Emancipated Beauty

In Marc Nouschi and Elisabeth Azoulay (ed.), 100,000 Years of Beauty: Modernity/Globalisations (Volume 4 of 5). Paris, France: Gallimard. pp. 140-142 (2009)
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This short essay is part of a 5 volume work entitled 100,000 Years of Beauty complete with more than 300 authors from over 30 countries. I was aksed to write about Simone de Beauvoir and the concept of 'emancipated beauty'; I cast Beauvoir's theory of freedom--combining liberation and equality with beauty and femininity--in defiance of the long-standing and constrictive dichotomy that says women must choose one or the other. Beauvoir's most famous phrase, "One is not born, but rather becomes a woman," entails a lifelong struggle against cultural, religious and philosophical norms of inequality and the restrictive ideals of beauty those norms have imposed since the days of Aristotle and Confucius. On Beauvoir's view, one can be both free from oppression and beautiful . . .
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