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Beauty duty

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Beauty duty refers to the systematic pressure on women to fulfill conventional standards of attractiveness.

Forms of the concept in action
  • assumption that beauty and fashion are relevant topics of interest to all women
  • assumption that not meeting certain standards implies a serious lack of self-care
  • assumption that individual women's appearances is an appropriate topic whenever and wherever
  • entitlement of employers to demand higher standards of personal appearance from female employees than male employees
  • looks being a standard topic covered in articles about female professionals, experts, and celebrities, whether or not the main topic is supposed to be their professional life
  • less than ideal looks being points of criticism aimed at female politicians
Consequential issues
  • wherefrom follows problematic or even unhealthy behaviour in ever younger teens, even children
  • double bind, where a woman can either be dismissed as a "failed woman" (by not fulfilling beauty standards), or be labelled "sexually free game" (by fulfilling beauty standards)

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