Essay on The Biopower of Beauty

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In “The Biopower of Beauty: Humanitarian Imperialism and Global Feminism in an Age of Terror,” Mimi Thi Nguyen argues that beauty as a measure of moral character functions to regulate an individual. Nguyen explains that beauty promises to be redemptive and bring an individual from the outside in relation with the world(362). For example, the United States through nongoverenmental orgainizations (NGO’s), have promoted beauty to Afghanistan women because it is a way if liberating them from an uncivilized barbaric society that oppresses them to hide their beauty through the veil. According to Kant, the veil is considered ugly because it hides the body, which is associated with the erotic. Kant claims that beauty made visible is true and …show more content…
Nguyen contends that individuals use beauty as an ethical and moral practice and choice that benefits those who encourage it. As a result, Nguyen asserts that individuals use beauty to encourage and distribute it as a source of knowledge in which individuals can improve their lives. Nguyen argues that the distribution of beauty knowledge to others who lack the knowledge and techniques benefits the interests of those that distribute it because it is a way of connecting individuals under a standard set of beauty norms(362). Nguyen claims that women adhere to the standard of beauty because morality is connected to their character and presentation of their bodies. Foucault theories of power are useful in explaining beauty as a source of power because beauty involves visible manipulation of the body in ways that adhere to the surveillance that is implemented by forces internal and external. Using Foucault, Nguyen explains that beauty is a technology of control that functions to regulate individuals through governmentailty and self- regulation. Nguyen argues that beauty is used as a source of power in order to regulate individuals under a set of standards. According to Nguyen, in the film, The Beauty Academy in Kabul, beauty functions to regulate Afghanistan women through the influence of western beauticians that serve as experts. In the article, Nguyen states that one NGO called, Beauty without Borders, opened the Kabul Beauty

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