Den brutna vithetens opacitet

Om femininitetens renhet och färgskala

  • Maria Lönn
Keywords: femininity, whiteness, beauty, modernity, temporality, race, racialization, makeup, fashion, Russia, Russian femininity, somatechnics


White femininity embodies a complex position. It manages to occupy the presumed empty, universal position, which is held to be racially unmarked, untouched, and clean, meanwhile whiteness is always already articulated from a somatechnical knowledge and practice. This article discusses how “natural” makeup acts as an (in)visible extension (and enabling) of white (un)clean Russian and Swedish femininity, and also as a way to establish boundaries between “natural” and “artificial” white bodies. Makeup, as an extension of the white femininity, sculptures temporal fantasies about the present and the past, as well as fantasies of modern and outmoded bodies. These kinds of separations allow for a structuring of asymmetric differences between white modern/“civilized” and non-modern/“non-civilized” femininities. The idea of natural/clean bodies (and their practice of modification) privileges some white femininities over others, through the way that artificial/“impure” expressions are associated with the part of whiteness that is “marked” by devalued class and race expressions. This infected forms of whiteness thus acts as the Other in relation to the clean subjectivity of whiteness and operates as a flexibility that keeps the radiance of whiteness intact and unchallenged. Based on this paradox the article wishes to show how white femininity should be understood in terms of a fantasm and construction, and it is as a fantasm the opportunity arises to reject various forms of femininities, meanwhile the fantasm have different components depending on where it is formulated.



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How to Cite
Lönn, M. (2018). Den brutna vithetens opacitet: Om femininitetens renhet och färgskala. Lambda Nordica, 21(1-2), 46-79. Retrieved from