Re: Re: BOOKS: Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty
Thu, 09 Sep 1999 13:04:56 -0400

I would like to note that people are not exactly waiting around for genetic engineering to push the envelope on experimentation in the area of beauty, appearance, and body form. This is one of my favorite areas of human exploration, and I would like to encourage everyone to get out there and see some of the amazing experimentation going on in this area. An extensive network of people exists, of which I have been privileged to be a part, who find great beauty in the altering of the conventional.

Plastic surgery is only a tiny part of it--people are altering their bodies and faces through engineered clothing, stage makeup, prosthetics, etc. Anyone who saw the movie The Matrix saw some of the finest design work being done in vinyl, rubber and other materials, and many of those designers work with three-dimensional computer imaging to fashion the patterns for the clothing. Makeup is available in materials that will completely alter the skin, make it metallic or change its color entirely. Wigs come in every conceivable color, as do lipsticks, eye colors and nail polish. And, of course, piercings and tatoos.

Clubs exist all over America and Europe that are dedicated to the pursuit of experimental fashion and expression, in both the straight and gay communities. Most have a scale of entry prices depending on whether you put in the work to actually 'dress' for the night (some of these outfits take hours to get into!) I have done every sort of 'drag' imaginable, and I have also worked with designers who work in artificial materials. I don't think that it particularly matters whether you are good-looking to begin with, because the value on the club scene is placed on those who can push the envelope of expression, and become a part of the entertainment. There is a high tolerance for variant body types, those who might feel 'ugly' in the outside world.

So, I hope that people will take the time to explore this area a little, if only to see what is happening.

Take care,
Kathryn Aegis