9. The Beauty Industry by Aldous Huxley
1. Reasons of Extravagant Attention towards Beauty
Q. No. 1: Why do women pay so much attention to the beauty of the body? OR Even the great depression could not beat the American woman’s habit of make-up. Explain with reference to “The Beauty Industry.”
Answer: Huxley’s essay is full of humour and irony. In the beginning, Huxley remarks ironically that in America only the beauty industry has remained unaffected by economic depression. Still, American women spend about 3 million pounds a week for their beautiful appearance which is almost the double of total tax of India. The reason is that people have become richer than they were in past. They pay more attention to beautify themselves. The poor also try to follow the rich blindly.
Secondly, it was a time when women who paid more attention to their physical appearance were thought to be morally corrupt. But now women think it is their privilege to pay attention to their physical beauty.
Thirdly, now women have realized that the body has its own rights. Religious ideas no longer trouble them. They are eager to dominate other women on the basis of their physical charm. That’s why, the fondness among women to decorate themselves is on the increase. (Words: 159)
2. Huxley’s Views about Beauty & Ugliness
Q. No.2: How is the campaign for physical beauty a success and a failure at the same time? OR What are Huxley’s views about beauty and ugliness? OR Why does Huxley compare a woman to proclaim jar?
Answer: In this essay, Huxley discusses that women’s campaign of beautifying themselves is a success as well as a failure. It can be called a success because it has given women a chance to maintain their youthful appearance to a greater age. In so far as this campaign is considered a failure, the only reason is that they use different beauty products to cultivate their physical appearance and look beautiful but they do not pay any attention to inward beauty. The writer further explains his idea with the example of a flower vase. He says that a woman should not be like a flower vase which is beautiful from the outside but dirty from the inside. Inwardly, she is contaminating herself with different vices. The writer says that he has seen many women who were beautiful outwardly but inwardly they were filled with some corruption. That’s why, the writer advises at the end of her essay that a woman should throw away all human vices from her heart. It is the only way with which she can become really beautiful. “The real beauty is inner beauty. It emerges from natural health and nobility of soul.” (Words: 192)
3. Use of Irony & Humour
Q. No. 3: Discuss irony and humour in “The beauty industry”.
Answer: Humour: Humour is something that creates entertainment and laughter, etc.
Irony: Irony is a way of saying or writing something about something or some person in which what is meant is opposite to what the words say.
Huxley’s essay is full of humour and irony. In the beginning, Huxley remarks ironically that in America only the beauty industry has remained unaffected by economic depression. Still, American women spend about 3 million pounds a week for their appearance which is almost the double of total tax of India. Similarly, Huxley says that American women use expensive beauty products to look more beautiful. He comments that they have succeeded in changing themselves. That’s why, very few old ladies are to be seen now. The writer hopes that in a few years, they will completely disappear. Then, Huxley humorously points out that in Europe the maintenance of the face can cost as much as a Rolls Royce can. But in the end, Huxley discusses that this habit of over-painting cannot make them beautiful. “The real beauty is inner beauty. It emerges from natural health and nobility of soul.” (Words: 185)