What Works
Context Curious from What Works
Aesthetic Labor and the Politics of Beauty

Aesthetic Labor and the Politics of Beauty

I talk with Jessica DeFino, the writer behind "the beauty industry's least-favorite" newsletter, about the politics of beauty.

Context Curious features full-length conversations with the thinkers, practitioners, and owner-workers I feature on What Works.

For as much good stuff as I can include in an installment of What Works, there is always so much more on the cutting room floor. This is my chance to share that knowledge, observation, and experience with you—and give you another chance to dig into the work of people I've talked to over the last couple of years.

Today's episode is a conversation I had with Jessica DeFino for the Good Bodies episode of Self-Help, LLC in August 2022.

I was new to Jessica's work when I interviewed her, but as soon as I discovered her writing and reporting, I knew I wanted to talk with her. I found Jessica through an article on Vox she was featured in titled, "How the anti-aging industry turns you into a customer for life."

Jessica writes about beauty culture and how it intersects with capitalism, consumerism, gender, race, and many other cultural systems.

Today, I'm a premium subscriber of her Substack newsletter,

, which she proudly calls the "beauty industry's least-favorite newsletter."

Here are a few selections to introduce you to Jessica’s work once you’ve listened to our conversation:

Listen above, or read a transcript that’s been lightly edited for clarity below.

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What Works
Context Curious from What Works
For people who are curious about the beliefs, systems, and stories that shape the 21st-century economy and how we navigate it