The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women

The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women

by Naomi Wolf
     
 

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The controversial, critically-acclaimed, bestselling book that kickstarted the third wave of feminism is now available with a new introduction and a new look.

In 1990, Naomi Wolf published The Beauty Myth - a book that catapulted Wolf into the international spotlight and onto bestseller lists everywhere (88 straight weeks on The Globe and Mail…  See more details below

Overview

The controversial, critically-acclaimed, bestselling book that kickstarted the third wave of feminism is now available with a new introduction and a new look.

In 1990, Naomi Wolf published The Beauty Myth - a book that catapulted Wolf into the international spotlight and onto bestseller lists everywhere (88 straight weeks on The Globe and Mail bestseller list). The effects it had on feminist discourse can still be felt today (and in some ways are even more relevant), and the author's new introduction will help put all the controversy, debate, and media it inspired in context for the next millennium.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This valuable study, full of infuriating statistics and examples, documents societal pressure on women to conform to a standard form of beauty. Freelance journalist Wolf cites predominant images that negatively influence women--the wrinkle-free, unnaturally skinny fashion model in advertisements and the curvaceous female in pornography--and questions why women risk their health and endure pain through extreme dieting or plastic surgery to mirror these ideals. She points out that the quest for beauty is not unlike religious or cult behavior: every nuance in appearance is scrutinized by the godlike, watchful eyes of peers, temptation takes the form of food and salvation can be found in diet and beauty aids. Women are ``trained to see themselves as cheap imitations of fashion photographs'' and must learn to recognize and combat these internalized images. Wolf's thoroughly researched and convincing theories encourage rejection of unrealistic goals in favor of a positive self-image. (May)
Library Journal
Journalist and poet Wolf presents a provocative and persuasive account of the pervasiveness of the beauty ideal in all facets of Western culture, including work, sex, and religion. In showing how this myth works against women and how women sabotage themselves by their complicity with this impossible standard, she discusses at length two unfortunate consequences: the growth in the number of bulimic and anorexic women and the increasing popularity of cosmetic surgery. The facts are certainly stacked to prove her thesis but, for the most part, provide convincing evidence. In her final chapter, Wolf instructs women on how to crack the beauty myth. Recommended, especially for women's studies collections.-- Anne Twitchell, National Re search Council Lib., Washington, D.C.
Margo Jefferson
Beauty is such a strange thing--it's a fantasy, a pastime and a profession...we bring a daunting range of emotions and associations to it...The Beauty Myth shows us yet again how much we need new ways of seeing. -- The New York Times Books of the Century, May 19, 1991

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780394222226
Publisher:
Random House of Canada, Limited
Publication date:
06/27/1991

Meet the Author

Naomi Wolf graduated from Yale in 1984 and won a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University. The Beauty Myth was published in 14 countries (over 66,000 copies sold in paperback in Canada to date) and became an instant bestseller. Wolf has appeared on many talk shows and speaks to college audiences across North America.

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