A Duty to be Beautiful? 

News

New free online course - Perfect Me: Understanding Beauty Ideals

New free online course - Perfect Me: Understanding Beauty Ideals

Description
Starting on Monday 8 July, this free two-week course will allow you to explore the changing nature of the beauty ideal and the need to address body image anxiety as a global epidemic.
Date:
01/05/2019
The ugly side of beauty

The ugly side of beauty

Description
Professor Heather Widdows (Department of Philosophy) is interviewed for Guernica (a magazine of global art and politics) about appearance, the pressures to be perfect, and how beauty has become a measure for success.
Date:
01/02/2019
An explosive gender revolution is under way. So why isn't it changing anything?

An explosive gender revolution is under way. So why isn't it changing anything?

Description
Professor Heather Widdows and her book 'Perfect Me' is quoted in Macleans, Canada's national current affairs and news magazine, in a piece about gender, #MeToo and how women face unprecedented pressure to appear thinner, younger, smoother and firmer.
Date:
07/12/2018
What is beautiful? Heather Widdows speaks to the award-winning Stance podcast

What is beautiful? Heather Widdows speaks to the award-winning Stance podcast

Description
Professor Heather Widdows discusses beauty with the Stance podcast, an award-winning independent arts, culture and current affairs podcast exploring diverse, global perspectives. Skip to 43:30 to hear Heather, though the whole podcast is well worth listening to.
Date:
05/12/2018
Seeing the perfect me in Fantastic Beasts 2

Seeing the perfect me in Fantastic Beasts 2

Description
The Mirror of Erised (desire backwards) featured in Harry Potter and in the new Fantastic Beasts 2 is a magic mirror. It shows 'not your face but your heart's desire'. Professor Heather Widdows discusses the demands of beauty and how we see our bodies in the mirror for the Birmingham Brief.
Date:
21/11/2018
Dying for the perfect butt - why is there a rising demand for the deadliest cosmetic procedure?

Dying for the perfect butt - why is there a rising demand for the deadliest cosmetic procedure?

Description
Professor Heather Widdows writes for Psychology Today about recent media reports that a second British woman has died following 'Brazilian butt lift' surgery. Heather discusses the increasing desire for a 'bigger butt' and why this form of cosmetic surgery is so dangerous.
Date:
29/10/2018
Beauty as a moral virtue: the case of "Dr. Bumbum"

Beauty as a moral virtue: the case of "Dr. Bumbum"

Description
Professor Heather Widdows is interviewed for BBC News Brazil about beauty as a moral virtue, following the recent news that a celebrity Brazilian cosmetic surgeon known as "Dr Bumbum" has gone on the run after a woman died following injections he gave her (article in Portuguese).
Date:
08/08/2018
Ethics, beauty and the Handmaid's Tale

Ethics, beauty and the Handmaid's Tale

Description
Heather Widdows is interview by the Centre for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England for its Appearance Matters podcast. Heather talks about how beauty has become a moral and ethical issue, and how women (and increasingly men) feel the pressure to conform to the beauty ideal.
Date:
16/07/2018
Are beauty ideals so dominant and demanding that we feel a duty to be beautiful?

Are beauty ideals so dominant and demanding that we feel a duty to be beautiful?

Description
Report from the Professor Heather Widdows' talk at the Hay Festival, on whether we feel a duty to be beautiful.
Date:
29/06/2018
Can beauty be an ethical idea? What did being handsome mean in 18th century England?

Can beauty be an ethical idea? What did being handsome mean in 18th century England?

Description
Professor Heather Widdows joins the discussion on BBC Radio 3's 'Free Thinking' about bodies in the past and in the present. Skip to 33.35 to hear Heather, though the whole programme is well worth listening to.
Date:
28/06/2018