Perfect Me! Beauty as an Ethical Ideal
The St Hilda’s Feminist Salon is a space to bridge the gap between feminist theory and practice, and to discuss the complexities of feminism today. For each salon a guest is invited to act as host. A range of exciting speakers are invited, from the cutting edge of feminist theory, art and activism. Each salon is different.
The first salon of Michaelmas Term 2017 was hosted by Heather Widdows.
Heather Widdows is the John Ferguson Professor of Global Ethics in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Birmingham. She has recently completed a monograph Perfect Me! Beauty as an Ethical Ideal (forthcoming with Princeton University Press), which was supported by a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship. ‘Perfect me!’ can be read in a number of ways: as an individual’s aspiration to perfect themselves (‘I want to be perfect’), as assertion of what being perfect is (‘this is what I would be if I were perfect’), and as a command which the women feels she should obey (‘you should be perfect’). ‘Perfect me!’ explores the moral self which underlies this ideal, the location of the self in the body, (the actual, transforming and imagined body), and the problems of relying on choice and consent in determining the ethics of beauty practices. Heather Widdows is the author of four other books and has co-edited five volumes, including Women and Violence with Herjeet Marway and Women’s Reproductive Rights with Itziar Alkorta Idiakez and Aitziber Emaldi Cirión.