As soon as a woman's primary social value could no longer be defined as the attainment of virtuous domesticity, the beauty myth redefined it as the attainment of virtuous beauty. It did so to substitute both a new consumer imperative and a new justification for economic unfairness in the workplace where the old ones had lost their hold over newly liberated women.
HOW do you define a word without concrete meaning? To each his own, the saying goes, soWHYpush to attain an ideal state of being that no two random people will agree isWHERE you want to be? Faultless. Finished. Incomparable. People can never be these, and anyway,WHENdid creating a flawless facade become a more vital goal than learning to love the personWHOlives inside your skin? The outside belongs to others. Only you should decide for you -WHATis perfect.
Young women today feel vulnerable to judgment; if a harsh sentence is passed (or even suspected or projected), it is not her reputation that suffers so much as the stability of her moral universe. They did not have long to explore the sexual revolution and make it their own. Before the old chains had grown cold, while young women were still rubbing the circulation back into their ankles and taking tentative steps forward, the beauty industries levied a heavy toll on further investigations, and beauty pornography offered them designer bondage.