This volume was first published by Inter-Disciplinary Press in 2014.
Ideas of beauty permeate our lives in ways of which we are often unaware, yet they are indicators of identity, transgression, sartorial codes and otherness. While contemporary society sees the dominance of Western hegemonic ideals of beauty, when comparing these to ideals in different cultures at different historical periods, attention is drawn to the instability of ‘beauty’. The work in this volume considers the ways individuals question, respond to, articulate reflect, challenge, modify or accept beauty within their lives, to show it can be powerful, destructive and transformative. They show that beauty is not always what it appears and can challenge common-sense preconceptions as to what is beautiful. The range of topics provide an important contribution to ongoing discussions and are testament to both the diversity and complexity of debate the concept engenders across different disciplines.
Sallie McNamara is a senior lecturer in Cultural Theory at Southampton Solent University. Her research interests focus on gender, class and the body, with projects looking at fashion, erotic fiction, the gossip column, and the glossy magazine. She is the co-editor, with Maggie Andrews, of Women and the Media: Feminism and Femininity in Britain, 1900 to the Present (Routledge, 2013)