Yoko Ono as a Beauty Icon

Bella Donna: Yoko Ono


This week's Bella Donna isn't someone who usually comes to mind when you think of an iconic beauty, but she certainly exemplifies the look and feel of the late '60s and '70s.

Despite the common perception of Ono as "the woman who broke up the Beatles," she was more than a glorified groupie. Born in 1933, she spent her childhood going back and forth between New York City and Japan, where she survived the 1945 bombing of Tokyo. After the war, her family returned to New York, where she soon developed a reputation for creating avant-garde artwork. It was at a gallery that she met Lennon, who she married in 1969. You know the rest: The Beatles split up, John and Yoko collaborated on artistic projects, had son Sean, and lived in New York until John was murdered in 1980. In the decades since, Ono has continued to create music and art.

Like other women of the era, Ono rarely wore makeup and wore her long hair in a middle part. But her natural look was just part of a bigger challenge of superficiality. With Lennon, she came up with the concept of bagism, an attempt to satirize prejudice; the concept involved hiding in a giant bag so that only their thoughts and actions (as opposed to appearance) would be judged. A little kooky? Sure. But if nothing else, you've gotta admit, Ono is an original.

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