Sentirsi bene, sentirsi bella: emozioni e contraddizioni nell’esperienza femminile della bellezza
Copyright (c) 2021 Chiara Piazzesi
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Is beauty exterior, situated on the body surface? Or does it glow from the inside, intertwined with body functions, emotions, and the mind? Such questions are crucial to understand how, when, and why women feel beautiful, as well as their involvement in beautification practices. Feminine beauty has been historically defined by the opposition between surface – i.e. vanity, deceit, futility – and depth – i.e. authenticity, purity, truthfulness. This traditional opposition is still present in contemporary Western discourses on beauty and wellness. If beauty glows from the inside, it must nevertheless be visible on the outside. This paper discusses emotions, worries, and experiences of women who commit to “feeling good” and “feeling beautiful”. Data gathered during interviews with Canadian women are analyzed with regard to the tension between surface and depth; and to the relation between beauty and wellness. The paper discusses social conditions of positive and negative emotions linked to beautiful appearance as a placeholder for moral rectitude, self-control, and health.