Critique of the article 'Myth of Narcissus: economic lifeblood of the catwalk' by Lia Darby.

Essay by TullyUniversity, Bachelor's April 2002

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'Myth of Narcissus: economic lifeblood of the catwalk' by Lia Darby is a poorly constructed and argued article. She uses vague and unreferenced examples, ('recently in a seaside town in France', 'in the many fashion magazines') and the progression of her ideas isn't clear and doesn't lead naturally to the conclusion she obviously wants us to draw.

The central premise of 'Myth of Narcissus: economic lifeblood of the catwalks' is that the ideal of beauty when taken to excess is destructive and that 'beauty is as beauty does': we shouldn't let our vanity and obsession with superficialities get in the way of doing worthwhile things. The author is claiming the moral to the myth of Narcissus: excessive vanity leads to self-destruction, is still relevant in our society today. Her central argument however does not become clear until the end of the article, instead she seems to be saying that we should put aside our 'trivial' anorexia and right some social wrongs.

The author begins by setting forth the moral of an old Greek myth as an unimpeachable truth and then goes on to state without any real evidence, or explanation as to why, that we are still excessively vain and to infer that this is responsible for world starvation, social wrongs, 'endless wars' and 'endless atrocities'. She poses questions which she does not answer and makes broad sweeping statements which she does not back up.

After giving us her version of the myth she goes on to ask 'In all the years... have we learnt anything from it?' She then goes on to explain why she believes we are still Narcissistic. The proofs she offers are the modelling industry, eating disorders, body building and women's magazines. Most of the authors proof for our excessive vanity and its destructiveness seems...