Beauty Standards

Summit Entertainment

Heroines of Literature and Film, You Don't Have to Be Pretty!

From Katniss Everdeen, to Bella Swan, to Hermione Granger, to Mia Thermopolis, it seems like just about every heroine needs some convincing to realize how beautiful they are. Because, of course, they are beautiful -- though often the character requires a makeover before she herself and the world around her (except, of course, for that One Special Boy Who Always Knew) realize her true beauty. The message that we get over and over is that beauty, even hidden beauty, is somehow part and parcel of being an exceptional, successful young woman.

The Ugly Truth About the Beauty Business

Like the ancient Greek poet Sappho, I revere women. Rubenesque. Skinny. Tall. Short. Old. Young. Hourglass. Pear. Every woman. But when I contemplate fashion's cult of perfection and the rise of eating disorders and so-called "fat-shaming," I think beauty standards have become a form of tyranny.