Time:06:30 pm

When and Where

Date:04 March 2015
Time:06:30 pm
Organizer: ICCR
Location: London

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What is the definition of female beauty and who chooses what makes us “beautiful”? A globalised world and the internet age has led to a transformation of how we view female beauty which is having a profound impact on young girls everywhere. In the past, beauty was defined by individual culture -- for good or ill. It was a concept born of local tradition, history and aesthetics. Yet in the social media age we have moved towards a standardised concept of beauty being imposed on young girls and women worldwide. From selfies to magazines to websites, we see the cult of size zero, overt sexualisation and a Westernised ideal being sold to girls everywhere.

To celebrate the International Women’s Day, The Nehru Centre will host, in collaboration with the Pan Asian Women’s Association (PAWA), a panel discussion on who defines beauty in the internet age, how has the concept of beauty shifted from one rooted in culture towards a universal ideal, and how this development is impacting the lives of girls around the world, encouraging eating disorders, skin whitening treatments and increased use of plastic surgery. The panel’s conversation will take us from Europe to China, Korea, India and beyond.

The beauty business is all about the bottom line: profit. So, how can we as women change the business model by producing editorial content that refuses to conform to the stereotype and celebrates women of all shapes, colours and sizes?

CHAIR: Edna Fernandes 
Edna Fernandes is the author of Holy Warriors and The Last Jews of Kerala. She is former Special Correspondent for the Mail on Sunday, former Financial Times foreign correspondent and Reuters Westminster correspondent. Her books were finalists for the Index on Censorship prize, India’s Crossword literary prize and chosen as a Sunday Times Travel Book of the Year in 2009. Currently, she’s working on a new book.

SPEAKER 1: Yang-May Ooi 
Yang-May Ooi is an acclaimed writer/ performer. Her solo show, Bound Feet Blues – A Life Told in Shoes, explores female desirability, identity and empowerment through the interwoven stories of foot-binding in China and Yang-May’s own search for her sexual identity.

Jee OH is a designer and New Media artist. She is currently doing her doctoral research at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her principal research interests are in women’s experiences with network media of which she creates aesthetic representations in physical forms. Her artworks were exhibited at art venues in Austria, London, South Korea, Slovenia, USA and Singapore.

SPEAKER 3: Sally Gloyne
 Sally Gloyne is an educator and publisher of T! Magazine, aimed at teenage girls aged 14-18. T! breaks the mould of teen magazines-- it’s a subscription and online lifestyle magazine written and produced by girls for girls. It takes a fresh look at beauty and style and encourages girls to make a difference to the world. As one reader puts it: “T! is different. It revolves around real people and focuses on what we really want to read.”

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