Beauty & the Beast

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Wed­nes­day, 8.45pm, ABC2 Re­lax, this isn’t re­runs of Rex Mos­sop or Clive Robert­son bru­tal­is­ing his fe­male pan­el­lists while pre­tend­ing to coun­sel read­ers who have writ­ten in for ad­vice, and I use the term lightly. In­stead it’s about the re­lent­less pur­suit of beauty in Eng­land, where last year about £17 bil­lion was spent on beauty prod­ucts and a fur­ther £650 mil­lion was spent on cos­metic surgery. Here we meet in­dulged women and men who spend up to £3000 ($4600) each month on beauty prod­ucts and treat­ments. Does the phrase more money than sense spring into your brain as well? The nar­ra­tor says that for many of us the pres­sure to con­form to ideals of beauty is huge. ‘‘ I don’t feel good enough, I don’t feel pretty enough,’’ says one per­fectly lovely look­ing woman. But the pro­gram also has a heart, in­ves­ti­gat­ing the plight, in our beauty-ob­sessed world, of those who are not good look­ing: peo­ple who through ill­ness, ac­ci­dent or hered­ity have less than Buck­ley’s chance of be­ing con­sid­ered con­ven­tion­ally beau­ti­ful. ‘‘ Peo­ple who are ob­sessed with the way they look are the real beast,’’ says one such woman. I couldn’t agree more.

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