08 Mayo 2017 15:18
When actress and model Cara Delevingne appeared on the red carpet of the Met Gala with her head shaved and spray-painted silver, the whole world became obsessed with her once more.
Her new hairstyle is for a film she is currently shooting, Life in a Year, in which she plays a woman with cancer. However, her new look has immediately become iconic – people are already praising and imitating it.
This doesn't only happen to Delevingne: when any big celebrity adopts an unusual look – one which breaks with the norm – that look suddenly acquires a status that it didn't have before. It's as if only someone with a social media account followed by millions can dignify a hairdo or pair of trousers – it can even redefine the concept of beauty.
Cara Delevingne took to Instagram to rebel against society's damaging obsession with beauty: 'It's exhausting to be told what beauty should look like. I am tired of society defining beauty for us. Strip away the clothes, wipe off the make up, cut off the hair. Remove all the material possessions. Who are we? How are we defining beauty? What do we see as beautiful?'
Cara's call for a re-evaluation of beauty and society's unrealistic ideals appears heartfelt. But it's hard to forget that before she became an actress, Cara Delevingne was one of the most sought-after models in the world, paraded and pampered by fashion's biggest brands, like Chanel, Oscar de la Renta and Victoria's Secret.
Delevingne defending 'real beauty' from her position as a privileged white woman, garbed in extravagantly expensive Swarovski clothing is slightly hard to swallow. Her 'breaking' with traditional beauty norms – her shaven head, her apparently dressed-down and informal photos – are not really revolutionary at all. They're really quite conservative. Cara knows she can do what she wants, because whatever she does will be considered fashionable.
Her Instagram bio encourages us to embrace our 'weirdness', but perhaps that's not so easy when you're a regular person. Delevingne's weirdness, her striking features and quirks are sponsored by huge brands. Her new image seems more like a rehearsed bid for the natural, androgynous look, rather than a plea for natural beauty.
She was never the weird, ugly duckling that she wants us to think she was. Fashion companies have made a lot of money from her beauty – beauty which is neither more, nor less, real than that of other women. Delevingne's lineage gives us some clues as to her privileged origins: as well as being Joan Collins's goddaughter, she is related to the British royal family.
Real beauty? 'Royal beauty' is closer to the mark.