John Keats wrote the immortal line, "beauty is truth, truth beauty," but unfortunately the advertising industry doesn't read much poetry. Instead we're bombarded with images of beautiful men and women to sell everything from clothes to home appliances to hamburgers. The oversexualization of women is particularly damaging, as girls learn to aggressively pursue a beautiful appearance or be left behind. Even young men have begun to succumb to this pernicious lie, with extreme dieting and anorexia increasing in their formerly unaffected demographic. The documentary The Illusionists reveals the tricks used to catch our eyes and influence our buying habits, featuring some egregious and absurd examples to help us consumers break the habit. The Illusionists screens at 7 p.m. tonight at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard at DeBaliviere Avenue; www.mohistory.org) as part of the ongoing exhibition Little Black Dress. Admission is free, and Maryville University assistant professor Rebecca Dohrman will lead a discussion on the topic.
Price: free admission