Gretchen Henderson (PhD '09) has recently published Ugliness: A Cultural History

Ugliness: A Cultural History

In a 1960 episode of The Twilight Zone, a character named Janet Tyler anxiously awaits the removal of her facial bandages. Describing herself as a “grotesque, ugly woman”, Tyler desperately wants to know if this, her 11th operation, has finally done the trick of transforming her from a “pitiful twisted lump of flesh” into something fit to be seen in public. The bandages come off and the doctors shrink back, horrified, into the shadows, shouting “No change! No change at all!”. Finally, Janet’s face is revealed to the camera: she is pure Hollywood blonde, part Doris Day, part Janet Leigh, encircled by medics who have the faces of diseased swine.