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In Defense of Vanity

Why Not Caring About Your Appearance Is Overrated

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  • Vera Wang Spring 2012; Imaxtree

    I don't need to try very hard to look disheveled—most mornings, I wake up that way. But for beautiful women, it's a different story. At Vera Wang's Spring 2012 show—a ready-to-wear collection by the designer best known for her bridal dresses—models (like the one pictured) were made to look unkempt. Normally shiny hair was teased into a frizzy, matted mess, and except for a bit of powder (applied to create a "dusty" effect), makeup was kept to a minimum. The goal was to have the models look as if they'd just returned from the beach or a music festival. As if they were all free spirits who didn't mind a little grease and grime.

    Some people might interpret this relaxed, underdone look as an act of defiance, a backlash against the unattainable standard of perfection set forth by Hollywood and the fashion and beauty industries. I see it differently. The unkempt, disheveled look is a reminder that only models (and perhaps a small handful of actresses who also won the genetic lottery) can try to look bad and still look good. It's the ultimate testament to a woman's natural beauty.

    As for the rest of us? We have to try to look good. And if we have any hope of being seen as natural beauties, then we better not look as if we tried too hard.

In Defense of Vanity
Why Not Caring About Your Appearance Is Overrated
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