Weekend Observations: When will Fem Biz Travelers Get Recognized?

If you’ve been following Beautyskew lately, you’d know I’ve been traveling like a crazy woman.  In many ways I love it.  I get to visit cool cities, dine in nice places, and hang with colleagues from all over the world.

But then, there are the pissy moments. Like those that remind me how backward the business travel industry is in terms of how little is catered to WOMEN.  For example: why are more than half of the hotel’s TV channels sports related?  Or why is it that most gym equipment is suitable for guys and not gals?  And most recently, I’ve frustratingly asked myself, “why is the hotel shaving cream on the sink versus in the shower where I need it?

OK, maybe I’m being a prima donna.  But it’s a pain to have to reach for the shaving cream when I’m in a rush.  If the hotel realized that MANY women are on the road these days, maybe they would consider putting 2 shaving creams in the bathroom: 1 on the sink and 1 in the shower!

I’ve long felt that the business travel industry (planes, cabs, hotels, etc) would greatly benefit from catering to women.  For example, it wouldn’t hurt to provide sample cosmetics in hotels, offer free mini versions of premium chocolates (a specialty of Trump in Chicago) or female fragranced products in the business class travel kits.

Oh well, I’ll just have to download my own shows and remember to put the shaving cream in the shower before I run to the gym for now.  Anyone of you knows of a really great biz hotel for female travelers, let me know 🙂

Week in Review: 9/23-9/29

From older models to make-up on men, this week @Beautyskew we discussed a lot of juicy stuff.  Take a look:
From top hats to morning coats, there’s something nice about keeping a pompous dress code alive Weekend Observations: When Pompous is Good
While her daughter may be invited to all the cool events, Isabella still has it going on Pic of the Week: Isabella — You Look Great!
Men wearing lipstick?  Just another day at the office in S. Korea Beauty is Power: Just Ask S. Korean Men
We’ve curated the latest and greatest beauty-in-culture reading More to Love: Additions to The Reading List

Wearing sweaters yet?  You may just have go shopping for some this weekend!

More to Love: Additions to the Reading List

Take a look at these bizarre and bold beauty stories!

  • In Japan, people are using anti-aging treatments to challenge notions of beauty


  • A fascinating art exhibit showing the beauty of graffiti: Beauty Is


  • Is America ready for a a new type of leading lady who looks different?  I’m betting yes!


  • The physical healing power of beauty


Any more stories to add? Comment or tweet us @Beautyskew

Beauty is Power: Just Ask S. Korean Men

I came across a FASCINATING article describing the phenomenon of South Korean men wearing make-up.  Lots of it.
But this isn’t some niche, transvestite or special-occasion-costume-y kind of thing.
No way.
This formally macho society is seeing male make-up as a way to gain the upper hand in a fierce economy, and the attention of women in a growing feminist culture.  In this culture “first impressions are very important” (well…I think that’s true anywhere, we just don’t like to admit it).  So you need to look your best.
Let me ‘splain further:  Men see appearance as another tool in their tool box to give them the edge they need to be hired, respected, and promoted in the work place.  It goes beyond typical grooming though.  These men will use make-up on their skin, and, unlike most American men, they don’t deny it.  Even girlfriends apply their own lipstick onto their boyfriends’ mouths!
But it gets even better.  Over the past few decades, S. Korea has experienced a sea change with regard to women’s equality.  This all started during the economic troubles of the late 90’s, when women were pushed out of jobs so men could keep theirs.  Women starting protesting their social, economic and political status in S. Korea.   And, in turn, they started questioning the kinds of men society was telling them were attractive.  This was the time that a group of “flower men” emerged: “a group of exceptionally good-looking, smooth-skinned, fashionable sports stars and celebrities who found great success selling male cosmetics.”  Women flocked to them and men emulated them.
Hmmmm.  Not sure if I would be attracted to men in lipstick, but I sure could go for better smelling, cleaner shaved, leaner physiques surrounding me everyday 😉

Pic of the Week: Isabella — Your Look Great!

I’ve been reading, posting and tweeting a ton about the HBO special, About Face, which interviews the models of the past.  One of the comments that struck me was from Isabella Rossellini.  Because of her age, she has lost her currency while her younger daughter, model, Elektra, has it now in spades.
And yet, as I was leafing though the biggest fashion tombs this past month, I came across this gorgeous ad for Bulgari. How ironic!  As you can see, the elegant Isabella Rossellini is beautifully poised and as sexy as ever.  Who says these women have lost their edge and currency?!

Weekend Observations: When Pompous is Good

I’m not one for too much formality.  Especially when it comes to religion.  It’s the Jewish New Year and that comes with a lot of praying, socializing and synagogue-going.  And believe me, the more laid back, the better for me.
And yet, I’m oddly appreciative of a VERY formal tradition that my synagogue refuses to relinquish.  And that’s the uber-formal dress required of the Rabbi and “top dogs” of the synagogue .  Every week, not just on the New Year, the men who sit on the stage (usually the big shots of the synagogue, i.e., president, VP, etc.) must wear black shoes, matching blazers and morning coats, and black shiny top hats.  It’s a German-Jewish tradition that dates back over a hundred and fifty years.
So why do I appreciate this over-the-top grandiosity given my informal preferences?
Maybe it’s that the MEN do it.  While the rest of the men of the synagogue wear the typical suit, women get to relish in dressing up for the weekly pilgrimage to synagogue.  But, those on the stage can also look really special.
Or maybe it’s that fact that among all the other rituals we partake in on any given Sabbath, we also put care into how we look.  It DOES matter what we look like.  It’s a sign of self-respect and respect for our community.  Wearing nice clothes isn’t just some nice, fun activity.  It has value — for men and women.
The Jewish community has held on to many traditions over the centuries.  The fact that top hats is also one of them is kinda cool.

Week in Review: 9/15-9/22

A week full of praying and traveling!
Why is it that some people can totally ruin the experience for others?  Weekend Observations: Is There Such A Thing As Gym Etiquette?
So what’s the deal?  Should we tell our children they’re beautiful even if they’re not? Should We Give Our Children False Hopes?
Add to your list of great beauty-in-culture reading More to Love: Additions to the Reading List
Enjoy the end of summer!

More to Love: Additions to the Reading List


  • How the beauty of a college determines application rates


  • iPhone does it again:  a marriage of beauty & versatility


  • What does ugliness really look like?  Ask an ugly person.


  • Naomi Wolf talks vagin and the beauty myth


Any more good reads?  Comment or tweet us @Beautyskew.com

Should we give our children false hopes?

I came across an interesting blog post which was a reaction to a piece in the Huffington Post.  The original piece stressed the importance of making children feel beautiful, no matter if their appearances do or don’t “comply” with cultural norms around beauty.
Who could argue with this point of view, right? First, we all think our children are beautiful because we love them. And, second, why must we assume that society’s vision of beauty should be adopted by us anyway?
But after reading the second blog post, “Beauty is more that skin deep:why don’t I believe that?” , I started seeing it another way.  The author calls bullshit on the first article saying that children learn pretty quickly whether society at large deems them beautiful. And parents’ vehement claims of their children’s beauty is not only false but even harmful.   Her answer is to urge parents not to “lie” to their children but instead downplay the importance of beauty all together.  That way, an ugly child won’t be naively shielded from reality but also not be concerned by it at the same time.  For example, I’m a terrible soccer player.  I have no coordination.  But I don’t care.  It just doesn’t matter to me.
At first, I found this argument sensible.  But then I realized that an appreciation of beauty is inherent to the human condition.  To believe that we can downplay the importance among our children is ridiculous.  Of course it shouldn’t be among the most critical traits we cultivate.  But ignoring, downplaying or, at the worst, shunning it, does no one any good.  It sets up a false reality and doesn’t prepare our children well.
Plus, I believe anyone CAN be beautiful.  Perhaps some have to work harder than others but I think we should embrace beauty and support anyone who chooses to express it.

Weekend Observations: Is There Such a Thing a Gym Etiquette?

Its 6:15 am and I finally get my turn to spend the alloted 30 minutes on the elliptical machine.  Unfortunately, this is NOT one of the better gyms I’ve been to.  But I’m stuck with it as it comes with my hotel.  Like the rest of the hotel, the gym is small, a bit rundown and stuffy.  But I plug in my ear phones, set up my workout program, and begin exercising.  “Just get it over with it,” I think to myself.
But that wasn’t in the cards.
It wasn’t any snafus with the equipment or a loss of battery power on my iPod that ruined my workout.  It was the annoying … no worse … disgusting sounds the man on the elliptical machine next to me was making.  It became unbearable.
What’s with that?  Doesn’t he know that it’s really distracting for everyone else?  No one else is making any sighing/breathing sounds.  Why must he?  Isn’t the environment claustrophobic, sweaty and gross enough without all this caveman behavior?
This isn’t the first time I’ve gotten really annoyed at the presence of fellow gym goers (and let’s be honest, they are always men!)  In some cases these “gym parasites” stink –whether its their body odor or breath; and in other cases, they are extremely loud grunters.
Come on!  Why can’t people obey some rules of etiquette like they would in the “real world?”  Do these “gym parasites” walk the streets of America grunting, making very loud, continual sighs while smelling like some thing the cat dragged in?  No way!
I beg all of you, please obey some basic hygiene rules and social etiquette, and let the rest of us workout in peace!