Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Do the Poor Deserve Beauty?

I think they do--though it's become clear to me that not everyone agrees. From the debate about why Oprah's students at her Leadership Academy in South Africa should be offered plush accommodation and access to a beauty salon, to arguments over enrichment programs in juvenile detention facilities it's obvious it that lots of people feel pretty strongly that some people deserve good, pretty things and others (usually the poor or otherwise compromised) do not.

For those of us who are more willing to share all the good things of this world with everyone in it, including physical beauty, this article in the Times today will be of interest: an architect named Michael Maltzan, who build homes for the likes of Hollywood honcho Michael Ovitz, has dedicated some of his vision and money to building housing for the homeless in Los Angeles. Beautiful housing, to boot. Three cheers for social conscience! It's nice to see that despite the Bush administration's best efforts, there are some people with power out there who still have one.

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