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JUL/AUG (2017) - The Beauty Myth > The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf

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message 1: by Mattie (new)

Mattie (maitreyeemayhem) | 26 comments Ordered mine for $4 on thriftbooks.com!!


message 2: by Ash (new)

Ash (goodreadscomashna_gulati2609) | 205 comments I feel so awful..I ordered 3 just yesterday..So now i'll have to wait another month to buy another book..:(


message 3: by Katie (new)

Katie | 2 comments Wonderful choice! I read part of it for a gender studies class. Can't wait to really delve into the whole book now!


message 4: by Gabby (new)

Gabby  Thorpe (diaryofabibliophagist) | 51 comments I have started it and already in some ways it seems it could be poignantly relevant in the extreme compared to when it was written 20 or so(?) years ago. Definitely looking forward to seeing what other people think because I'm barely at the end of the first chapter and I already have so many questions!


Erin (thatwritergirl) | 37 comments Keith wrote: "Gabby wrote: "I have started it and already in some ways it seems it could be poignantly relevant in the extreme compared to when it was written 20 or so(?) years ago. Definitely looking forward to..."

I agree. I also wish the statistics mentioned so far were updated. It seems the numbers are from the original 1991 version, so they are more than 20 years old. Updated numbers would be nice so we could get a more accurate view of just how low women get paid vs. men. The Work chapter specifically is eye opening about just how much more women have to put up with then men. I have yet to finish the book, so I'm really looking forward on what else the author has to say on the subject. I am definitely finding this a fascinating read so far.


message 6: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2388 comments I can't wait to get back to the university's library to borrow it - your comments make me very curious!


message 7: by Crystal (new)

Crystal | 3 comments Maitreyee wrote: "Ordered mine for $4 on thriftbooks.com!!"

Hey. Thanks, for saying where you got it from. I've had problems finding it in my library system, so I'll probably get mine from here.


message 8: by Pam (new)

Pam | 1091 comments Mod
Great choice OSS! This has been on my "To-Read" List for a while!

Thank you for the opportunity to read it with such amazing and insightful people. Also - thanks to Keith, Gabby, and Erin for the heads up on the numbers of then vs now.


message 9: by Ross (new)

Ross | 1444 comments This book gives an excellent opportunity for comparison what progress has been made and what areas still have to be addressed.

for those on OSS who like there links and statistics this is your moment :)


message 10: by Ross (new)

Ross | 1444 comments Its available on Amazon kindle app on android will pass on hardcopy when it arrives :)


message 11: by Pam (new)

Pam | 1091 comments Mod
Ross wrote: "for those on OSS who like there links and statistics this is your mo..."

Wanna start a topic thread Ross? :D


message 12: by Ross (new)

Ross | 1444 comments Good Idea Pam, this was one of the first feminist books to use data in such a way. In such arguments as oppression of women where it is self-evident do stats and tabulated data just obscure the facts that stand clearly purely evidence based.

This book as brought this to mind. The fact of oppression have not changed but the "numbers" to support it may have over the intervening years.


message 13: by Keri (new)

Keri Allen | 3 comments I work at a bookstore, ordered my own copy yesterday and plenty to have in stock for other "shared shelfies" in Ithaca, NY! 💚


message 14: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2388 comments Amazon Germany also has it in stock!
Audible, Kindle, Paperback, Hardcover.
Apparently there is an updated version from 2002. A German version named "Der Mythos Schönheit" is a translation from the original it seems, as it was published 1993. (And the German translation has 445 pages, that's LOTS!)


message 15: by Gerd (last edited Jul 07, 2017 02:21AM) (new)

Gerd | 428 comments With all I read about Naomi Wolf's stance on rape, I have a hard time to take the author very serious as a "feminist".

Given that one of the first things I stumbled over looking the book up on GR was this:

'In the wake of rape allegations against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, feminist Naomi Wolf publicly denied that if a man holds down and tries to sexually penetrate a woman who previously agreed to sex but changed her mind after he refused to wear a condom, he is a rapist. She also denied that penetrating a sleeping woman is rape. Wolf later went further, alleging that it is wrong to keep confidential the names of people who report that they've been raped. She reasoned it encourages false rape claims and that women should grow up and be treated as "moral adults" who stand by their allegations. When the two Assange accusers' names were released, they received death threats and experienced other forms of humiliation, the very reason names are publicly withheld now.'

She's for sure not a person I would feel easy to support in any way. :/


message 16: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2388 comments Gerd wrote: "With all I read about Naomi Wolf's stance on rape, I have a hard time to take the author very serious as a "feminist".

Given that one of the first things I stumbled over looking the book up on GR ..."


OH MY, how can she say that?!


message 17: by Gerd (last edited Jul 07, 2017 05:25AM) (new)

Gerd | 428 comments Keith wrote: "Do you know how old this quote is? (The Assange case seems to have been going on for years) I was just wondering if there was any follow-up/reversal of her position latterly.
..."


Seems to date back to the end of 2010.

I read up a bit more on it and it seems Wolf was stout defender of the "conspiracy against Assange" theory, defending him like he was a personal friend of hers.

But the rhetoric she used to show up the women as liars falls pretty close to victim shaming, with statements to the effect of "but they never said no to him" or in case of the alleged sleep attack "but she consented afterwards".


message 18: by Ross (last edited Jul 07, 2017 06:16AM) (new)

Ross | 1444 comments Our mandate is a feminist space to review works current and past. Emma's selections have not shied away from controversy nor should they in my view.

It could be argued that we have seen progress over the years if views such as those expressed by the author on rape are now a source of revulsion.

But a note of caution looking at the context she does say her view is that women in these circumstances are as capable as men and do not need special treatment. She put it very clumsily but again this was written nearly 30 years ago now. Not a justification but different times.

This would make for an amazing author interview. As I said before Wolf remains a controversial figure openly against Hilary in the election but then again women are individuals is that not a pillar of feminism.

I think Wolf's autobiography would be an excellent choice for our next book written in 2012. What has changed do we get to see a feminist evolution?


message 19: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2388 comments Ross wrote: "Our mandate is a feminist space to review works current and past. Emma's selections have nor shied away from controversy nor should they in my view.

It could be argued that we have seen progress o..."


There's an autobiography? I need to track that one down, maybe I can borrow it somewhere in the library.


Erin (thatwritergirl) | 37 comments Ross wrote: "Our mandate is a feminist space to review works current and past. Emma's selections have not shied away from controversy nor should they in my view.

It could be argued that we have seen progress o..."


I agree that this would make for a good author interview. From what I have read so far (I've just finished the religion chapter) I have gathered that she is quite feminist, but that is only from reading a little less than halfway through. I agree that her stance regarding rape is not what I would have expected, but you put it best when you said women are individuals. We can all have different opinions on issues. Doesn't make one any less than others. There are partake the book I do take issue with, especially in the religion chapter. She compares beauty rites with religious ideas and practices, and while I agree that a lot of it can be rigorous and demanding, she does make it seem as though all women fall into this trap and cannot think for themselves.

Not all women partake in these so called 'Beauty Rites.' Not all of them join the cult of weight watchers. Perhaps it is aimed at the average woman, but who exactly is that? Some of the ideas paints all women into the same corner, and I feel she does this in order to make her point. Her ideas are valid but the way she goes about expressing them are questionable in my mind. The idea that I was left with by the time I finished the chapter was that women were falling for all this false advertising and cultish behavior because the men in charge of the advertising and diet programs presented it in a way they could not turn down.

Again, I like the ideas she is talking about, but some of the methods and explanations fall a little flat. I have yet to finish the book, so maybe some of that will change as I get further into it.


message 21: by Noelani (new)

Noelani (noelanireads) | 1 comments So I'm not sure if this goes here and if it doesn't I'm really sorry, but I'm about half way through the first chapter and a lot of the things she says about beauty and gender roles reminded me of Ursula K. Le Guin's The Matter of Seggri. Le Guin's short story is a science fiction work that deals with gender reversal, mainly with what could happen if women had the dominant role in society (handling economics and positions of power) and men were expected to do nothing besides maintain their physical appearance, which determined their place and worth in society. It's an incredibly interesting story and I think it makes a lot of good points about how toxic a society that assigns one gender certain roles and values is, especially with regards to beauty and power. It's even more interesting because it's told from the viewpoint of a women from another world who's observing the culture on Seggri and is almost appalled by the treatment of men until one of the native women points out how similar it is to the world the observing women had described earlier.


message 22: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2388 comments Noelani wrote: "So I'm not sure if this goes here and if it doesn't I'm really sorry, but I'm about half way through the first chapter and a lot of the things she says about beauty and gender roles reminded me of ..."

Noelani, that sounds like a very good book!


message 23: by santerro (new)

santerro | 62 comments the beginning is a bit like a conspiracy theory
but from the clothes in working places it becomes interesting


message 24: by MaryJane (new)

MaryJane Rings These aren't exaggerations. These events and incidences did actually happen in the workplace. Workplaces, particularly business had always been controlled predominantly by men. They were now threatened by women who were equally and sometimes better qualified for management positions. So because of fear , they pushed back by determining what they felt was proper for how a woman looked and what she was to wear in the workplace. In many ways it was very intentionally demeaning. Of course as the book states, no restrictions were ever placed on men. Women were taken advantage of and often fired for no reason other than a certain boss didn't like her appearance or was looking for a reason to show his masculinity. The reason that the book is still pertinent today is that in many ways women are slipping back in their fight for equality. Many companies and corporations are still going to great lengths to discredit women and deny them their equal place in society. we cringe at the comments that the president of the US makes and his perception of women but he is only reflecting the world and culture that he lived in. He is proof of the accepted injustices that were done to women in the 70's,80's and 90's . We can't back slide. We are so much more than the stereotypical persona of housewife, home maker and mother. We have come so far and worked so hard for equality in jobs, and comparative wage scale. It appalls me that after so many eons of time women continue to have to fight for equality and to be an equal partner to men.


message 25: by MaryJane (last edited Jul 14, 2017 10:58AM) (new)

MaryJane Rings Keith, you are accurate i many of the comments you state. However, having lived through these eras of time, I can tell you the book is quite accurate in the way advertising and women working in the business world previously held by men is explained. These events are accurate. I think the beauty industry still controls the world of women and they are still using exercise, cute gym outfits, perky hairstyles, makeup and plastic surgery to compete for jobs and recognition in the workplace. Companies still prefer a pretty face. Age discrimination isn't supposed to happen but it does. I worked in healthcare for many years. i can state that hospitals particularly will take the younger nurses over the more experienced. The reason that i found the book still pertinent today was that women are losing ground from where we were 40 years ago. Our bodies are being discussed and legislation is being enacted by all male committees. Issues such as birth control and abortion are being discussed even though legislation was passed many years ago to give us our choice. Women are partners to men, not inferior. the issues brought up in the book still exist today. Many examples of discrimination against us have come up within the past few months by the US congress and current president. He is a product of the age of the 70's. People criticize him for his treatment of women but it is a fact that was how women were treated . He's only showing the effects of his generation. Personnel directors and employers still see a young pretty face over a woman's skill. what you say is true but few employers look beyond the exterior when hiring. Sad but true. This isn't true for male applicants. They are hired by skills, experiences and education.


message 26: by Alana (new)

Alana (alanasbooks) | 66 comments Keith wrote: "Just completed the 'Religion' section (about a third through) and I have some thoughts.

It is a very angry book. Don't get me wrong; the issues of body shaming, extreme dieting etc. are all very i..."


I think you stated this very well, Keith. I, reading it as a woman, have so far been struck by this as well. It feels very angry, and also very controlling, as you mentioned. It also has some overarching statements that make it sound like every man in the world is in this vast conspiracy to control every woman in the world, which simply isn't true. As a culture, subconsciously? Maybe, and I think that's what she's getting at. But a vast, deliberate conspiracy on behalf of all men in the world? I just don't buy it. And I also don't buy that as a woman I'm completely helpless in the face of this overwhelming law of beauty, as was mentioned. I don't think about all situations the same way as every other woman, because I am an individual, not only a woman. I'm hoping the rest of it feels a little more pointed and specific. I like when she does actually include statistics, but as several others have mentioned, the statistics are 20 years old, and I would be very curious to see a side by side comparison of statistics from when the book was published with today's numbers, to see how things have changed--if at all. Maybe they haven't changed, which would indeed be disappointing and sobering.


message 27: by Alana (new)

Alana (alanasbooks) | 66 comments Keith wrote: It’s difficult to get away from the fact that Naomi Wolf seems to talk about women as if they were all the same. If truth be told, the book concentrates on the issues white, middle-class cis women have with the beauty myth. But, to be fair, that’s who Naomi Wolf is and she doesn’t hide from the fact that the book discusses this grouping to the virtual exclusion of all others. Would it have been more disingenuous of her to talk about the effects, of race, class or sexual orientation etc., when she has no personal yardstick against which to measure the influence these issues on the beauty myth? "

I think this is a valid question to discuss: what effects DO race/culture/class etc have upon the so-called beauty myth and how does it vary around the world? Was she wrong not to discuss this, or right, because many of those are issues that she can't specifically relate to because of her own background?


message 28: by Alana (new)

Alana (alanasbooks) | 66 comments MaryJane wrote: "Keith, you are accurate i many of the comments you state. However, having lived through these eras of time, I can tell you the book is quite accurate in the way advertising and women working in the..."

Also very valid statements. I can't say I excuse the president for his views, because in this day and age he ought to be more educated than that, at his position. However, we are all to some degree partly a product of how we grew up, and the "values" of society in our youth hold a strong grip on us. I can speak to this for myself having grown up in a very religious household and having many views with which I still agree, but many that I don't, but still having those tinges of "everyone just needs to work hard to get ahead" in my heart, while I know full well that it just isn't that simple for persons who don't live with certain advantages.

And yes, the fact that workplace age discrimination still happens HAS to be something we continue to battle, because it isn't right, but it still happens. I've seen it with even with very good employers, who still take into account if a woman is in child-bearing years, or older and in their minds can't perform certain tasks, etc. It's not right to view people that way, but it still happens all the time.


message 29: by Alana (new)

Alana (alanasbooks) | 66 comments "Solidarity is hardest to find when women learn to see each other as beauties first. The myth urges women to believe that it's every woman for herself."

We've discussed this concept in other books, although not about beauty specifically. Is this statement accurate, that women tend to be our own worst enemies in not working together, and perpetuating the oppression by not working together, in fact attacking one another, in order to be the one who gets ahead? Do you see this often, in your own experiences? The most recent example I can remember is having a woman show me a meme on Facebook doing a comparison of Melania Trump and Hilary Clinton, the first in well-fitted dress, the other in a professional pantsuit. I don't remember what the caption said exactly, but the idea was that we'd rather see Melania Trump in the White House because she's better to look at. I was astonished to see a woman laughing at this picture, like it's all in good fun. That kind of view, that a woman's appearance, not anything about her qualifications, was more important in one of the most prominent roles in the U.S. (Not a comment for or against either of these women, but stating my being appalled that such a comparison was being used for or against ANY woman in the first place).


message 30: by MaryJane (new)

MaryJane Rings I think what you are saying about the Reagan presidency did have a lot to do with the back lash of feminism. The whole mode of the country changed. He was the persona of an earlier time. This pushed back at the head way made in the 70's. It seemed that we were coasting and not much progress was made. I think that women were just as interested but the media industry and the advertisers were trying to show women that their place was still in the female professions and as home makers. Women who were already in business professions were downsized to lesser positions and men for the most part were given the upper management jobs. Then another upheaval came in the 90's. I was able to made more money in the 90's and actually have a job with an access to a 401K for the first time. My daughters were college age by that time as well after having little advocacy of other women or feminist ideas while in HS.


message 31: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 194 comments Keith wrote: "Just completed the 'Religion' section (about a third through) and I have some thoughts.

It is a very angry book. Don't get me wrong; the issues of body shaming, extreme dieting etc. are all very i..."


You are right in that women are individuals and perfectly capable of thinking for themselves. I've only just finished reading the first part of the religion section so may not have gotten the same impression for that reason. How I have interpreted the aspects of "brainwashing" - so to speak - described isn't that women simply mindlessly follow media etc. especially today, most people have enough of mind to form their own opinions about things; however, what we see portrayed in the media and in pop culture has an impact on everyone - mostly on the subconscious level. In America, the majority of people are obese, yet we rarely see that body type featured as beautiful in movies, TV shows, magazines, etc. Yes, we have plus size models now, but those models are always on the smaller side of "plus size" and are still digitally altered to remove such imperfections as love handles and other lumps, for lack of a better word. We are still bombarded with this image of needing to look a certain way.

Personally, I have never subscribed to magazines, rarely look at magazines (the only magazine I've looked at in the past probably 5 years was one featuring nothing but posters, quotes, and fun facts from the new Beauty and the Beast movie). I rarely wear make up and didn't own any sort of business clothes until I started college and was attending field experiences for a teaching degree. Still, the Beauty Myth has effected my life. I have extremely low self esteem, always thinking I need to lose weight to look beautiful, or that I should wear more makeup or more feminine clothing. I know I'm not ugly, but I don't see myself as beautiful either.

In fact, I don't know of a single woman who can honestly say there is not a single thing about themselves that they wouldn't change to feel more beautiful. I believe that the reason for that can be brought back to the Beauty Myth.

Wolf describes the myth as effecting women on a conscious level, but I believe it is more subconscious. Though most women are aware that this is how society says we should look and are aware everyone is different and we can look however we want, there is still a subconscious impulse to fit in. In order to fit in, we must conform to that image, otherwise we stand out.

I'm not sure if I'm making sense, I started rambling a bit, so I'm sorry if that got confusing...

I'd like to point out something in the religious section that struck me as odd, though: Wolf says that society has painted women to be the beautiful sex. I don't think this is wrong, far from it. I just think it is odd because if you look at nature, the male is always the more beautiful to be able to attract attention - the attention of a mate, the attention of predators to protect mate and children, etc. So I find it odd we humans pin female humans to be the beautiful sex when, according to nature, it should be the males.


message 32: by Alyson (new)

Alyson Stone (alysonserenastone) | 149 comments I'm not far enough in to say for sure if I like it or not. I'm finding it to be a rather interesting book.


message 33: by Alana (new)

Alana (alanasbooks) | 66 comments Chapter 4: Religion - "What women look like is considered important because what we say is not."

While I'm finding a lot of Wolf's writing to be tedious and repetitive, THIS statement definitely is on point. Just watch any female newscaster to see it in action. She will get emails and comments based on what she looks like or her chosen outfit, but not a thing about something wise or intelligent she might have said.

Ashley wrote: "I don't know of a single woman who can honestly say there is not a single thing about themselves that they wouldn't change to feel more beautiful. I believe that the reason for that can be brought back to the Beauty Myth."

I would agree with this. We always find SOMEthing we dislike about ourselves, and feed into the lies at least a little, even if we know better. I don't know that this is limited to women, though: maybe society attacks us about beauty, but I'm sure men have their own insecurities in other areas, that society exploits, just as it does women.


message 34: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 194 comments Alana wrote: "I would agree with this. We always find SOMEthing we dislike about ourselves, and feed into the lies at least a little, even if we know better. I don't know that this is limited to women, though: maybe society attacks us about beauty, but I'm sure men have their own insecurities in other areas, that society exploits, just as it does women. "

I definitely think men have their insecurities as well. I don't know about everywhere, but in Montana, there's a cultural expectation on men to be self-reliant. This leads to males here bottling up emotions, not really learning how to communicate well, and refusing to seek help for anything. Through my years in college becoming a teacher, I've had to butt heads with a lot of guys to get them to admit they need help and to let me help them (and that's just with education stuff). It is almost impossible to get a guy in Montana to admit he needs help emotionally. It really isn't healthy...


message 35: by Ross (new)

Ross | 1444 comments I find the recurring theme of social conditioning in the book very interesting and how this was and still is radically different between the genders.

Where the author quotes Margaret Atwood's study where she asked Women and men what the most feared from each other; Women said being killed by men, Men said being laughed at by women.

While I am sure things have improved it is still enlightening how different we treat people. children based solely on there gender


message 36: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 194 comments Ross wrote: "While I am sure things have improved it is still enlightening how different we treat people. children based solely on there gender "

Something I find extremely interesting about this fact is that we start treating the genders differently even in the womb. Once we know the gender of the baby, girls in the womb are treated softer and more delicate while boys are treated rougher. Even just the way we start speaking to the unborn child. We subconsciously start viewing them based on gender.


message 37: by Alix (new)

Alix | 1 comments After birth these children basically have the idea that "this is for a boy" and that "this is for a girl" drilled in their head. I had a boy the other day who wanted to wear a dress and his sister said "no that's a girls dress." The parents, media, and society train these children into thinking that pink is for girls and blue is for boys. Children are like sponges and idea sticks with them


message 38: by Britt (new)

Britt | 123 comments Keith wrote: "It is a very angry book. Don't get me wrong; the issues of body shaming, extreme dieting etc. are all very important, but the tone is unremittingly down-beat with little light at the end of the tunnel (this may come later).

As predicted, more statistics are used to support the points, but some of the statements do seem to be just thrown in for effect.

One of the biggest problems for me, however, is the suggestion of the seeming inability of women to think for themselves, that they are totally influenced by media, peers, family etc. and they are not able to make their own decisions freely. It's very much along the lines of 'you are oppressed because I say you are; it matters not what you think is happening to you". Furthermore, it is suggested that this applies to every woman in every walk of life, as if they are an homogenous group. I'm a guy so I can't comment on how a woman may feel about this, but every woman I have ever met is totally different in outlook, personality or any other human trait you wish to name.

The book highlights very important issues, but the tone and the somewhat condescending attitude is spoiling it for me. "


I've only read the first two chapters and this is exactly how I feel!

The issues Naomi Wolf talks about in the book are all very real, but personnally I don't feel as oppressed by them as she makes us think every woman is every day of her life.

I find the tone very aggressive and the lack of footnotes to back up many of the statements (even the ones referring to research studies) really annoys me. I think this is going to be a hard one to get through, but I'm going to try and finish it (and not stop at 40% like I did with Women who Run With the Wolves O.o).


message 39: by santerro (new)

santerro | 62 comments the violence chapter was a real butchery
it can be seen sarcastic few time later
do the men really encourage the women to get fake breasts?


message 40: by MaryJane (new)

MaryJane Rings Yes. I know personally of 2 women who were pressured and persuaded to have breast implants. Their boyfriends/husbands would keep bringing up the fact that the women's breasts could be so much more desirable is they were larger. The cost was common knowledge and accepted. The cases I remember were back in the 90's when the original silicon was used. In one case years later, it became a disaster when the silicon leaked. I have had breast reconstruction due to a bilateral mastectomy from cancer. It isn't the same as what I had before. I do think this should be an option for women like me who had disease take away their natural breasts but to have augmentation for cosmetic reasons should be a decision that a woman makes herself after doing much research. No one should influence her decision or make her feel inadequate for her natural breasts.


message 41: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2388 comments MaryJane wrote: "No one should influence her decision or make her feel inadequate for her natural breasts. "

That's so important to remember.
You just made me happier with this.


message 42: by Alana (new)

Alana (alanasbooks) | 66 comments MaryJane wrote: "Yes. I know personally of 2 women who were pressured and persuaded to have breast implants. Their boyfriends/husbands would keep bringing up the fact that the women's breasts could be so much more ..."

Well said. I thankfully have never felt pressure in this way, but I can imagine how degrading it must be to have someone that you think loves you to pressure you into such a thing.

I agree with those who have said they are having trouble with this one. I'm finding it difficult to get through about more than 20 pages into it at a time. She keeps repeating herself, and the tone makes it sounds like every single woman every day all the time is feeling this horrendous weight of this oppression. I (thanks to many who have paved the way before me, I am sure!) rarely feel this in my every day life, only in occasional comments by probably well-meaning men. I don't feel ruled over by this Myth all the time, but I have noticed the pressures about beauty products at various times. I have to admit, I'll be glad once I'm done with this one.


message 43: by santerro (new)

santerro | 62 comments MaryJane wrote: "Yes. I know personally of 2 women who were pressured and persuaded to have breast implants. Their boyfriends/husbands would keep bringing up the fact that the women's breasts could be so much more ..."

that should be forbidden


message 44: by Anne (new)

Anne (topsyturvy83) I am about half way through it and can identify with so much of it!!
The pressure from the beauty industry is there all the time. It's just that we've become so used to it. It is now seen as 'normal'.
The pressure today for women is even worse than when she wrote the book. We need an updated version of it which shows the pressure that women are under to have cosmetic surgery.
I enjoy looking after my body and face and enjoy wearing make-up.It's fine if it's a choice but I have become aware of feeling that I will never be 'good enough' in the eyes of the beauty industry. I feel that I have read this book at the right time for me as I had started questioning my own enslavement to the beauty industry and the pressure to address my aging as much as possible. (I am 60.) I think as long as women are aware of what advertisers and the beauty business are doing and that their agenda is to make a profit then there is some hope for women.


message 45: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten (kirsten1479) santerro wrote: "MaryJane wrote: "Yes. I know personally of 2 women who were pressured and persuaded to have breast implants. Their boyfriends/husbands would keep bringing up the fact that the women's breasts could..."

A responsible surgeon wouldn't do it!


message 46: by Alana (new)

Alana (alanasbooks) | 66 comments Interesting quote in the Sex chapter: "The $1.5 million retail-sales industry depends on sexual estrangement between men and women, and is fueled by sexual dissatisfaction. Ads do not sell sex--that would be counterproductive, if it meant that heterosexual women and men turned to one another and were gratified. What they sell is sexual discontent."

I hadn't thought about it this way, but makes a lot of sense. The more satisfied you are with something, the less you need to make you happy. Very much like with treating an illness; a cured patient doesn't keep paying for more treatment, so it's better for the company to keep selling life-prolonging medication than to actually cure the cancer. So if we are dissatisfied sexually, we keep buying the products to "fix" it.


message 47: by Alyson (new)

Alyson Stone (alysonserenastone) | 149 comments Alana wrote: "Interesting quote in the Sex chapter: "The $1.5 million retail-sales industry depends on sexual estrangement between men and women, and is fueled by sexual dissatisfaction. Ads do not sell sex--tha..."

I also found that interesting as well.


message 48: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth I find that I have begun to notice that ads like that affect the ways a women is viewed. If she is showing cleavage or leg she wants to have sec with you. I found that was highlighted in chapter one: work. The number of women who were sexually assaulted based on what their wearing is insane! And sadly still a problem today.


message 49: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth I do find that I agree she has a target audience for this book. I see that she repeats herself with the message of society is trying to bring us down. There is things like body shame and photoshop that get in the way but the makeup thing doesn't bother me. I'm 15 wear in pretty lightly and I wear it because I like it not because I want to impress guys. And I think that thought some men few women who wear clothing that shows skin or put on makeup is a sign of "have sex with me" but I think it is personal expression and how you what to look. To show your personality, not to be an object or plaything.


message 50: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2388 comments Emma wrote: "Elizabeth wrote: "I do find that I agree she has a target audience for this book. I see that she repeats herself with the message of society is trying to bring us down. There is things like body sh..."

Make-up can be a very positive thing, I mean, it is a bit of a stereotype, but think about queer people. Many of them use make-up, and in a way that definitely doesn't bring them down.


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