Kari Rosenfeld: And People Also Search For: Is Chloe Sevigny Pretty? The Construction, Cruelty, and Potential of Beauty


Thesis Advisor: Ghalya Saadawi 

November 2021


This thesis gives a material consideration of beauty; to consider what beauty is when it is not just an aesthetic category, but how it exists in us, through us, in culture, shifts through history, how we feel it, how we are taught what it is, and how it seems to do a lot we don’t desire for it to do but we also don’t want to give it up. By using interpersonal neurobiology and a specific model of attachment theory, this thesis looks at how, like attachment, beauty might be shaped by familiarity. It reviews critiques leveraged at beauty for its engagement with culture, politics, and class, to show how it is also constituted by culture, politics, and class. It seeks to go beyond and argue against a purely aesthetic and infallible conception of beauty in order to argue for a beauty we can hold with ambivalence; for a beauty that matters.