Combining intelligence and the kind of imagery you want to tear out and tape to your bedroom wall, Beauty Papers is a reminder that beauty isn’t a commercial category with a capital B, it’s a multifaceted, at times controversial idea that encompasses everything from politics to what you choose to put on your face each morning. – Alice Newell-Hanson for i-D
As women, we all have the right to feel beautiful. I am completely in favour of women doing whatever the hell they want to make themselves feel this way. That being said, I do feel that it is a damned shame that oftentimes it is hard to seperate personal ideals of beauty and what the fashion industry and society tell us is beautiful. It is hard to know for sure if we personally like wearing our makeup the way we do, or if subconsciously we are trying to fit into some kind of ideal. Still, there are very obvious ways in which women are fighting against what society has “standardised” – starting with defining beauty as something unrelated to the male gaze or mainstream culture. (If what one finds is beautiful happens to coincide with what men find and mainstream culture finds attractive, that is fine, as it makes no sense to rebel against something for the sake of rebellion, but attempting to define beauty on individual terms rather than allowing our understanding of beauty to be dictated by a male dominated society at large is very important.)
Beauty Papers, a magazine created by make-up artist Maxine Leonard and creative director Valerie Wickes, is doing everything right when it comes to re-defining our traditional understanding of beauty.
When interviewed by i-D, Leonard had this to say about the aim of Beauty Papers: “…I want to challenge what the word “beautiful” really represents. I’d like to explore words that I think youth culture would probably throw up at: “harmonious,” “exquisite,” “glorious.” I think we need something positive to come through now. We’re all feeling what’s going on around us. There is no money, there are no advertisers, but the idea that you can challenge what “beauty” is on your own budget is what the throwdown of Beauty Papers represents. You have to fight a bit more for it. And I think that fight makes you hungry…I think there’s something about offering people freedom and choice.”
Music to my ears, if you ask me.
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