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In Your Face: The Culture of Beauty and You

In Your Face: The Culture of Beauty and You

4.0 1
by Shari Graydon, Karen Klassen (Illustrator), Katy Lemay (Illustrator)

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From Bedtime Fairy Tales and blockbuster movies to magazine advertisements and reality TV, we absorb the lesson early and often: beauty rules. What's more, the publicity machine of modern business has never before delivered so many messages glorifying the benefits of being beautiful. For teens that can mean fitting in and measuring up becomes an overpowering force.


From Bedtime Fairy Tales and blockbuster movies to magazine advertisements and reality TV, we absorb the lesson early and often: beauty rules. What's more, the publicity machine of modern business has never before delivered so many messages glorifying the benefits of being beautiful. For teens that can mean fitting in and measuring up becomes an overpowering force. But, as Shari Graydon points out, every day, in dozens of small ways, you can choose what messages seem right to you. By putting images of beauty into perspective, In Your Face encourages readers to stop feeling so controlled by it. Engrossing, enlightening, fun, and provocative, this is a no-nonsense guide to thinking critically about beauty culture.

Editorial Reviews

This excellent book written for teenagers explains the beauty myths believed, consciously or unconsciously, by most people in North America. Canadian professor and activist Graydon explains how the media create and exploit beauty images to sell products. She looks at how our image of beauty has changed historically, and how ideals of beauty, size and shape differ depending on gender, age and nationality. The fact that she writes from a North American point of view may stretch the reader's own viewpoint as well. Both genders will find this book interesting because it reveals the double standard of beauty and explains how men are now being exploited by the media in the same way as women traditionally have been. Everything to do with beauty standards, from fairy tales to beauty pageants, movie stars and the audience's expectations, is discussed. The layout of the book and the use of graphics and photos make it appealing to the YA audience, and the bibliography and index at the back of the book make it useful for school papers. This author knows what she is talking about and the content of the book will provide her YA readers with new insights. KLIATT Codes: JSA--Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2004, Annick Press, 176p. illus. bibliog. index., Ages 12 to adult.
—Nola Theiss
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up-Self-empowerment through personal choice is the message of this lively survey. Graydon examines our fascination with beauty and the people and forces that determine our views of what we see as beautiful. From fairy tales to television, mythology to Miss America, fashion to fine art, "beauty rules," she acknowledges, "and yet, ideas about what's `beautiful' change all the time." Written in a breezy, conversational style, the book looks at double standards for men and women and the resulting effects on careers and health. The author traces the concept throughout history and in various cultures, touching on corsets and foot-binding, plastic surgery, steroids, and cosmetics. Graydon exposes the fickle side of the beauty industry without unnecessary blaming. Each chapter ends with a list of "Image Reflections" to consider. Black-and-white photos and reproductions depict historically changing views. Thought-provoking cartoons open each chapter, and sidebars add punch with quotes and factoids. Extensive reference notes add to the book's research value, enhancing its broad appeal to teens dealing daily with their own place in the beauty culture. Helen Reynolds's "A Fashionable History of Costume" series (Raintree) features bright color photos of changing artifacts.-Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
BC Parent - Elizabeth Shaffer
[Review of previous edition:] An insightful examination into our consumer culture... clear and honest.
Ottawa Citizen - Elizabeth Payne
[Review of previous edition:] Eye-opening guide aimed at teens that encourages them to start thinking critically about the beauty industry.
Toronto Sun - Sandy Naiman
[Review of previous edition:] Does for young girls what Naomi Wolf's The Beauty Myth did for their mothers. Written in an upbeat engaging style... Puts into perspective the pervasive images of beauty pumped into our collective consciousness.
Canadian Materials - Julie Chychota
[Review of previous edition:] Essentially, In Your Face: The Culture of Beauty and You endorses the old adage that handsome is as handsome does--but readers won't mind, because it does it oh, so beautifully! In her down-to-earth manner, author Shari Graydon puts on a show-and-tell of beauty past and present. Over the course of eleven chapters, [she] models healthy skepticism of beauty products and procedures, so that readers, in turn, will begin to exercise their critical thinking skills with respect to the politics of beauty... about "putting beauty into perspective" so that readers may make informed decisions... While the author arrives at a predictable conclusion, that personality and attitude are of greater value than appearance, she skillfully avoids tired clichés and takes the reader on an exhilarating ride... The concerns driving this book have less to do with a reader's arrival at a final destination than they have to do with a reader's cognitive journey. Highly
Children's Literature - Kristin Harris
This book for preteen and teenage girls addresses the issues of gender and beauty in our culture. It does seem that things are easier for beautiful people. The concept of beauty is part of our lives from a very early age. Female beauty and helplessness dominate the media, especially for children. The Disney princess line sells $3 billion dollars worth of products each year. Fairy tales associate beauty with goodness and ugly with evil. This has a dramatic effect over a lifetime. Ideals of beauty have changed over the ages and differ widely even among contemporary cultures. It is entertaining to see examples of ideal beauty for the Greeks and Egyptians and how the most popular hairstyles have changed over time. The multi-million dollar beauty industry promotes the idea that there is always something that needs to be improved in a female’s appearance. How can these stereotypes be dismissed to reveal the real personal beauty that is more than skin-deep? The operative concept here is making choices that promote confidence and breaking free of media ideals. This is a very thoughtful look at gender roles and inequality, with lots of information and suggestions to help young women make healthy, constructive choices. Reviewer: Kristin Harris; Ages 11 to 16.

Product Details

Annick Press, Limited
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
7.30(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Shari Graydon is an award-winning writer, educator, and activist who has authored the bestselling Made You Look and edited an essay collection for adults, I Feel Great About My Hands. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

Karen Klassen is an illustrator and painter who has worked with a variety of editorial and advertising clients. She lives in Calgary, Alberta. Katy Lemay is a collage artist whose work has appeared in many newspapers and magazines. She lives in Quebec.

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In Your Face: The Culture of Beauty and You 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Heidi_G More than 1 year ago
A great book for middle and high school libraries.  Teens will be drawn to the bright colors and the format which they will quickly compare with that of a fashion magazine.  Page four lists what to expect from the book:  learning why people are fascinated by beauty, how fashion and the image of fitting in has changed over the years, how the "it" looks are determined and by whom, and just what it is that makes us think a certain way about fashion and other things.  And the book definitely delivers.  A text box reminds the reader that voluptuous women were once thought to be ideal as far as beauty; compare that to stick-thin models who in marketer's minds seems to be the ideal size in the 21st century.  Two pages discuss how beauty in one country or culture may mean large hips or pierced body parts while other cultures frown on these attributes as they desire other body types.  The author includes plenty of information about teen boys--mostly ABOUT boys and beauty, not particularly FOR boys.  Quotes from well-known people, mainly in the beauty or entertainment fields, are included.  This book won't stay on the shelf for long.