Americans spend more than five billion dollars a year on cosmetics. In such a culture, to be unattractive is to be at a disadvantage; to have a physical abnormality that impairs one's appearance is to be stigmatized and rejected. Destructive to adults, this rejection can be devastating to children.
In Beauty is the Beast, Ann Hill Beuf examines the stigmatization of children who deviate from American standards of acceptable physical appearance. Children impaired by birth defects, dermatological disorders, excessive obesity, and similar disorders are frequently regarded as inferior and often repulsive, and they suffer rejection by strangers, peers, the professionals who are supposed to help them, and their own families.
Using theory and methodology from sociology, anthropology, and psychology, as well as her own extensive interviews with children and their caretakers, Beuf analyzes both the effects of this stigmatization on children and the strategies they use to cope with it.
Beauty is the Beast will interest parents and professionals who work with appearance-impaired children, as well as scholars and graduate students in the fields of nursing, sociology, social work, and psychology.
About the Author
Ann Hill Beuf was Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of several books, including Biting Off the Bracelet, also published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.