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Beauty Junkies: In search of the thinnest thighs, perkiest breasts, smoothest faces, whitest teeth, and skinniest, most perfect toes in America Paperback – January 15, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; Reprint edition (January 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767914112
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767914116
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,808,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Kuczynski’s eye is keen, her wit sharp, and her perfectly sculpted eyebrows perennially arched.”

The New Republic

“Sharp, witty, observant and wise, Kuczynski delves into the cosmetic surgery subculture that threatens to become our dominant culture. Even those who would never consider Botox or scalpels will be transfixed by this fascinating exploration of the nexus of consumerism, narcissism and fear.”


“A disturbing portrait of contemporary American dreams of perfection and their pursuit at all costs.”

—Kathy Peiss, author of Hope in a Jar: The Making of America’s Beauty Culture

“If you are thinking about getting something lifted, tightened, extended, augmented, suctioned or abraded this is the book to read before walking into a plastic surgeon's office.”

—Arthur Caplan, Emanuel & Robert Hart Professor of Bioethics Chair, Department of Medical Ethics and Director Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania

“In this brilliant book, Alex Kuczynski takes a sharp and clear-eyed look at beauty lust run amok where the pursuit of beauty morphs into craving and addiction, and where an army of suppliers claim to deliver the goods with the speed and purity of unadulterated junk.”

—Nancy Etcoff, Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital, author of SURVIVAL OF THE PRETTIEST: THE SCIENCE OF BEAUTY

About the Author

ALEX KUCZYNSKI, a reporter for the New York Times for eight years, is now a columnist for the Styles section. She has written for the Times on such wide-ranging topics as Botox, Britney Spears, and Buddhism, and her work has also appeared in Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, Allure, the New York Times Book Review, and the New York Times Magazine, among others. She lives in New York City.

More About the Author

Born in Lima, Peru, Alex Kuczynski has written for The New York Times since 1997, where as a reporter she has covered subjects as wide-ranging as Botox, Buddhism and billionaires. Her work appears in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review and magazines like Harper's Bazaar and O: The Oprah Magazine. Her first book, Beauty Junkies, an expose of the cosmetic-surgery industry, received critical praise and was translated into ten languages. She is the mother of two children under the age of three and is currently at painstaking, grindingly slow work on her next book, a work of fiction. for updates.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Andy Orrock VINE VOICE on August 21, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read the paperback version of Alex Kuczynski's book, so I'll stick my review here. I don't understand why the publisher decided to muddle things up by re-launching the paperback as a new-ish piece of work with a brand new subtitle of "In Search of the Thinnest Thighs, Perkiest Breasts, Smoothest Faces, Whitest Teeth, and Skinniest, Most Perfect Toes in America." Not only is that a sales-flopping mouthful, it's also off-base. First, she hardly talks about toes. There's just a fleeting reference to them, no longer than a paragraph. Second, the book does a 360 degree look at the cosmetic surgery industry, not just the 'search' which sounds like it's purely a consumer-centric look. The subtitle of the hardcover was more spot-on: "Inside Our $15 Billion Obsession With Cosmetic Surgery." That's a better indication of what's inside.

On page 215 of the paperback, the author notes that "(t)he multiple eyes on the cover of this book are mine..." Well, not on my paperback, with its lame 'Barbie doll pieces in a surgery pan' photo that probably got scooped off of iStockPhoto. That text should have got changed for the paperback version. Plus, the cover concept of the hardcover version - 16 marked-up instances of the author's very attractive eye - is brilliant: it completely captures the spirit of the book, in which not only does Ms. Kuczynski report on the cosmetic industry, she participates in it. In fact, as her reporting unfolds, so too does her immersion as a patient...or, at least, her level of revelations. We're told of her eyelid surgery, botox treatments, regular dermabrasion sessions, liposuction and Restylane lip injections.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jones on November 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
A wonderful look at the plastic surgery industry and how it affects individuals who seek its miracles. The writer is gifted
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