I am grateful to Jean Kogok Bascom who pointed out that, as in so many areas of life – particularly as it pertains to women, Trollope got there first.
‘We’ve all waited through grocery lines staring blankly at the look-alike beauties on magazines. We’ve watched videos online about how pictures of actresses and models are Photoshopped to within a millimeter of truth. And we’ve certainly heard the (valid) complaints of mothers, gender studies academics, and pro-women folks everywhere about the dangers of presenting these false ideals of beauty and the significance of beauty to our young girls. But, of course, Our Author was ahead of us. In The Eustace Diamonds (1871), he writes:
“There arose at one time a school of art, which delighted to paint the human face as perfect in beauty; and from that time to this we are discontented unless every woman is drawn for us as a Venus, or, at least, a Madonna. I do not know that we have gained very much by this untrue portraiture, either in beauty or in art.” ‘