Summary of “‘I Feel Pretty’ and the Rise of Beauty-Standard Denialism”

As Ms. Widdows notes, the beauty ideal is so pervasive that it is internalized in many women, who are haunted by idealized visions of their own bodies – fantasies of how they might look after undergoing extreme diets or cosmetic procedures.
“I Feel Pretty” places the blame on women.
Part of the conditioning of the “Patriarchal ideal” is to make women feel empowered by it on their “Own terms.” That way, every time you critique an unspoken requirement of women, you’re also forced to frown upon something women have chosen for themselves.
As it happens, the only black women in “I Feel Pretty” – the SoulCycle employee Sasheer Zamata and the beauty executive Naomi Campbell – are representatives of the hot-girl faction.
Vaulting a few women of color to the top gives the beauty standard a progressive sheen that helps inure it from criticism.
All the women representing standard-issue beauty in the movie – including Ms. Ratajkowski, Ms. Campbell and Michelle Williams – are incredibly thin.
What struck me was how many of the women hailed as “Strong female characters” are nevertheless required to hew to the same physical requirements as the eye candy – beautiful, young and small.
What’s more, these women are meant to be na├»ve to their own looks, like the heroine of “Brooklyn”: “Open-faced pretty without knowing it.” These descriptors poke at another lie in “I Feel Pretty”: that all regular women need to succeed is a healthy dose of confidence.

The orginal article.