The Beauty Demands project, led by Professor Heather Widdows, aims to bring scholars, practitioners, policy-makers together to consider the changing requirements of beauty.
It is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and aims to build a network of individuals, research groups, and centres of those working on the topic. The assumption of the network is that beauty image is becoming ever more demanding and defining of women, and increasingly men, irrespective of their professions. The project will ask whether this is the case, and how this norm is constituted and how it impacts upon women. It will also ask whether the dominant beauty norm is increasingly a global beauty norm, and thus open to less cultural and sub-cultural resistance. The project is especially concerned with role of technology in this. In particular, that procedures which were once regarded as ‘exceptional’ such as the use of surgery, are now regarded as ‘normal’ or even ‘required’ in certain contexts. The network will be built in many ways, and is primarily a virtual network.