What should I ask Ashley Mears?

From Wikipedia:

Ashley Mears is an American writer, sociologist, and former fashion model. She is currently an associate professor of sociology at Boston University. Mears is the author of Pricing Beauty: The Making of a Fashion Model, and is regularly quoted in media as an academic expert in the culture and economics of fashion.

I am also a big fan of her forthcoming book Very Important People: Status and Beauty in the Global Party Circuit, which is one of my favorite books of the year.

So what should I ask her?  Here is more about Ashley on Google.


The obvious: how are the status seekers and the status enhancers dealing with Covid-19

Virtue-signalling and supply-side economics have always had a tenuous relationship. Demand and quantity demanded are not the same thing.

You frequently remind us that CWT is the conversation that you want, not what we want.
Anyway, here goes:
Where she would put economists in her social hierarchy?
How many beautiful girls would it have taken for Milton Friedman to get into a club? Gene Fama? Krugman? Keynes?
A Nobel prize would count for something, I should think.
Hmmm...maybe there is something to this intersectionality stuff after all.....

Some people get used to unpaid underlings doing all the work while they skim the cream to enhance their status.

Social hierarchy in the age of the pandemic. That's an interesting topic. If status isn't measured by the price of the table at the most popular night club, then what? I just returned from Lowes, my first venture into the wild in at least a month. I was expecting a large store with few customers and lots of open space, but what I found was a large store packed with people low on the social hierarchy who spend their Sundays at Lowes. A few were wearing masks, but none made from a confederate flag as best as I could tell. I suppose it would be sacrilegious to deface a confederate flag. I felt out of place, with my seersucker shorts and polo shirt. Not the uniform of my friends at Lowes. I've got friends in low places. Where the whiskey drowns and the beer chases my blues away. And I'll be okay. I'm not big on social graces. Think I'll slip on down to the oasis.

For those who don't get my point, what surprised me was the optimism of the people at Lowes. Why were they buying all those building supplies and appliances and tools? Aren't they unemployed? I suppose it's because the lock-down is about to be lifted. It was like a celebration. Meanwhile, those at the top of the hierarchy are doing what, exactly? Fearful that the lock-down will be lifted and they will be exposed to risk?

Lockdown is a good time for home improvement projects.

If you were looking for hot women, you were not in the right place.

Note also that independent contractors, who are the sort of people who buy a lot of things at Lowes, are actually still working. Firms in most states can't hire people for construction, but the solo people are still working where I live, so long as they can find work. I picked up some home improvement supplies at my local hardware store yesterday, and it was filled with 20-40 something year-olds who were clearly buying supplies for contracting work.

I doubt any of these working Americans got a PPP loan. What they will remember in the Fall is that they suffered while the undeserving got handouts. And they resent it. One might try to explain that the so-called relief bill was designed by McConnell's Senate. They may not know who McConnell might be, but they do know who bailed out the undeserving: the elites. And the undeserving weren't at Lowes: they were at Walmart buying a new television with the government handout.

Your tuition dollars at work. It's stories like this that can remind you one of the bolshie stock clerk in the British comedy serial "Are You Being Served?", ever humming "The Red Flag". After some bit of pomposity from the witless sales supervisor, he sidles up to the man and mutters, "you realize, when we take over, you'll be the first one shot".

>former fashion model. She is currently an associate professor of sociology at Boston University.

"How are you dealing with the loss in status?"

Now that’s funny!

Aging brings many such status shocks.

But as we know, there is status and status. One’s attractiveness “score” might get lower over time but one’s income and being-a-stable provider can compensate.

Or one can be relatively poor like a good friend of mine, but because he’s frugal, slim, fit, well kempt, prefers books to drugs or social media, owns his own little house, etc., he’s the most eligible bachelor we know.

She seems to think the female beauties are exploited. Is the competition that intense? Or is the definition of beauty a tad stretched? Maybe she just means females.

Isn’t it taken as truistic that almost everyone is exploited in some manner? I mean, taken as truistic in academe these days?

What is her take on the innovation without copyrights in the fashion industry? What makes fashion different from , say, books in that respect?

It's been posted here before that young people have less sex & relationships than they did in the past. How does this square with her work on status, sex, and party culture? Is it shrinking, or is it becoming even more intense and exclusive with a smaller pool of "winners"?

Similarly, how has social media changed the global party circuit compared to, say, the 90's? Has social media status-seeking replaced the physical, in-person party culture, or complemented it?

Do looks matter in academia? What would it take for her to move to GMU? Where are her favourite places to eat - possibly those unfrequented by Economists, perhaps?

On Eric Weinstein's podcast Tyler talked about getting rid of tenure to be more fair to women academics. Maybe he could get into this more with Ashley Mears.

I once came across an Topps autographed draft pick card of a young Indian looking man. Curious I looked him up and after washing out in triple AAA he had gone back to school and become a professor of statistics. His personal website made no mention of his precious career. Now this gentleman got far further as a baseball player than this chick got as a model and yet he not only didn’t include that past in his elevator pitch, he didn’t even mention it at all. Interesting comparison.

Believe me, there is no former model who would ever hesitate to mention that she is a former model.

Former minor-league athlete? All that means is "I never learned anything in college, or perhaps even went.... but PLEASE HIRE ME."

For some it is simply assumed.

Wrong, everyone who’s done anything in sports mentions it in their resume, at least when they’re young. People like sports; it’s good for something to talk about in an interview. Also, people who have done well in sports generally have high social skills. And success there—and AAA baseball means you were a damn good baseball player—can be used as evidence for a hardworking, persevering, team player.

How high does GRE scores should be to be taken into consideration as a member of society.

How has her own beauty and glamour influenced her career? Does she find beauty-based biases in academia (either positive or negative)? Do velvet ropes magically open for her when she needs access to people or resources?

How would the lives of beautiful women be different if, when young (say, 17-18), they had the worldliness and knowledge of women who are 45?

I enjoy watching brass concertos on youtube. It's strikes me that many of the female brass soloists have above average physical attractiveness. How much do the physical attributes of musicians contribute to there professional success?

What are the politics of a fashion model? What does a company or an audience get from model beyond the obvious (like seeing how a dress might look like, and it is beautiful etc)

In the not so distant future when scientific advancements allow prospective parents to chose their child’s genes, will most gravitate towards a singular standard of beauty or variation? Will uniqueness or unusual characteristics become more or less valuable?

What fashion item is the most likely candidate to dethrone the Birken bag as most coveted?

On balance, are hot people more or less intelligent than than non-hot or normal looking people? Zoolander jokes aside, are there legitimate challenges to being highly physically attractive in the modern world?

How tall are you?

Height pretty much seems to be a requirement to be a fashion model, is that true?

Young women are noticeably wearing more make up and are generally making more of an effort to look hotter than say 20 years ago. Does she agree? Possible reasons?

How is fashion for men established?

I’ve never felt a man enhanced his status by being with a beautiful woman, unless he also was pretty good looking. The normal reaction is “what the f is she doing with him?” There’s been a number of SNL skits based on this very human reaction. So why is the jet set party scene reaction different?

Why does the Big Three (Miss World, Miss Universe, Miss something-else-I-forget) always seem to go to the Philippines or Venezuela? Could the fact that these two countries prize beauty queens influence the judges? (easy question, and it's yes). Also if she thinks mixed race is more attractive than "pure" ethnic girls for fashion (another easy question with an obvious answer). Also if she's ever heard of the chess player, politician and former fashion model Carmen Kass.

Why is the word “bodies” so on trend within the sociology world and it’s attenuate derivations-millenial SJW-woke media.

Also what do you think the average GRE and IQ score is of the average sociologist? Should we view them as higher or lower status than epidemiologists?

Woke media likes defamiliarization as a rhetorical technique. They are very sensitive to the subtle nuances of language in part because they subscribe to a version of Sapir-Whorf.

I am curious if Mears has thoughts about K-pop, South Korean fashion, and plastic surgery. And more general differences East vs. West in this regard.

If narcissistic personality disorder was magically removed from the earth, would the private club industry survive?

Where do you shop for clothes? What factors influenced that decision?

What would her model infer about the bouncer to heaven? Which qualities would be under or over valued for admission through the pearly gates?

She has studied women and "bodily capital" and it seems most of an individual's introduction to this is second person observation. In her opinion, should young woman get more direct education on the topic?

Square the circle on your worlds of a gender-equality favoring academia with the tail-end realms of high fashion and elite nightlife

Should beauty and other physical gifts be taxed?

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