The Beauty Academy of Kabul

Rated NR

A documentary about a beauty academy in, of all places, Kabul. Some Afghani, American and Australian women (any country that begins with an “A” was invited to send women) start up a beauty academy after the ouster of the Taliban. Women who had been oppressed by the brutal, monotheist government suddenly feel free to criticize each other’s hair and makeup! It’s a great triumph for Western liberalism. Some of the beauty-academy instructors are painfully condescending; some seem dimwitted but genuinely kind and interested in helping; some were clearly too smart to be so worried about eye shadow and I guess were there because they thought this was a positive step forward from Afghanistan’s previous medieval regime. It’s hard to deny that eliminating a totalitarian government and replacing it with a shallow love of beauty is progress, but I just found it kind of creepy.

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