Jafar, A. and E.M. Casanova. 2013. Global Beauty, Local Bodies.

Jafar, Afshan and Erynn Masi de Casanova. 2013. Global Beauty, Local Bodies. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Beauty as “simultaneously abstract and ephemeral, embodied and concrete” (xi)

Globalization of beauty as often centering around skin color, and postcolonial colorism in demonstrating the “disciplining and modifying of bodies [to..] embodying an idea of progress, development, and modernity that the world can relate to, and that nations often measure themselves by”(xvi).  Whiteness and white-considered traits (such as height, eye color) are viewed with power, although these ideas are not monolithic. “Beauty cultures (related practices and sets of ideas about bodily attractiveness) can stretch across national borders, and those borders can also contain many different beauty cultures. Modern technology is changing the beauty landscape, allowing individuals, groups, and coprorations to circulate images of beauty – or ugliness! – quickly and easily. Mass media companies and corporate advertisers are major players in this diffusion process, and these entities are increasingly transnational as economic globalization progresses in the 2000s” (xxi) – mobility and heterogeneity of beauty, despite long-held power associations.

“Refashioning Global Bodies: Cosmopolitan Femininities in Nigerian Beauty Pageants and the Vietnamese Sex Industry” – Oluwakemi M. Balogun and Kimberly Kay Hoang Pp. 1-22

Women’s bodies as symbolic sites of societal development, economics – “Bodily practices and markers of appearance such as dress, makeup, and grooming are vehicles of collective identity in which women’s bodies are often the terrain where national identities are produced, maintained, and resisted” (Choo 2006; Gak and Kligman 2000; Huisman and Hondagneu-Sotelo 2005). Constructions of the body are shaped by global and local media consumption (Casanova 2004), upward mobility and seeking of power (Edmonds 2010, Rahier 1998), and pressures to maintain racial-ethnic identity and authenticity in multicultural world (Craig 2002; King-O’Riain 2008; Rogers 1998). Whiteness not necessarily associated with Caucasian ideals but of privilege, access, transnational mobility, cosmopolitanism (7) Beauty queens and sex workers as cultural diplomats, representatives of economies and prosperity of nations, demonstration of political and cultural economies.

“Aesthetic Labor, Racialization, and Aging in Tijuana’s Cosmopolitan Sex Industry” – Susanne Hofmann Pp. 23-50

“Women actively manipulate their appearance to fit the desired commodification of attractiveness, body parts, and sexual acts and thereby to ‘capitalize on sexuality’” (23, see Singer 1993, 39) – promotes heteronormative performance of femininity that is used for financial gain.  Femininity as demonstrated through tending to beauty rituals – removal of traits considered masculine, differentiating themselves as non-masculine

“Metrosexuality as a Body Discourse: Masculinity and Sports Stars in Global and Local Contexts” Jan Wickman and Frederik Langeland Pp. 125-150

Nations as socially constructed “imagined communities” (Anderson 1983) – creation of bodies as symbols to offer unity and community to stranger – “allegorical personifications of nation” – often feminine in symbolism, or masculine in heroics, power. Personal identification with bodies as seeing self in individual; identification with bodies as a means to belong and assert community.  Metrosexuality : “a preoccupation with appearance and a new ‘looked-at-ness’ of urban young men” (Coad 2008; Simpson 1994, 2002). Metrosexuality as global phenomenon (Coad 2008)  – “Metrosexuality is replacing traditional and conventional masculinity norms.  It may in time become itself the new norm, transforming the way men treat their bodies, how they interact with women, and how they perceive non-normative sexualities. The metrosexual future is one in which men demonstrate more human and more humane values” (Coad 2008, 198 – here 129). Gaze being shifted from traditionally-held position on women, onto men, by other men. Consists of aesthetic and erotic components –“The aesthetic refers to an increased interest in fashion and grooming while the erotic refers to the increased tendency to view the male body as a sexualized object” (129, see also Jan Wickman 2011). Erotic metrosexuality often seen as more provocative and internalized rather than the aesthetic, disposable aesthetic.  Sexualized male body as often racialized – often in reference to black bodies, colonialism, class, color, nation-state.  Said (1978) incorporates Orientalist gaze – setting Westerners in a place of powerful observation, in a sexualizing holder of gaze. Orientals, thus, are subject to the passive reception of this gaze and this sexualization.  Use of face-off masculinity (Bordo 1999). Shifting gaze onto men for advertising purposes utilizes feminist and queer critiques (kx ^ accommodations, more so?), but does so in a capitalist way.


Bordo, Susan. 1999. The Male Body. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.

Casanova, Erynn Masi. 2004. “No Ugly Women”: Concepts of Race and Beauty among Adolescent Women in Ecuador. Gender and Society 18(3): 287-308.

Choo, Hae Yeon. 2006. “Gendered Modernity and Ethnicized Citizenship: North Korean Settlers in Contemporary Korea.” Gender and Society 20(5): 576-604.

Coad, David. 2008. The Metrosexual: Gender, Sexuality, and Sport. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Craig, Maxine Leeds. 2002. Ain’t I a Beauty Queen? Black Women, Beauty, and the Politics of Race. New York: Oxford University Press.

Edmonds 2010

Gal, Susan and Gail Kligman. 2000. The Politics of Gender after Socialism: A Comparative-Historical Essay. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Huisman, Kimberly and Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo.  2005. “Dress Matters: Change and Continuity in the Dress Practices of Bosnian Muslim Refugee Women.” Gender and Society19(1): 44-65.

King-O’Riain, Rebecca Chiyoko. 2008. Pure Beauty: Judging Race in Japanese American Beauty Pageants. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Rahier, Jean Muteba.  1998. “Black, the Racial/Spatial Order, Migrations, and Miss Ecuador 1995-96.”American Antrhopologist 100 (2): 421-430.

Rogers, Mark. 1998. “Spectacular Bodies: Folklorization and the Politics of Beauty in Ecuadorian Beauty Pageants.” Latin American Antroplogy 3(2): 54-85.

Said, Edward. 1978. Orientalism. New York: Pantheon.

Simpson, Mark. 1994. “Here Come the Mirror Men.” The Independent. November 15. Accessed August 15, 2002. http://www.marksimpon.com/pages/journalism/mirror_men.html.

Simpson, Mark. 2002. “Meet the Metrosexual.” Salon: Arts and Entertainment July 22. Accessed May 24, 2013.http://www.salon.com/entfeature/2002/07/22/metrosexual.

Singer, Linda. 1993. Erotic Welfare: Sexual Theory and Politics in the Age of Epidemic. London: Routledge.


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