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Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Multiplicity of Beauty and Its Incarnations through Makeup Use in Mexico City  

Speaker: Andrea Urrutia Gómez (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Iztapalapa, Mexico) 

In Latin America, beauty is not a straightforward concept. Intertwined with an ideological basis of oppression such as race and gender, beauty is a value that is incarnated in our bodies and demonstrated by the adherence of globalised aesthetic standards. In this paper, I aim to explore the multiple interpretations of beauty and its consequent bodily presentations, (re)produced with cosmetic tools. It will be founded on the ethnography done in Mexico City during 2017 and 2018 for my doctoral thesis, which was focused on aesthetic perceptions and performances of consumers and workers in the makeup industry, and how they affected the labour executed by the latter. The presentation will delve into the relationships of the resulting corporeities, examining its racial, class and political foundations at their loci of reference. It will also demonstrate that these appearances are not unilaterally imposed by the cosmetic sector, but they are rebuffed and criticised by clients and a certain segment of makeup producers. Finally, I will argue that the negotiated construction of corporeal presentations is situated on the inspection of beauty as a multifaceted quality and a desired merchandise to portray aspects that are still hierarchically evaluated.

Seminar Programme

Autumn Term 2021
28 October 2021 (Inaugural session) 
11 November 2021  
25 November 2021  
9 December 2021 
Winter Term 2022  
3 February 2022  
17 February 2022  
3 March 2022  
17 March 2022 

All are welcome to attend this free seminar, which starts at 17:00 GMT

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