From Publishers Weekly
A podiatrist shortens toes so her clients can fit into Jimmy Choos, and a lawyer who's argued before the Supreme Court routinely lies to a succession of doctors to feed his Botox habit. As this depressing survey of a global beauty business rooted in self-hatred and a fear of aging demonstrates, an unfortunate few are literally dying to be pretty: the Nigerian first lady expired after liposuction and a tummy tuck, and Olivia Goldsmith, whose novels lampooned middle-aged women afraid to look their age, succumbed during a chin tuck. New York Times
reporter Kuczynski has attitude to spare as she outs Sarah Jessica Parker and Nicole Kidman as probable Botox users, and assesses the "traumatized" naked body of a litigator who's showing off the results of a total body lift after gastric-bypass surgery: "to be honest and brutal and bitchy, she doesn't look that great." A canny and witty guide to the excesses of a conformist society with more money than sense, Kuczynski discloses her own beauty addiction in the form of Botox, collagen derived from cadavers and fetal foreskin cells, liposuction, eyelid lifts and eventually a botched Restylane treatment that left her housebound for days with a disfigured lip.(Oct. 17)
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New York Times
reporter Kuczynski's -docu-mentary-like narrative on the U.S. cosmetic industry is at once an expose, a gripping series of related articles, and an autobiography. The author has produced harrowing tales of our denial of aging--for men and for women. She has done her homework many times over, interviewing patients and doctors, talking to company executives who support the industry (for instance, imaging systems and pharmaceuticals), attending trade shows, and researching past news. What emerges is information about every surgery under the knife, including gastric bypass, breast augmentation, and liposuction; all are painstakingly detailed in the author's engaging, hard-to-put down fashion. When she herself confesses to an abnormal need for Botox and other dermatological enhancements, and when her own lip replumping goes awry, it is a clear cry for Americans of all sizes and shapes and ages to seriously and continuously reexamine their sense of selves--via a process that's much more than skin deep. Barbara JacobsCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved