beauty and self-hatred


Ilse has grown up in the shadow of Cosmo-culture, where drastic measures are encouraged if beauty, and therefore confidence and “empowerment”, is the end result. The death of Cosmopolitan’s Helen Gurley Brown, plastic surgery pioneer, has brought some of her choice quotes to the surface. “Self-help,” she said to Nora Ephron, explaining the methods she used to improve her flaws. “I wish there were better words, but that is my whole credo. You cannot sit around like a cupcake asking other people to come and eat you up and discover your great sweetness and charm. You’ve got to make yourself more cupcakable all the time so you’re a better cupcake to be gobbled up.” The formula she laid down for Cosmopolitan in 1965 relied on constant renovation, improvement and a continual quest for achievement, where anybody can be beautiful, if only they try hard enough.

more from Eva Wiseman at The Observer here.