Virginia Postrel on Glamour


I am a very much anti-glamour person. People who know me well, they can swear by the statement. Besides, I have a dead caterpillar between my nose and upper lips (by name of mustache), I am no-way qualified to talk about Glamour. Seriously, I am not interested either. But…

In a recent TED talk, cultural critic Virginia Postrel muses on the true meaning, and the powerful uses, of glamour – which she defines as any calculated, carefully polished image designed to impress and persuade.

Virginia Postrel
Virginia Postrel

I must say, she has a very interesting way to look at glamour indeed! She argued, not only Merlin Monroe and racing cars are glamourous, but geekery and steel mills can be glamourous too.

Virginia Postrel looks at culture through the lens of economics, and vice versa — looking for the hidden actors and attitudes that drive us to make the choices we do. She writes frequently for the Atlantic and Forbes, and is the author of several books, including The Substance of Style and The Future and Its Enemies.

Her next book will be about glamour; she’s exploring the topic on the witty blog Deep Glamour. Her own blog, frequently updated and fascinatingly wide-ranging, is the Dynamist.

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Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty, originally uploaded by SoulSoup.
Tai O fishing Village, Hong Kong. Where the houses are built on stilts over the river and its narrow lanes are filled with shops selling fish and other day-to-day items. The citizens here are mainly the Tanka people who are descendants of Hong Kong’s first settlers.


Shattered Still Life

Martin Klimas takes ’still life’ pictures of ceramic figures, taken as they’re being destroyed! From The Morning Life

Martin Klimas destroys a lot of clay to make his art. Combining the silence of Eadweard Muybridge’s horse pictures with the association-rich composition of a still life, Klimas breaks recognizable objects so they become something else, and stops us just at the moment of transformation.


The aspect of destroying is not the most important one in my work. Let’s say it is a catalyst to unleash and study this transformation. The hardest part of my work is to smash so many figurines until I find one that truly is showing me something new. I am in that sense a sculptor, but I have only a 5000th of a second to build my sculpture.

Can shattered real-life be an art-form too?