Hey, You Should Totally Enter This Beauty Pageant Judged by Our Future Robot Overlords

But first, send some Vaseline to refugees and download the latest beauty-brand emoji app. Priorities, people.
Publish date:
January 6, 2016
vaseline, Diptyque, technology, charities, apps, emojis, Self-esteem, Beauty Pageants

It always bugs me when the top story on the local news broadcast is "IT'S COLD." Like, yeah, duh. Literally anything is more newsworthy than something I can find out by putting the back of my hand against a window.

But guys, I'm a hypocrite, because IT'S SO COLD. I couldn't think of any other way to start this week's beauty news than to complain about how winter actually finally feels like winter. Yesterday, Sable came to visit me at the office, and we took less-convenient trains home in order to use the weird World Trade Center concourse that makes you feel like you're inside a giant whale skeleton just so we could minimize walking outside.

Well, I'm not going to feel guilty for being a whiny baby about the weather, because according to this first real news nugget, we're all too hard on ourselves.

How many times have you criticized yourself today?

Weight Watchers, who is currently trying to recruit me by having Oprah speak directly to my limbic system every time a show I'm watching has a commercial break, conducted a survey in the UK that found women, on average, criticize themselves at least eight times a day.

At first, when I read that, I was like, Well, yeah, my humor tends to lean self-deprecating. But it's way deeper and more problematic than just poking fun at yourself. It's serious, overly critical thoughts — almost mantras — like "You're too fat" and "You're not photogenic enough."

That may seem like a strangely specific self-insult — the photogenic one — but the researchers think that social media plays a big part in why women are more critical of themselves now than they've ever been.

"Our research has shown that being unkind to ourselves has been an underlying theme for women for many years," Zoe Griffiths, Weight Watchers' head of public health, said in a statement, "but a set of very modern cultural conditions have increased the intensity of this unkindness which are hard to avoid."

You can enter the world's first beauty contest judged by robots

Speaking of very modern conditions and opportunities to feel not-photogenic-enough, a virtual pageant called Beauty.AI (as in "artificial intelligence") is currently seeking contestants to be judged by a robot jury. In order to determine the most beautiful men and women in various age groups, the robots — with names like RYNKL and Symmetry Master — will analyze entrants' "many [facial] features including symmetry, skin color, wrinkles and many other beauty, youthfulness and health parameters which affect our perception of human beauty."


You can, too! Download the Beauty.AI app on your phone and submit a makeup-free, glasses-free (and if you're a dude, beard-free) selfie before January 16th, and it'll put you in the system to be ranked among your peers.

"What matters in beauty is perception. Perception is how you and other people see you, and this perception is almost always biased. Still, healthy people look more attractive despite their age and nationality," explains a statement from Beauty.AI, which is inexplicably categorized as a concert venue on Facebook. "There were many attempts to do this in the past, but this time it will have a global impact because of the advances in deep learning, symbolic learning and massive semantic analysis."

That makes approximately zero sense, but I can't wait to see how it turns out!

Top hairstylists give their expert opinions on what the hell is going on with Donald Trump's hair

But personally, I despise him, so if you feel like reading about it over on the New York Post's website, be my guest.

Petroleum jelly is a welcome relief to Syrian refugees

You may think of Vaseline as an inexpensive multitasker ever-present in your medicine cabinet, but to Syrian refugees it means much more.

"Refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war are walking miles through hot deserts, often in open rubber sandals that leave their feet exposed. We saw many patients with deep, painful cracks in their skin, which made walking or working painful, and sometimes impossible," dermatologist Grace Bandow, MD, told Refinery29. "Thousands of Syrians are living in crowded tents and cooking over open flames and sadly, burns are commonplace. Vaseline provides protection and an emollient effect to the burns as they are healing."

Dr. Bandow and her colleague, Samer Jaber, MD, have been helping refugees in Jordan, and after they wrote about their experience in The Washington Post last year, the folks at Vaseline took notice — and action. Unilever launched the Vaseline Healing Project.

In partnership with Direct Relief, the project puts donations toward relief kits. In addition to the jars of Vaseline already donated by Unilever, they include simple but essential medical supplies like rubbing alcohol, gloves and a stethoscope.

Diptyque's free emoji app is the most affordable thing they'll ever make

At literally the exact moment that I was looking for another news item to include, Sable texted me:

The free app from the fanciest chandler of them all includes little charmingly sloppy graphics like a candle (duh), a shopping bag, a typewriter, and at least 11 different takes on hearts.

The only emoji Frencher than these is the actual French flag emoji.

  • Are you gonna enter the robot overlord beauty pageant?
  • Which beauty brand would you love to see make an emoji app?
  • Have you criticized yourself today? Say something really nice about yourself in the comments.