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Women line the Atlantic City boardwalk to protest the 1968 Miss America pageant. Feminist Theories & Art Practices

Miss America 1968: When civil rights and feminist activists converged on Atlantic City

For decades, the Miss America pageant had excluded minorities while celebrating a very narrow definition of womanhood. Then two separate protests – a women's liberation picket and the lesser-known Miss Black America pageant – said 'enough is enough.'
Magnolia Maymuru, who hails from the remote community of Yirrkala. George Fragopoulos/Miss World Australia

Can Aboriginal beauty break through the colour bar?

Magnolia Maymuru, the Northern Territory's representative at the Miss World national finals, is a trailblazer. But will she escape the racialised exoticism that has long plagued Indigenous women?
American advertisement for non-surgical nose correction.

Friday essay: the ugly history of cosmetic surgery

Surgical makeovers might seem a modern phenomenon but they have a long and disturbing history: from 16th century skin grafts done without anaesthesia to reductions of "primitive" large breasts.
General relativity isn’t only a powerfully descriptive theory, but there’s a beauty in its elegance.

The art and beauty of general relativity

Einstein's theory of general relativity is a triumph of reason and imagination, of art and science, with a profound beauty of its own.
What is it that makes Venus a hottie? Is it her hip-to-waist ratio, or just her slenderness? "The Birth of Venus", Sandro Boticelli c1486.

Is there really a single ideal body shape for women?

Is there an ideal body shape that is universally attractive? A recent study shows that beauty is more complex, and diverse, than that.
Most of us struggle with our own attractiveness and whether we have enough of it. Tony Bowler/Shutterstock

Not everyone is beautiful

You probably aren’t beautiful. It’s statistical, not personal. Most of us are average, a few of us are ugly, and a tiny number of us are beautiful or handsome. Many of us struggle with our own attractiveness…
Spending more money just means another set of chemicals. PA/Dominic Lipinski

Chemicals in the body show whether you’re rich or poor

Many people buy high-end, free-range and organic products in a bid to cut down on the amount of chemicals in their bodies. But chemicals can accumulate from a range of sources, and new research suggests…
The ideal of beauty embodied by models is unattainable for most people. AAP

The bane of the body beautiful

The first of the yearly “fashion weeks” has just ended in Melbourne. Along with the glamour and excitement, the models were out in force showcasing the latest fashion to the undivided attention of the…
Ever had that needling feeling other people just don’t get you? Mick Tsikas/AAPimage

I (don’t) feel your pain: does Botox put the brakes on empathy?

The quest for physical beauty holds powerful sway, driving us to spend billions annually on a dizzying array of cosmetic procedures to improve on the hand that nature dealt us. But could it affect our…

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