normalising – MagazineNP

Anxious Mothers and Yummy Mummies

I research gender representation in children’s books and its change over time. The huge imbalance of representation in favour of male characters has been discussed extensively but for me personally,…

The effect of new beauty rituals on the future of human communication

By Marsha Wichers, cosmetic doctor and designer. Medical technology will bring us more ways to perfect our appearance. Over the past decades, the use of Botox has increased enormously.  What…

Sporting heroes and Tarzans

Johnny Weissmuller was famous, both as an Olympic swimmer and as Tarzan.  He won five Olympic gold medals in swimming between 1924 and 1928, and played Tarzan in twelve films…

Here Come the Boys: Make-up and Masculinity

With War Paint for Men opening a ‘world-first’ store selling make-up for men in London last month, we revisit this great post on make-up and masculinity from early 2019:  I’ve become…

Labiaplasty – Female genital mutilation Western style?

A young teenager, Amanda D (not her real name), aged 13, comes with her mother to see her family doctor (GP), Dr Frances C. She looks embarrassed and avoids eye…

Cosmetic Surgery for children

Major influences on children’s development of self-concept include communication from others about the self, comparisons they make with others in their immediate environment and the role assigned to them by…

My body, my self?

Last New Year, I wrote a short piece for The Conversation on how we believe – and often unreflectively – that we are, or will be, better if our bodies…

How the duty to be beautiful is making young girls feel like failures

You may have read the recent Observer article about how “the ‘tweaked’ look is becoming the new normal” – Heather Widdows was writing about this back in 2017 with a…

Are beauty ideals so dominant and demanding that we feel a duty to be beautiful?

“The beauty ideal is not an evil taskmaster, but it is an ethical ideal and powerful and only when we recognise it can we begin to address it. What we…

If you want to lose weight, ask yourself: is this really self-improvement?

The enforced move to online work and social interactions over the last year have increased appearance pressures for many, so it seems a good time to revisit Heather Widdows’ 2018…