17 November 2009

Talking Point: Can beauty and brains go hand in hand?

Anna Wintourugly betty

Ugly Betty, who’s gone from geek to sort-of chic, for her new role as editor at Mode, has taken a verbal beating on the blogosphere for ‘conforming’ to the expectations of the fashion industry and losing her true-self in the process.

We admit, when we first saw Betty’s Mode-Over we weren’t too sure about it either. I mean, we love her brace-poncho-spectacle combo (you just need to check out the latest issue of Grazia to see how ‘in’ specs are at the mo). But, on the other hand, why shouldn’t Betty better herself? Can’t beauty and brains go hand in hand? Just look at Anna Wintour – the most stylish woman in the world, bar none, who’s fearsomely smart to boot (she’d need to be, as the lynchpin of the $50billion fashion industry). Proof, looks and intellect aren’t mutually exclusive traits.

And we’re not the only ones who think so. UK schools are speaking out against fashionable girls being labelled as shallow. ‘Girls who care about their appearance are increasingly seen as betraying some feminist ideal,’ said Jill Berry, president of the Girl’s Schools Association, ‘I love new shoes but it doesn't make me shallow. Girls can have fun and also be taken seriously.’

Natalie Portman has a psychology degree from Harvard and speaks fluent Hebrew, French and Japanese, Kate Beckinsale studied French literature at Oxford and Jennifer Connelly, English at Yale. Let’s not focus on the Megan Fox's of the world – these fashionable women may have walk-in-wardrobes as large as the downstairs floor of your house, but they also have IQ’s to match.

- Amy Molloy


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