel certain that Ilyse is going to grow up to be smart and beautiful and funny- just like her folks.  Will she face pressure from society to look a certain way?  Yes.  Will she be able to come home and talk it out with her family?  Yes.  Will that make a difference?  The biggest.

This exhibit shines a light on the issues, but none of it is new information.  What I did like about it is that it gives us an opportunity to see the progression, the repetition, and the sham of the beauty culture in America, and hopefully the conversation continues.

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July 19, 2011. Tags: , , , . LA.

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