In an Empire of Images, the End of a Fairy Tale

In the universe of mass culture, there is a world and a counterworld, in constant conversation with each other. One world is glossy. In posed fashion spreads and slick celebrity features, the glossy world feeds our eyes and focuses our desires on creamy skin, perfect hair, bodies that refuse awkwardness and age. It delights us like visual candy, but it also makes us sick with who we are and offers remedies that promise to close the gap — at a price.