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Pricing Beauty: The Making of a Fashion Model Paperback – Unabridged, September 14, 2011
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"Mears has produced a fascinating study."--"Boston Globe/The Find"
"Mears gives voice to a group of women who are paid to be seen and not heard."--"Slate"
"Mears acknowledges that walking the runway can be a thrill unlike any other [but also] notes some of the industry's exploitative aspects."--"Stylelist"
"A nuanced, and deliciously complicated depiction of an industry."--"Tottenville Review"
"Mears's book represents an original, highly readable contribution to the field."--"Choice"
From the Inside Flap
Mears’s winning formula: combine deep inside knowledge of the fashion business, based on intensive observation, with useful sociological ideas, and present the result in readable, witty and incisive prose. I learned a lot and you will too.” Howard S. Becker, author of Art Worlds
Ashley Mears shows us beauty is not in the eyes of the beholder but in the complex ensemble of organizational imperatives, social networking, and critical timing. She reverses stereotypes of gender pay, sexuality, and the making of markets. It is a first-hand analysis that does not let up in its page-turning intelligence and unremitting clarity.” Harvey Molotch, Professor of Metropolitan Studies, New York University
"Pricing Beauty is a a courageous and provocative book. Mears takes us behind the curtain of high-stakes fashion. Drawing on her own experiences as a model, Mears uncovers the far less glamorous side of the industry, one that few of us will ever see. This is sociology at its finest: thoughtful analysis, great storytelling and an empathetic perspective on the lives of so many who pursue their dreams, only to find a few nightmares along the way. A must read for anyone interested in understanding how celebrity is made." Sudhir Venkatesh, author of Gang Leader for a Day
"This book is a pleasure to readan entertaining, well-written and sophisticated analysis. I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in the intersection of aesthetics, gender, and labor.” Debra Gimlin, author of Body Work
Top Customer Reviews
Part of the problem rests in the style of the study, focused as it is on interview. It is clear that the author is very bright, but she insists on forming her argument around quotes from industry professionals, very few of which are as sophisticated or insightful as she is. The result is chapters filled with inane statements and colloquialisms that can't possibly be viewed in an intellectual light. The 'like's and 'you know's can be humorous if viewed objectively, but certainly detract from an otherwise engaging survey.
As it is, then, it seems as though no real point is made, and one can refute the vague impressions that are made with mere questions. For instance, this reader would have liked to have seen a more robust investigation into the nature of beauty, and why certain models are chosen over others. Thanks to a myriad of quotes, we know that commercial models appeal to 'your mom' and editorial models look rather 'freakish', but we don't necessarily know the source of these standards. If nothing else, this investigation would help in the attempt to uncover some of the more provocative arguments made in the chapter on race and thinness.
Throughout, however, the author maintains a very academic tone, treating all of her subjects as if they were saying anything important. The result is something of a burlesque--perhaps more telling about the state of academia than anything else.Read more ›
Also, first reviewer, how is this a burlesque, or particularly "telling" of where academia is headed? I found this book to be a rather classic sociological rendering of a cultural ethnography. The author may have gone a bit far at certain points in her interpretation of the remarks of her interviewees, but the book as a whole is an informative, well-written ethnography that is a pleasure to read. Writing ethnographies for academics and the casual reader is a challenge, and Ms. Mears succeeded in my opinion.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ashley Mears is a great academic and eloquent master of English language. Pricing Beauty is a clear, concise and insightful guide to the world of modeling agencies. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Vladimir
The book examined all angles and brilliantly articulated what most in the fashion industry know but cannot communicate. Read morePublished on December 8, 2013 by Mira Mednik
I ordered this book for school and it came to me fast and the book was in perfect shape. I have absolutely no complaints.Published on September 11, 2013 by Stephanie
Ashley Mears does an outstanding job of detailing the hidden realities of modeling within the fashion industry. Read morePublished on July 21, 2013 by Jessica
This book gives you a behind the scenes look at the modeling industry. Thought it's certainly not the first book written on the subject, where it differs from the others is that it... Read morePublished on June 21, 2013 by N.M.
A good read, but for those interested in this industry only. I would not recommend it to someone who isn't.Published on May 28, 2013 by Georgia P.