Earlier today, I posted a link on Facebook, urging people to vote for my young blogospheric friend Christie Wilcox, who blogs about science at Observations of a Nerd, and is in the final round of a student blogging competition for a $10,000 scholarship, where she needs all the votes she can get because the runaway leader of the online poll right now is someone who blogs about “beauty”, but really about make-up! Seriously!! How can that be so much more popular than science?!
A friend then commented saying one of their nieces blogs about make-up, and surely there is a niche for everyone, right? I agree, there should be room for everyone (and in the blogosphere, indeed, there is!), and I suppose there is a bigger market for make-up than for science, especially for girls. At least that’s what the vote on this scholarship indicates right now in a sad popularity contest (but do vote for Christie, as she could put the money to good use). Nevertheless, as a father of young girls, and a mentor to mostly female graduate students in my lab, I can’t help but feel that surely there are worthier things for them to write about! If you really want to write about beauty, think about what that really means – and it ain’t make-up!
So, for my daughters, my students, my blogger friend seeking votes in this popularity contest, and for my friend’s niece who blogs about make-up: allow me to share some inspiration from Katie Makkai, articulating what it means to be bound by the word “Pretty” (and, oh, unlike many commenters on this video on YouTube, I have opted to share the unedited “profane” version – so be warned ye who may take offense at a “dirty” word):