Saturday, August 16, 2014

Where it all began

The title of this blog is inspired by Daphne Merkin's article, "The Unfairest of Them All" published on October 16th, 2005. In the article Merkin explains the meaning of the French phrase, jolie laide, or jolie-laide.  In stark translation, the word means "pretty ugly"; but, the French use it to describe unconventional forms of beauty––women, for example, who are not "conventionally" or "classically" beautiful, but who still possess something that makes them desirable, fascinating, and beautiful.  While it was published almost ten years ago, I am still thinking about how this term might be applied not only to physical beauty, but to life itself, or to a lifestyle.  How might we return to this notion of jolie laide, in a world that has created increasingly narrow ideas of what is not only beautiful, but acceptable?

Sophia Coppola

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