• Mon, Apr 23 2012

UK Beauty Contest Completely Misses The Point Of ‘Natural Beauty’

Look out Samantha Brick: A nationwide “natural beauty” contest in England has crowned blond-haired, blue-eyed 18-year old Florence Colgate “the most naturally beautiful woman in the country.” Ugh. There’s already something perverse in the fetishization of natural beauty; it’s especially weird and misguided to celebrate natural beauty by honoring the lass who looks as close as possible to Barbie without surgery.

Obviously, Colgate is a very pretty girl (almost absurdly conventionally pretty, in that January Jones kind of way). But basically everything about the natural beauty contest and this Kent Online article about it are obnoxious. Briana and I had to double-check and make sure it wasn’t the UK’s version of The Onion, because everything about the article—from the title (“Student Florence Colgate fits the scientific formula for beauty”) to Colgate’s earnestly articulated beauty secrets—screams satire. But it’s real—the article and the contest, sponsored by British lifestyle show Lorraine. And according to Kent Online, more than 8,000 people entered to be crowned the most naturally beautiful woman in the UK; Colgate won the title after reaching the competition’s final three and winning the public vote.

The Kent Online article speculates that the reason she won is because she has the most scientifically beautiful face.

According to extensive studies of ‘attractiveness’, researchers believe the ‘beauty’ of a woman’s face can be summed up in a series of simple ratios.

The ‘perfect’ face has a distance between the pupils of just under half, or 46 per cent, of the width of the whole face from ear to ear – pretty Florence’s ratio is 44 per cent.

Scientists believe the distance between eyes and mouth should be a third of the overall length from hairline to chin on the perfect face – Florence’s face has 32.8 per cent ratio.

Many studies have shown links between certain facial characteristics (like symmetry) and how attractive someone is rated; between presidential candidates or jobseekers or dating profiles and the way appearance influences perception. But let’s not kid ourselves that there’s some elaborate scientific reasoning needed to explain why “pretty Florence” Colgate was chosen. She is young, thin, pale-skinned, blond-haired and rosy-cheeked. In other words, she looks exactly like we’re told a beautiful young Western woman should.

In terms of celebrating natural beauty—which, to me, describes more than just “going make-up free” or not getting lip filler and chin implants; suggests that women comfortable and confident in their own bodies, no matter how closely they hew to Hollywood beauty standards, can be beautiful—the Lorraine contest is a pretty obvious fail.

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  • Lilac

    But I don’t see how this is truly a “natural beauty” contest. I can see the corrector used for her dark eye circles, I can see the blush for her oh so natural rosy cheeks, I can see the clear mascara. (notice the eye lash clumping) I can see the lip liner (notice how bottom lip is almost a whole line shade brighter then rest of mouth)
    So really this was a contest of “most natural looking make up to make girl prettiest but looking like she has no make up on” natural beauty contest.
    I want to see real women without make up given crowns and titles.

  • Ellen W.

    Like when Heidi Klum (or Giselle, I get them confused) said that all she really needs is maybeline great lash and lip gloss. Or when Isabella Rosselini said that the secret to aging gracefully is to not fight it. And to cut stress from your life, something like that.

    What you need for that kind of natural beauty is good genes and to not have any accidents that injure your face.

    What I want for a natural beauty contest is for it to be of women who are beautiful because they do something good in the world.

  • L

    I want to see society stop giving women crowns and titles based on their appearance.

    • Lauren L.

      Good luck with that. You really can’t blame society for awarding trophies for beauty. I think it is something that we are innately drawn to because of evolution. We want the best genes to survive, and our adoration is just a symptom of that.

  • superb

    obviously wriotten by an un attractive frump feminazi . thats is the reason ugly woman started the feminst revolution so ugly woman could get better jobs.
    face it honey beuty is and will allways be worship and sought after by the less than attactive…most feminist I suppose are darinist right..liberals? so it’s the darwining law of the fittest(and most beautiful) will pass on thier jeans

    • Romy

      It’s WRITTEN, BEAUTY, ALWAYS, ATTRACTIVE, DARWINIAN and THEIR. I guess your beauty avoided you the trouble of going to school. Also, Darwin talked about the survival of the fittest, he never mentioned beauty. Survival of the fittest was not a phrase coined by Darwin. He borrowed it from the economist Herbert Spencer. “Fitness” does not refer to whether an individual is “physically fit” – bigger, faster or stronger – or “better” in any subjective sense. It refers to a difference in reproductive rate from one generation to the nex It does not appear in On the Origin of Species until the fifth edition. The phrase “survival of the fittest” is not generally used by modern biologists as the term does not accurately convey the meaning of natural selection. WIKI

  • Han Haduong

    Hi,

    Most people are born with facial symmetry and facial asymmetry is not genetic. Facial asymmetry is due to cranial imbalanced on one side, which over a period of time will cause oral facial muscles to contract, causing one side of the face to be shorter than the other. In order to improve facial esthetics and symmetry, I have created the MyoEffect™ treatment method, which uses the MyoEffect™ Mouthpiece Trainer (US Patent No. 7,798,149 B2) to bring back the size, shape and position of the upper jaw. I will also release the cranial strain to balance the head bones and set the lower jaw position to its functional bites. The result is improved Facial Esthetic and Facial Symmetry: http://www.myosmile.com