Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Just what is it that makes a person beautiful?

Is it an amazing fashion sense? Like Sarah Jessica Parker? A small woman with a somewhat equine face but really cute body, made famous by the clothes she wears?
Is it a perfect body but forgettable face vis a vis Gisele Bundchen?
Is it a symmetrical face? Think Alicia Keys?

What are the terms and conditions that make up beauty?

"Everyone is born with a pre-programmed understanding of what makes a person attractive.", Study from the University of Exeter.

A German study has shown that beauty is created by "averaging" the faces of a spectrum of people. The end product is a face that has wide appeal. This is purportedly the science behind the modelling industry. Each region or nation will have a type of face that appeals to them.

Beauty breaks down all ethnic barriers. Australia's ideal beauty would probably be a dark haired eurasian. BUT the advertising/modelling industry's idea of beauty that sells is: blonde, tanned aussie beach beauty- think Elle MacPherson. Think Sarah O'Hare.

Does beauty then also break down gender barriers? Look at Agyness Deyn, the current face of Dior Homme. Does the marketing work here? "If only she was my man, I'd steal her cologne." Why not? *cough* If only I was Lindsay Lohan. *cough*

Katya Shun is an up and coming androgynous supermodel. Double the appeal- cos she's also Eurasian. Woot! Represent!

What is amazing about these women is that they can look just as gorgeous as women as they can as men. Now, is there a male equivalent to what I'm talking about? Of course there is, but straight men are more anal about what makes another man beautiful, so I'd probably expect less anecdotal evidence.

Men. Beautiful androgynous men were ubiquitous in the 80's. Ahhhh. My favourite era.
The most beautiful of them all at that time? John Taylor of Duran Duran of course. OMFG, is there even a question? He no longer has the androgynous look these days, maybe because he has abandoned the eyeliner...... but he's aged well, like a fabulous Pinot (Noir because it's the best Pinot).

OK OK I know this was in the 90's, but remember the lead singer for Suede? Brett Anderson?
The embodiment of VainGloriousGlam?

So beautiful.
He was in Suede together with his girlfriend, Justine Frischmann (of Elastica- pic below) who is another androgynous beauty. (Brett is by far more beautiful than Justine.)

Today's emo and scene boys know it's all been done before and they're not breaking the mold.
That's the predicatment we face in our post-modern times isn't it? The word Neo- is a prefix for every art, fashion, architecture, design movement.

Art has been everywhere; now it has no where else to go.


Anonymous said...

I think it's beautiful when the androgynous types date each other. It's as if they say "Let's go out and confuse people, we have each other, we don't have to conform to no gender binary!!". Examples: Angie & David Bowie, Brett and Justine ... <3

It looks like when people are "so young and so gone" they can (and do) get away with stuff like that. They are androgynous and because they believe in it and it expresses them, they have fun with it!

When they get older most of them tend to settle into their gender's traditional appearance though. Maybe it's the conclusion of a beautiful journey.. I wouldn't like to think of it as conformity, more as a the way life flows. :)

Implosion said...

Re: age affecting androgynous tastes- David Bowie went from Angie to Iman!

Anonymous said...

John Taylor: once gorgeous, now plain hot! (I adored his long bangs <3)


Todd Eliot said...

I agree with Caroline.

Androgynous types dating each other seems ever more popular, as the Emo boys and girls will attest.

And, with Anonymous, I liked the long bangs. In fact, I prefer long hair myself.