The Gadfly Cafe hosted their last discussion for the spring semester in the Norman Levan Center on April 11 th. The Discussion was led by Reggie Williams, a philosophy professor at Bakersfield College, on the topic of Beauty and the Pursuit, Privileges, and Pressures of it. The dialogue invited faculty, staff, students, and the public to share their opinions about this timely issue that affects men and women alike.
Professor Williams opened the discussion with these questions, “What is beauty? What makes someone or something beautiful in terms of nature and people? And what rides on the answers to these questions?”
The concept of beauty varies from different cultures, to what’s hot in today’s fashion, and gender.
The Beauty/Cosmetic Industry (including the body soaps, shampoo) is valued high and most likely exceeding 445 billion dollar industry. So though exact numbers are illusive, one can assume that the cosmetics industry that deals solely with makeup is well over one billion dollars. This number seems to be accurate, corresponding to Professor Williams inquiry on a study that was on girls between the ages of ( 8-18) 58% of those girls wear makeup regularly.
Now moving on to the comparison of Beauty and Fashion, one attendee answered that conceivably there’s self-image which can be shaped by fashion, but by and large fashion is a construct of society.
The chosen topics are issues that resonate with students, staff, and the public alike.
Another chimed in on the comparison of Gender and Beauty, and how there is a double standard that reaches down to young boys and girls and pressures them reach certain expectations.
The discussions are informal so attendees can walk in late, leave early, or just relax and listen to the opinions of their peers. They were designed this way also so Professor Williams isn’t lecturing those in attendance. “This is a safe place for people to come and just listen and where we can air out our difference, while being respectful and honest of one another’s opinions,” said Williams.
The next Gadfly Café discussions will take place in the Fall.