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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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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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 Jacobs
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I found humor, strength, answer to my questions, and more important, guidance with this book. If you are thinking about surgery, read this book first. It may help you really think about your decision and offer you more insight before entering into a irreversvible journey of cosmetic surgery. Although implantable procedures are technically reversible, the damage done to your body, as well as the stretching of your skin, is not reversible. She discusses the realities of surgery, pains, mistakes, malpractice and quite literally, the poisons of surgery - mentally and physically. Don't be fooled, she is quite unbiased in this subject entirely because she herself has received more than one procedures herself.
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. Some of these are successful (the eyelid surgery is cast that way), others have innocuous and humorous endings (she's satisfied with the liposuction until getting busted at the pool by an eight-year-old). But the Restylane treatment goes horribly wrong, and it's that event that brings with it talk of addiction and a reconsideration of the amount of risk she's taking on.
Back to the paperback/hardcover thing: Even Amazon is confused here: none of the hardcover reviews make it here to the paperback (that alone should give any publisher pause); and Amazon's "Better Together" pairing agent gets fooled into recommending that I buy the hardcover together with the paperback.