Jump to content
Phantom707

[Politics of] Beauty Kritik

Recommended Posts

So, I'm about to become a senior in college, so this will be my last year in competitive debate ( :sob:). Anyways, I was talking with a teammate, and we thought that a beauty/aesthetics kritik could be the next big thing. However, I most likely will never have the opportunity to cut this, so I thought that other people could maybe consider it.

 

For instance, imagine that a person calls something "ugly". Why do we take that to be a negative attribute? Yes, of course, it implies that something is aesthetically unpleasing to the person making the statement, but why does that mean that it's necessarily "bad"? Going back to Socrates, beauty was almost synonymous with goodness/truth, so when Socrates was compared to a torpedo fish in looks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torpedo_fish), he was being called "bad" in a more fundamental way. Debate is supposed to be about the merits of the arguments, not about how aesthetically pleasing they are.

 

There are a lot of articles out there about how "beauty" serves as the basis for discrimination from, say, the workplace in considering candidates for a job. On the college topic last year (presidential war powers), there was some stirring of how we've only ever had "conventionally" attractive presidents, but to my knowledge, it never developed much further (it may have; I don't know)

 

One potential objection is that this concept is already included in another kritik, such as race or (dis)ableism. I would turn that. It's possible to argue that standardized conceptions of beauty serve as the basis of, say, racism and disableism because anyone who deviates from the "norm" is deemed ugly and thus bad. Even gender could fall into this category as one could argue that the male is set as the standard, and the female body is thus denigrated as ugly and thus stupid and otherwise bad. Speciesism as well may have literature regarding this (I haven't done much work myself).

 

Thoughts? Questions? I'd be happy to lend some assistance if possible if someone wants to start making this, but I don't know how much I would be able to help due to other obligations I have.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...we thought that a beauty/aesthetics kritik could be the next big thing.

This has actually taken some form before. Michigan AP read an aesthetics aff (I think). What I do know for sure, is that one of our teams read a beauty aff last year. Anyone interested should be able to check out Trinity RS wiki for cites and an idea of what this could look like.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This has actually taken some form before. Michigan AP read an aesthetics aff (I think). What I do know for sure, is that one of our teams read a beauty aff last year. Anyone interested should be able to check out Trinity RS wiki for cites and an idea of what this could look like.

 

 

 

Yeah, I had heard that some people somewhere had done something like this, but I didn't know that it was Trinity.

 

However, I was suggesting something more along the lines of a negative K. Unless I'm mistaken, that didn't happen (again, I may be wrong, and I welcome someone to correct me).

 

Like, the links to affs could range from the obvious rhetoric (calling something "ugly" or "disfigured") to something like how US hegemony serves to impose a particular set of standards of beauty and such.

 

The Trinity arguments seem like a great place for someone to start if they so chose, but there's definitely more literature out there (I do not mean to offend anyone from Trinity unless they want to defend that they found ALL literature related to this argument).

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I had heard that some people somewhere had done something like this, but I didn't know that it was Trinity.

 

However, I was suggesting something more along the lines of a negative K. Unless I'm mistaken, that didn't happen (again, I may be wrong, and I welcome someone to correct me).

 

Like, the links to affs could range from the obvious rhetoric (calling something "ugly" or "disfigured") to something like how Kantian hegemony serves to impose a particular set of standards of beauty and such.

 

The Trinity arguments seem like a great place for someone to start if they so chose, but there's definitely more literature out there (I do not mean to offend anyone from Trinity unless they want to defend that they found ALL literature related to this argument).

I think it would work better like that - IT STILL sounds a lot like Nietzsches (& Schopenhauers) critique of Kantian transcendental aesthetics, which are largely based on what Nietzsche calls "Christian life-negating aesthetics."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I had heard that some people somewhere had done something like this, but I didn't know that it was Trinity.

 

However, I was suggesting something more along the lines of a negative K. Unless I'm mistaken, that didn't happen (again, I may be wrong, and I welcome someone to correct me).

 

Like, the links to affs could range from the obvious rhetoric (calling something "ugly" or "disfigured") to something like how US hegemony serves to impose a particular set of standards of beauty and such.

 

The Trinity arguments seem like a great place for someone to start if they so chose, but there's definitely more literature out there (I do not mean to offend anyone from Trinity unless they want to defend that they found ALL literature related to this argument).

 

No offense taken! There's always research and a new theoretical horizon to be explored. The Trinity arguments were used against kritikal teams only, and an exploration into application to policy affs would be interesting. I remember Maggie (the 'S' in Trinity RS) found some literature talking about an aesthetic of policy making, presidential authority, heg, etc etc. I can ask her for cites to more policy oriented lit and report back.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dive into the gender literature. There's plenty of writing which talks about how aesthetic politics are used to police women's bodies in politics, and how women's beauty is used to signifyheir value. That gives you an independent impact (politics of beauty = gender subordination) and perhaps some link work too.

Edited by Snarf
  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like this argument, but the Aff I'm writing links to this very hard. There are two beasts fighting inside me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like this argument, but the Aff I'm writing links to this very hard. There are two beasts fighting inside me.

Switch side good

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...