I feel fairly certain that a marketing professional was the first person to refer to socially undesirable physical traits as “flaws.” And I’m totally certain that those “flaws” were on a woman’s body. When the concept of generating previously non-existent insecurities about beauty and bodies first arose in the marketing world, it arose as a means of selling stuff to women. But eventually, the idea of flawed bodies seeped out beyond cosmetics and girdles and hair removal systems and into the world of fashion. Now, every style expert spouts off about “hiding figure flaws” and “downplaying your flaws.” Every fashion mag claims it can reveal the secrets of “flawless skin” and “a flawless figure.” The language of body flaws is ubiquitous and unavoidable.
Originally posted 2011-12-06 06:33:20.