Monday, March 12, 2007

Beauty isn't always pretty

Ed here: Last year I wrote a short story called "Beauty" based on seeing a cable documentary about beauty pageants for girls ages 4-6. The mothers were terrifying. Stage mothers as depicted by Phillip K. Dick. Beauty is still a roll of the dice. A genetic crap shoot. For all we rely on plastic surgery, if this is the best those docs can make Paris Hilton* look then plastic surgery's halycon days are still far off. We're not the first culture to be obsessed with beauty. But we are becoming more neurotic about it. As witness these paragraphes from the NY Times this morning. This reads like Phil Dick & C.M. Kornbluth collaborating.

NY Times

DePauw University severed its ties today with a national sorority that attracted controversy when it evicted two-thirds of its DePauw members late last year. The sorority called the evictions an effort to improve its image for recruitment, but the evicted women described it as a purge of the unattractive or uncool.

“We at DePauw do not like the way our students were treated,” the president of the university, Robert G. Bottoms, said in a letter to the sorority, Delta Zeta. “We at DePauw believe that the values of our university and those of the national Delta Zeta sorority are incompatible.”

The national sorority forced 23 members of its DePauw chapter to leave the sorority’s house in December, and a half-dozen more women later quit in protest.
The action greatly diminished the chapter’s diversity, because the women who were allowed to stay were all slender and conventionally pretty. Those evicted included some overweight women; several nonwhite members either were evicted or left the sorority on their own.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/12/education/12cnd-sorority.html?ex=1331352000&en=490f756395e6f59f&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

*a name never to be mentioned in the presence of Bill Crider

1 comment:

Bill Crider said...

You can mention the name, but I'm not blogging about her. That's a terrific story, by the way, and I think I'll do a review of it for the Nasty, Brutish, and Short website. I told Dave I was going to do it long ago.