Beauty Fades, Dumb Is Forever: The Making of a Happy Woman

Beauty Fades, Dumb Is Forever: The Making of a Happy Woman

4.1 7
by Judy Sheindlin, Judge Judy Sheindlin

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Judge Judy has heard enough.As a family court judge in New York City and now in her successful TV courtroom show, she has listened to thousands of excuses, complaints, and tales of woe from women of every background, and she's ready to rule. Women, she states with her trademark frankness, need to wise up, stop subjugating who they are, and stop making stupid


Judge Judy has heard enough.As a family court judge in New York City and now in her successful TV courtroom show, she has listened to thousands of excuses, complaints, and tales of woe from women of every background, and she's ready to rule. Women, she states with her trademark frankness, need to wise up, stop subjugating who they are, and stop making stupid decisions in the name of love. They hide their talents and opinions so they won't offend. They tiptoe through life letting others take credit for their ideas because they would rather be liked than respected. They spend their lives trying to please everyone but them-selves, and then they wonder why they feel so frustrated and unfulfilled.

Beauty Fades, Dumb Is Forever presents Judge Judy's ten hard and true lessons for happiness:

  1. Beauty fades, dumb is forever.
  2. Don't crawl when you can fly.
  3. What goes up must come down.
  4. Denial is a river in Egypt.
  5. Master the game—then play it.
  6. You're the trunk of the tree.
  7. You can't teach the bull to dance.
  8. Failure doesn't build character.
  9. Letting go is half the fun.
  10. You can be the hero of your own story.

Editorial Reviews

Entertainment Weekly
Judge Judy rules.
New York Daily News
Judge Judy takes on stupidity. Offering advice to women seeking to build a strong foundation for their lives, Steindlin combines her experiences as Family Court judge, wife and grandmother. She clues women in on how to keep their individuality and nourish their strengths.
New York Law Journal
This book resonates with the voice of Judge Sheindlin.... It is instructional, motivational and full of practical advice.... She empowers through the can-do energy.
[Sheindlin is] part Harry Truman, part Rhea Perlman: funny, quick-tempered, bluntly honest.
Family Cicle
The reigning queen of small-screen justice.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Autobiography and self-help collide in Sheindlin's latest book (after Don't Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It's Raining). Known to millions because of her TV program, Judge Judy, Sheindlin writes with the same theatrical no-nonsense directness that animates her on-air persona. Her theme is stated best in the title, which is just the first of many declarative chestnuts. Aimed at women trying to make it in male-dominated workplaces and traditional marriages, the book is broken into chapters that expound on basic principles illustrated with one or two examples from Sheindlin's long career (Revlon, Manhattan Family Court, network television). There's a slew of surprisingly personal recollections about her own marriages, husbands and divorces. The forthright self-revelations reveal an unusual person with, apparently, no conception of being eccentric. Conventional statements ("I believe that one determined, skilled person can do just about anything") have surprising conclusions: "That's why I keep a Hoover File, as in J. Edgar." Sheindlin unself-consciously goes on to describe how she used her Hoover File to ensure her reappointment to the bench. There are several such gems, all of which will be enjoyed by Judge Judy watchers. Sheindlin's voice comes through with amazing clarity: fans of her show will hear it as they read. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Those who have tuned into Judge Judy's TV broadcasts, even momentarily, will recognize her no-nonsense approach here. Her straightforward personality shines through her writing, making it a joy to read. Reminiscent of Laura Schlessinger's Ten Stupid Things Women Do To Mess Up Their Lives (LJ 10/15/97), Sheindlin's book doesn't pussyfoot around when explaining how women can create unhappiness in their own lives. Her main point is that a woman can't rely on a man to provide her with a life, nor should she even try. Although some readers may find Sheindlin's male bashing a little over the top--at one point she claims that "within the family structure, what men do best is breathe"--her hit-them-over-the-head approach makes this book well worth buying for most collections.--Pamela A. Matthews, Gettysburg Coll. Lib., PA
Kim Hubbard
Bottom line: no precedent-setting opinions here but plenty of yuks....If it worked for judge Judy -- it just might for you. -- People Magazine

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Read an Excerpt

Don't Crawl When You Can Fly

When I was ten years old, my family moved from an apartment into a private house, which was a pretty big deal in those days. The house was about a twenty-minute bus ride from the old neighborhood in which I had grown up, and where all my friends were still living. I'd left behind not only friends, but most of my extended family--my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, and my cousin Shirley, with whom I'd always been close.

Shirley and I were the same age, but you'd never have known it. She had developed early, and was sprouting breasts. I was as flat as a pancake. One Saturday, Shirley invited me back to the old neighborhood for a visit. I took the bus, and she met me at the bus stop. We walked to the high school playing field to meet some of Shirley's friends. On the way, she explained to me that if you wanted to be popular, if you wanted to have a boyfriend, you had to let a boy touch your breasts.

I had never done anything like this before--in part because I had nothing to touch. I was scared to death, but I let a boy touch my breasts that day--such as they were. And that was my introduction, at a very young age, to the way women defer to men.

This is the dirty little secret that women share and rarely talk about. You can be the president of a corporation, an astronaut, a neurosurgeon, a judge--it doesn't matter. All of us started from the same ground zero with the lesson:

If you want to get along in life, you'd better defer to men.

And in different ways, with different levels of success, we all spend our lives trying to push that boulder up the hill. I think there is a better way. In the workplace, I've seen women shrink in silence as a male coworker shared a brilliant idea that, moments before, she had told him in confidence. Does she stand up and say, "That's my idea!" God forbid. How would she be repaid? Perhaps she'd be castigated for not being a "team player," called a "bitch," or even worse, people would stop liking her. So, rather than defending her intellectual property, she defers, and lets her colleague take the credit.

There was a time in my professional life when I found myself in that very position. I had a lot of ideas and I was happy to share. My male colleague was just as happy to take the credit. I began to feel like a fool--especially when my colleague got a promotion and I didn't. I decided that I could run the risk of not being liked, but I couldn't stand living trapped in the body of an idiot. So I spoke up, and I'm still here. By the way, it felt terrific!

On the domestic front it was much the same. I did unpopular household chores rather than opening my mouth and creating friction. Very few people love doing the laundry, changing sheets, returning social phone calls, all of the little things that make up a life. I always handled them because it was expedient, my mate didn't want to be bothered, and it was a hell of a lot easier than dealing with a sourpuss. Then I stopped, demanded that we share the load, endured the expected grousing and pouting, and in the end--we're still together.

If you spend your life deferring to someone else, you lose yourself in service. Is that what you want out of your life? It's a high price to pay just to be liked.

Man Craziness

On my television program, Judge Judy, all the cases are real, and the parties agree to abide by my decisions. This is life in the nitty-gritty mundane. So many of the cases are about the petty, greedy, selfish, stupid things people do to one another. A large percentage of the cases are demonstrations of women who make outlandish choices for the sake of having a man. Cases in point:

A woman appears before me in court. Her new boyfriend ran up a $3,000 bill on her credit card. I ask, "How long had you been seeing each other before you gave him your credit card?"

"Two minutes and thirteen seconds, your honor."

Well, maybe I exaggerate, but what does it matter? A day, a week, a month--who in her right mind would hand over her credit card to a virtual stranger? She trusted him, she claims. That's a lie. She never trusted him, not deep down. Betrayal is the story of her life. Thanks to her choice of boyfriends, she's always in debt.

Then there's the gal who comes before me who has let a guy move into her house after knowing him for a week. She is a successful businesswoman with a good head on her shoulders--except for this. She describes how every night her new housemate would get duded up, borrow her car, and go out--on business! She was supportive and patient. She was understanding. He was trying to make it in the restaurant business. That's why all his meetings took place after midnight. And she gave him the keys, her gas card, whatever. I wasn't born yesterday. All I had to do was take one look at this guy and I could read him like a bad novel. He wasn't and never had been the least bit interested in this very good-looking, middle-aged woman, who moved him into her home because she thought they had a relationship and perhaps a future together. He had the audacity to stand in front of me and proclaim that he'd made it clear to her from the start that they were just friends. She supports him, lends him money to start his own business, gives him her fancy car to drive every night, because she is a charitable woman. He is the aggrieved party. "She wanted more. She knew the deal. She's trying to get back at me because I don't want her."

Beauty Fades, Dumb Is Forever. Copyright © by Judy Sheindlin. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Judge Judy Sheindlin established herself as a tough but fair judge in New York's family court. She is the presiding judge for Judge Judy, a nationally syndicated daily television show based on real court cases, and the author of two best-selling adult books and a children's book. She lives in New York City with her husband, Jerry, a New York Supreme Court Judge. She is the mother of five and a grandmother of four.

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Beauty Fades, Dumb Is Forever: The Making of a Happy Woman 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
2umestone More than 1 year ago
A non-fiction classic. After all, It couldn't be in print and in a book if it wasn't true. Everyone knows that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I love her book and her attitude. It does help most of the women how to be able to count on themselves. She is my role model. I dont care about negative review about her. She got the world in her own hands in all aspects of her life and her career.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked this book because most of the stuff Judge Judy talks about is so true!!! It is mainly common sense. I don't think she is envious at all. She knows what all women need to know they must have the means to rely on themselves. Things happen such as divorce, and you need to have money for you to get through this time or you will be in trouble. Also A man treats you different when you depend on him. When you have your own money you can say look I don't have to depend on you, I don't have to accept this treatment. These lessons many women find out the hard way. She is not bitter she is a realist. Life is not always a fairytale.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bravo Judge Judy!! She has the right answers to guide any woman through a bad situation. And the right inspiration to help you recover from one. She is truly dynamite!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Judge Judy reflects a bitter woman, as does her writing. Jealous of the life she never achieved, for she was never pretty enough, she bashes every beauty out there who relies on a man for emotional and financial support. Beauty fades Judge Judy, but envious is forver.