Q: 1 Beauty industry calls annual expenses of one hundred and fifty six million pounds on make up ‘A Tidy Sum’ why?
Or What is beauty industry? What are the views of Huxley about the beauty industry?
In this essay, Huxley describes in an amusing manner that the women of America spend a huge amount of money to decorate their faces. According to an estimate, this expenditure is more than three million pounds a week and one hundred and fifty six million pounds on make up. It is ‘A Tidy Sum’. The author says that American women spend more money on their beautification than twice the revenue of India. The wrier says, “Even the great depression could not beat down American Women’s habit of make up.” The general economic depression had not affected the beauty industry. The production and sale of cosmetics continued as usual because American women spent as much as they used to do before depression. The magazines were full of advertisements of cosmetics.
As compared to the American woman, a European woman can do with a piece of soap. The craze to look beautiful on the part of an American woman has given birth to beauty industry.
Now the face creams, the exercises and the health motors and the skin foods are used to add to the physical charms. Then there are massage machines and belly-reducing belts to make them physically smart. Some ladies undergo surgical operations to get rid of wrinkles of old age. All such attempts have given rise to a vast beauty industry in America. 224
Q: 2 What are causes of development of beauty industry?
Or How does Beauty Industry come into being?
Or Why are women so fond of beautification?
Or Why do women spend so much money on cosmetics?
According to Huxley there are three factors responsible for the development of beauty industry.
First there is a general increase in prosperity. The rich have always paid more attention to their personal appearance. They are richer than they used to be in past. They have sufficient money to spend on cosmetics for the decoration of their faces. The beautification of bodies has become a popular practice.
Second there is a change in the status of women. The women are freer than in the past. They are freer to attend social functions. At the same time, they have the privilege to look more attractive. In the past, the decoration of face was considered a wicked thing. The spread of education has changed this trend. It is no longer considered a sign or moral corruption. Now beauty is considered a sign of good health. Ugliness is associated with some ailment.
Thirdly there is change in outlook and attitude. Now there is a general awareness among common people that body has also its rights. They believe that body is as important as soul for a balanced personality. They think that it is their duty to look after their face and body well so that they look healthy, strong and attractive. Religious restrictions no longer trouble them. 213
Q:3 How is the campaign for physical beauty a success and a failure at the same time?
Or The campaign for more physical beauty seems to be both a tremendous success and a lamentable failure. Discuss.
Huxley says that the campaign for more physical beauty seems to be both a tremendous success and a lamentable failure. He seems right in this contention. Women have a craze to look more beautiful with the help of artificial means. He has named it cult. The campaign is success to some an extent. Now more women retain their youthful appearance to a greater age than in the past. No old women are seen anywhere. Everywhere is youth and beauty. White hair, wrinkled faces, bent back, and hollow cheeks have become old fashioned. Skin-foods injections of paraffin-wax, facial surgery, mud-baths, and paint keep the women attractive and young. Mother and daughter cannot be distinguished today. In this way, the campaign seems to be a tremendous success.
But at the same time it also seems to be a lamentable failure. Women use cosmetics to retain their youthful appearance till later age. But in this cult of outer beautification they forget the beautification of inner self. It is a lamentable loss and failure. Real beauty is as much an affair of the inner as of the outerself. If the spirit is pious they will be pious. Otherwise spiritual emptiness or ugliness shows through their bodies. The writer says in a few years elderly people will become extinct and the values like regard, piety and goodness will also not be found in society. All the forms of ugliness and sins will be prevailing in society. 241
Q:4 Why and how does Huxley compare human body with a porcelain jar?
Huxley compares human body with a porcelain jar. The essay gives a clear outlook of the writer about the real beauty. The writer is of the view that real beauty is not what it appears outwardly. He deems it a folly on the part of women who paint their faces with beautiful creams.
Huxley says that real beauty has nothing to do with make up or cosmetics. It is very logical to compare the beauty of a woman with the beauty of a porcelain jar. A flower pot is beautiful outwardly but it may be empty from inside, or it may contain spiders. Its inner side has no importance but its outward side matters. The beauty of a porcelain jar depends on its shape, colour and its texture. But a woman is not a decoration piece; a woman is a living being. A beautiful woman must be beautiful from inside as well. Mere outward attraction, as is the case of porcelain jar, is not sufficient. The writer remarks that real beauty involves the beauty of mind and soul.
A woman cannot become beautiful and impressive unless she is attractive inwardly. A woman can be beautiful only when her body as well as soul is beautiful. An impartial study of the essay forces us to agree with the writer real beauty is as much an affair of the inner as of the outer self. The matter of woman beauty is entirely different from the beauty of a porcelain jar. 248
Q: 5 What are the various forms of ugliness?
Huxley refers to make-up as ‘Repellant’. The writer being a social reformer tries to bring out the ugly aspects of human nature with a view to reforming them. The writer says that ugliness is the psyological or spiritual ugliness. The real beauty is the beauty of soul. It is a satire on the extravagant habit of fashionable women who disfigure themselves by over painting their faces.
The writer says sullenness and hardness spoil so many pretty faces. This hardness is due to the contemporary habit of over painting. It ruins the natural beauty and grace of the faces. The writer gives many forms of ugliness and sins. The ugliness may be of stupidity, greed, malice and avarice. He says that these all forms of ugliness and sins are the negation of beauty. Huxley concludes with his remark: “All men and women will be beautiful only when the arrangements give to everyone of them, an opportunity completely and harmoniously.
The essay gives us a moral lesson. The writer tries to preach that in our efforts to look beautiful, we must not ignore the spiritual beauty of our souls. We should get rid of our inner ugliness if we really want to become beautiful and charming. 204
Q.6 Point out the examples of irony and humour in Huxley’s essay “The Beauty industry.” 2010(S)
The essay “The Beauty Industry” is written in an ironic and humorous style. Irony is a mode of expression in which the meanings are opposite to the words spoken. The essay is replete with ironic remarks. The writer’s words “The Most that the majority of European women can do is just to wash and hope for the best.” are ironic. At another place he says ironically, “White-washed and ruddled they seem to be wearing mask.” The word “Cult” which means extreme devotion to the religious system has been used ironically to convey the extreme devotion to beautification. He ironically says, “We demand justice for the body as well as soul.” The American women do not want to look virtuous by remaining simple.
Humour is the quality to make others laugh by pointing out the follies in society. He humorously says, this expenditure is more than three million pounds a week. One hundred and fifty six million pounds on make up is ‘A Tidy Sum’. His saying that American women spend more money on their beautification than twice the revenue of India is also humorous. He further says, “Even the great depression could not beat down American Women’s habit of make up.” The general economic depression had not affected the beauty industry. He says Europe is poor and face can cost as much in upkeep as a Rolls–Royce. He humorously says that old women are becoming rare and in a few years they will become extinct.
So we can say that he has criticized and satirized the cult of being beautiful in a mild ironic and humorous style with a moral purpose