I have been thinking a lot recently about the homogeneous desire to be ‘beautiful’ or feel ‘attractive’ . In Mimi Nguyen’s article “The Bipower of Beauty”, beauty is used as a justification for war and imperial intervention. North American women started the Kabul Beauty School in Afghanistan as a project to connect women with a common interest and create a sense of community amidst the terrors and wars that their husbands and loved ones are fighting in with the Taliban. Although it could be argued that especially in this context, there are priorities of far greater importance, this beauty salon was a success and pays homage to the fact that there is a universal desire, particularly as a female, to want to feel attractive or desirable. It creates a sense of temporary peace and momentary happiness, before they close the door of the beauty salon behind them and step back into their terror-filled realities.
Similar to how almost universally, if you take a group of boys/men who do not know each other, and give them a football to play with, chances are within 20 minutes they will have bonded over a mutual joy of the game. The only comparable example I can think of with regards to females, is the Beauty industry and the procedures that come with it. Naturally, there are certain women who dislike or do not have the patience for beauty procedures or getting their make up done, and others with an intense obsession for plastic surgery and push up bras- however there is an overall generic appreciation for the feeling of being attractive and beautiful, to your personal highest standard. It is originated in early childhood and wanting to play dress up in your favorite disney princess dress, because when wearing it, and being able to show it off to your parents, it creates a feeling of being above your own reality and day-to-day self; a feeling of being special for that moment.