Poll: Is our idea of beauty changing?

As long as I can remember, my grandma has worn the Estee Lauder perfume Beautiful. And she is beautiful: she's got the same twinkling eyes at 86 that she had at 23, and the slightest whiff of that white floral is, for me, all about her spirited pluck and shameless flirting. Perfume is such an evocative part of figuring out what kind of woman we want to be (including, of course, the kind that doesn't wear perfume). We watched our moms dab an amber liquid behind her earlobes before a night out, and we sprayed Love's Baby Soft and Charlie on our wrists in the drugstore. Perfume, even more than clothes, is about individuality. Spray the same fragrance on three different women and you'll get three different scents. Which is exactly why the new perfume Beauty by Calvin Klein is so annoying: its concept of beauty seems so dang singular.

The ads feature gorgeous, stylish Diane Kruger wearing a drapey white gown, bathed in a clear, cool light with the big word "BEAUTY" running across her torso. The name of the perfume and the ad is so annoyingly on-the-nose. Yeah, we didn't miss those memos issued over the past century. We get it: beauty is white, thin, and blond. Is it just me or is this so generic and so unimaginative?

I don't know why I should somehow be disappointed. I mean, it's an advertisement. But ads are in some ways a benchmark of the public: our interests, our preferences, our desires. It bums me out to think of a young girl who looks like anyone other than Helen of Troy looking at this ad and thinking she'll never be considered an all-caps BEAUTY. (And we're not even touching the idea of a perfume called POWER coming out with Michelle Obama as the spokesperson). Maybe I had just fooled myself into thinking that our idea of beauty was expanding and getting kind of exciting. Much as I love Ms. Kruger, how cool would it have been if the spokesperson for such a monolithically-named fragrance was an unconventional beauty, a woman of color, a woman over 50? Are we still so single-minded about what beauty is?