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Damage Control: Women on the Therapists, Beauticians, and Trainers Who Navigate Their Bodies Paperback – June 12, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Any woman who's ever wondered how her pedicurist maintains her sanity rubbing strangers' feet all day will get a kick out of these essays and interviews concerning aestheticians, hairdressers, chiropractors and psychologists. Novelist Jennifer Belle contributes a short but touching piece about a masseuse who rekindled memories of her youthful body; editor Forrest writes of the sensitive artist who tattooed an Edward Gorey illustration on her back; and in a particularly memorable essay, curly-haired actress Minnie Driver confesses that as a child all she longed for was her sister's straight blond hair: "at fourteen, I genuinely believed that if I could look like her, everything would be better." The most worthwhile parts of this collection illustrate how the business of beauty has given so many people-especially immigrant women-work, self-esteem, and entry into the American middle class. Though some pieces have the feel of hastily composed journal entries, the honesty and good humor demonstrated throughout makes it an entertaining and thoughtful read.
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About the Author

Emma Forrest is the author of several novels and editor of the nonfiction essay collection "Damage Control". Raised in London, she now lives in Los Angeles, where she is a screenwriter.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Books (June 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061175358
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061175350
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 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: #1,735,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Editor Emma Forrest bravely tackles a new facet of feminism in Damage Control--women writing unabashedly about the primping and refining they undergo not just for themselves, but for their partners, their professions, and for acceptance in society as a whole. The book is divided into five sections--hair care, beauty, therapeutic/surgical modifications, massage, and waxing. It's a good undertaking with some remarkable reads but, unfortunately, Forrest has far less than one book's worth of quality material, and much of the text is just filler that loosely relates to the overall theme.

Frances Lia Block wrote the standout piece in the collection. In her seven-page essay (one of the longest in the book), she confesses to body image discomfort that let her to a therapist who encouraged plastic surgery. Block is a thin, delicate, pale woman who was markedly disfigured by her surgical and laser treatments. With a few years of hindsight and the maturity that comes with motherhood, Block learned to accept herself, and undergo minor treatments only to repair the most physically uncomfortable of her previous body modifications (sinus repair, for example). As a fan of the fantastical, spunky, beautiful worlds Block creates in her fiction, I was surprised to learn about her own lack of self-confidence. I was comforted knowing that she is just like the rest of us.

Other delightful essays include the tale of a freelance author (Samantha Dunn) who was forced to cut her beauty budget in lean times. Image is everything in Los Angeles, however, so when Dunn's stylist found out, she immediately arranged for the author to perform custodial duties in exchange for salon services.
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I love this book of essays. Especially the ones by Minnie Driver, Samantha Dunn and Rachel Resnick.
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