The current exhibition at the Annenberg Space for Photography, Beauty Culture, is a beautiful exploration of the lengths to which women will go, what they will sacrifice, for the pursuit of an impossible ideal.
The exhibit features a short documentary film, and the walls are lined with photographs of many forms of beauty, including, of course, famous models on fashion magazine covers. There is even a digital boutique where guests can take a picture of themselves and redesign their appearance.
Beauty in all its superficiality is a prominent theme in my novel. I finished the second draft, at about 315 pages, three days ago. I sent the draft to six readers and am eager for feedback. My mentor told me I should celebrate. I took Sunday off.
But it all seems so familiar. As when I finished the first draft. It’s as good as it can be, now. But then I will return to revising and there will be so much to change, to make it better. Will it ever end? I feel somewhat like the women of Beauty Culture chasing an unachievable perfection.