THE FUTURE OF BEAUTY

Mapping the emerging landscape of beauty


The authors of beauty’s future are an ever-expanding set of enthusiasts and influencers from across the world. These individuals are experimenting with strange ingredients, hacking their genomes, and turning to witchcraft to enhance their self-care practices—and encouraging others to do the same. Individuals are using beauty not only to shape better versions of themselves, but also the futures they hope to one day inhabit.

 
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In The Future of Beauty report, an interdisciplinary team at Idea Couture used anthropology and strategic foresight to map the emerging beauty landscape.

By combining the investigative skills of futurists with the deep knowledge of human behaviour cultivated by anthropologists, this report show not only what’s changing in the beauty landscape, but also what’s driving these changes and why. Below are three themes that explore the philosophies most likely to disrupt the beauty industry, and then bring this vision to life with stories that hint at what the future may hold.


The Beautyscape: A Framework

The framework below highlights three distinct ways humans use beauty to achieve specific outcomes in their lives. These themes exist along a continuum that extends from how individuals exert control over their bodies to how they connect with broader ideas and movements.

The first theme on the continuum, “Discipline the Body,” looks at the labor that goes into shaping one’s appearance to fit expected norms for the naturalized male and female body.

The second theme encompasses practices that “Augment the Body,” meaning that people are pushing the boundaries of traditional expectations of beauty, challenging identity norms and drawing on digital and virtual technology to do so.

Finally, “Transcend the Self” looks at the ways in which consumption choices around beauty are tied to larger social and emotional contexts.


Completed: 2018

Team: Laura Dempsey, Taylor Dennis, Maya Oczeretko, Jessie Shen, Olivia Shin, Kaianne Sie-Mah, Dr. Michelle Switzer 

Press: Idea Couture Event Animates The Future of Beauty

Full report available upon request.