Book Reviews of The Beauty Myth : How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women

The Beauty Myth : How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women
The Beauty Myth How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women
Author: Naomi Wolf
ISBN-13: 9780385423977
ISBN-10: 0385423977
Publication Date: 6/20/1992
Pages: 368
Rating:
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 52

4 stars, based on 52 ratings
Publisher: Anchor
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

12 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Beauty Myth : How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women on + 373 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
Halfway through the book I watched an interview with Naomi Wolf on PBS where she wore make-up! -- the very same "evil" she'd been condemning throughout this. After I finished reading, though, I understood.

I disagree with many of her arguments, but I found the book entertaining and informative. Personally, I love curling my hair and putting on make-up, but not because I've bought into the male-driven visual culture. I think she redeems herself at the end and gives a well-thought out conclusion. I also don't think it would hurt women to be aware of what she suggests.

However, coming from a knock-out like Naomi Wolf, it's a bit hard to swallow her idea that beauty shouldn't be that important to women. There's a reason she's classified as a "Do-Me Feminist."
reviewed The Beauty Myth : How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women on
Helpful Score: 5
This is an amazing, insightful book on how society over-emphasizes beauty to the point that young girls and women equate it with our personal value. This book helped me immensely with my own self worth.
reviewed The Beauty Myth : How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women on + 73 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This is such a powerful book. The facts and ideas not only haunt you as you go about your everyday life, but they also empower you to fight against the unfair standards that women today face. I think this is a must read for every woman.
reviewed The Beauty Myth : How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
An interesting read. I didn't agree with everything in this book, but I think it's worth reading if you have an interest in gender studies or the relationship between media and culture and self-image.
reviewed The Beauty Myth : How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a really powerful book that shows how, "Western women have escaped from one form of enslavement only to fall into another - the increasingly insidious 'beauty myth'"
reviewed The Beauty Myth : How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
this is a thought provoking book for women of all ages. particularly good for those of us raising girls to be assertive women.
reviewed The Beauty Myth : How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a really insightful and powerful book. The time that has passed since the book was written, has just magnified the truth within.

Wolf's assertion that we are controlled and belittled by the tyranny of these expectations are absolutely true!

I am not posting this book for swapping as I intent to reread it often to counter the messages we are constantly bombarded with.
reviewed The Beauty Myth : How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women on + 158 more book reviews
"_The Beauty Myth_ is a smart, angry, insightful book, and a clarion call to freedom. Every woman should read it." --Gloria Steinem
reviewed The Beauty Myth : How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women on + 468 more book reviews
"Powerful . . . No other work has . . .sho honestly depicted the confusion of accomplished women who feel emotionally and physically tortured by the need to look like movie stars." New York Times
reviewed The Beauty Myth : How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women on + 19 more book reviews
Wolf was, I believe, 29 years old when the book was published, and her youth does show. Botched statistics about eating disorders, attempts to use overly flowery language when a more direct approach would have been better, and repetitive sections aside, I found this book to be a thought provoking and intriguing read. It is a bit radical in places - she borders on calling women "the beauty class" (Women are "the sex class" anyone?) but does construct a good argument to go with it.

That women are judged on appearance first and substance second is nothing new. It wasn't new in 1991 either. But Wolf's idea that we can never be beautiful is a blow to the ego. We can't satisfy the beast, and I think this is true. The beauty culture has become an expression of misogyny although it does not have to be that way.

In some ways the Beauty Myth is an expression of a racist society as well. Although she did touch on the racial politics of plastic surgery, it was only a few sentences. There is a lot to explore about racism and the beauty myth or the "white standard of beauty."

She does a good job of predicting future trends. There is really nothing off limits anymore. Some more "extreme" things start as a matter of personal preference (trimming pubic hair) grow in popularity and reach a tipping point where a woman feels extreme pressure that she must conform (you can get a Brazilian wax anywhere these days, and many younger women feel it is an absolute must - the same way my grandmother would not go out without her slip or my mother without lipstick and mascara) independent of what her male partner thinks, the Beauty Myth can be so strong that she does not believe him anyway when he tells her he she is lovely just as she is. Other times something like vaginal rejuvenation was started to help those who had fistulas or other injuries during birth. Now it's the new facelift.

In her conclusion, Wolf says she thinks that soon this will spread to men and we will see higher rates of eating disorders and low self esteem due to poor body images in boys and men. The market is saturated with messages telling women they must buy more products and services because they are not good enough.
reviewed The Beauty Myth : How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women on + 907 more book reviews
The bestselling classic that redefined our view of the realtionship between beauty and female identity.
reviewed The Beauty Myth : How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women on + 3 more book reviews
There are some markings in this book from the previous reader--nothing that interferes with a good read.