beauty

Is modest hottest?

Since ancient times, women have been advised to cover up in order to protect their dignity. More recently, a so-called "modesty movement" has gotten underway, and Cristen and Caroline undress how the "modest is hottest" message ultimately strips agency from women and men alike.

Curly Hair Conundrums

Curly-haired women often feel like they're living in a flat-ironed, staight-haired world. Cristen and Caroline untangle the science of curly hair and get to the root of the cultural stereotypes regarding ringlets.

The Most Beautiful Suicide

Trigger warning: discussion of suicidality and graphic imagery.

Why Women's Hair Is Sexy, According to Hippocrates

What It's Like to Be "Exotic"

Earlier this year on the podcast, we discussed the peculiar Hollywood trend of referring to Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong'o as "exotic" and how that relates to broader intersections of race, Western beauty constructs and the multilayered problem of exoticizing and fetishizing non-white beauty. Judging by the amount of letters we continue to receive from listeners who have experienced it firsthand, the "exotic" treatment is by no means limited to celebrities like Nyong'o. To continue this important discussion, we've rounded up a excerpts from listener letters to further highlight what it's really like to be "exotic" -- and why it typically isn't a compliment.

The Nitpicking Origin of Brushing Hair 100 Strokes Per Day

How did Marsha on "The Brady Brunch" maintain such lustrous blonde mane? She brushed her hair 100 strokes every evening before bed, of course...

The Most Photographed Woman of the Edwardian Era

When Lily Elsie took the stage in 1907 in the leading role of "The Merry Widow," London audiences and theater critics swooned. The operetta was such a hit it ran for 778 performances, making the lovely Elsie a bona fide star whose beauty was so captivating she's known as one of the most photographed women of the Edwardian Era. In 1910, the Chicago Examiner declared: "She is famous above all for two things -- for having been photographed more frequently than any actress ever on a London stage, and for having had more proposals of marriage. It is said she has been photographed at least once every week day in the year. Even then the insatiable demands of the photographic firms were not satisfied. They could not obtain enough of her photographs to supply the enormous demand."Exhausted by the public attention and newly married to a man who wasn't interested in her working, Elsie retired soon after her "Merry Widow" run ended. The rocky marriage later dissolved, and Elsie, who had been plagued with chronically poor health, spend the last part of her life in a sanitarium and died in 1962. Her obituary described her as "the most glamorous figure of the theatre world, whose portrayal of Sonia in Lehar's The Merry Widow in 1907 took London by storm."

7 Reasons Women's Clothing Sizes Make No Sense

Swimsuit Season Lies No. 3: Boys Don't Have Body Issues

I'd wager that around 99.9 percent of "swimsuit season" anxiety perpetuated by advertising and weight-loss articles are targeted toward women and girls (Men's Health subscribers, correct me if I'm wrong here). Why? Because guys don't have to flaunt it all in a bikini, so they have no reason to be body conscious, right?

The Perfect (Gap Teeth) Smile