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The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women Paperback – September 24, 2002
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From the Back Cover
The bestselling classic that redefined our view od the relationship between beauty and female identity.
In today's world, women have more power, legal recognition, and professional success than ever before. Alongside the evident progress of the women's movement, however, writer and journalist Naomi Wolf is troubled by a different kind of social control, which, she argues, may prove just as restrictive as the traditional image of homemaker and wife. It's the beauty myth, an obsession with physical perfection that traps the modern woman in an endless spiral of hope, self-consciousness, and self-hatred as she tries to fulfill society's impossible definition of "the flawless beauty."
About the Author
Naomi Wolf is the author of seven books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Beauty Myth, Promiscuities, Misconceptions, The End of America, and Give Me Liberty. She writes for the New Republic, Time, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Huffington Post, Al Jazeera, La Repubblica, and the Sunday Times (London), among many other publications. She lives with her family in New York City.
Top customer reviews
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My main criticism of the book is just that there are often times when it's insufficiently clear on whether she's speaking literally or metaphorically. Like, in the chapter titled "religion" I think an uncharitable person might interpret it as saying that beauty is literally a new religion whereas I'm pretty sure that's not actually what she means. For this reason I would prefer if anti-feminists didn't read this book because it would be easy for them to misinterpret it and take things out of context in ways that would make feminists seem crazy.
Anyway, to answer to some of the negative reviews- whether or not the author herself uses makeup and/or looks pretty in her promotion of the book is irrelevant. As she says in the book, people will dismiss women's arguments for her being "too pretty" or "too ugly" and there's no in between. If she completely neglected her appearance people would say that she just wrote the book because she's an ugly woman who's jealous of beautiful women. There's no way for her to look that would give her credibility in everyone's eyes, and judging arguments based on features of the author is an ad hominem anyway.
And no, it isn't so outdated as people are saying. I mean, some statistics and such are out of date, but the main points still stand. Just because modern feminists aren't talking about these things so much anymore doesn't mean the problem has been solved, it just means that they're distracted and/or the patriarchy is winning this battle. Those who think "everyone already knows all this already" are either naive or out of touch with today's teens and twenty-somethings. I'm a twenty-something and just about every day on facebook I'll see at least one of my friends saying something or other that promotes beauty culture. I'm not even in an especially image-conscious area. Internet feminists are all about "eyeliner sharp enough to kill a man" and if you dare to criticize the industry they say you're the one being misogynistic for judging things that some women like.