The Beauty Myth

Naomi Wolf

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The Beauty Myth

The Beauty Myth In the struggle for women s equality there is one subject still shrouded in silence women s compulsive pursuit of beauty The myth of female beauty challenges every woman every day of her life The au

  • Title: The Beauty Myth
  • Author: Naomi Wolf
  • ISBN: 9780099861904
  • Page: 495
  • Format: Paperback
  • In the struggle for women s equality, there is one subject still shrouded in silence women s compulsive pursuit of beauty The myth of female beauty challenges every woman, every day of her life The author exposes the tyranny of the beauty myth through the ages and its oppressive function today.

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      Posted by:Naomi Wolf
      Published :2018-09-15T00:30:04+00:00

    One thought on “The Beauty Myth

    1. Crystal Starr Light on said:

      A seminal feminist work, "The Beauty Myth" digs into the ways that the pursuit of beauty has hampered feminism. How many women rush to pursue the next makeup line instead of equal pay for equal work. How many women are in a Catch-22 at work - you must be pretty and feminine, but not TOO pretty and feminine, else it's your fault for sexual harassment! At a time when many are saying there is no need for feminism, Wolf shows that sexism is still alive and well and how trying to adhere to the Perfec [...]

    2. Jessica on said:

      I highly recommend it to everyone, not just women. I think is is really important for men to read books like this, too. It is all about how the A) Our modern ideals of beauty are mostly driven by the advertising industry and not intrinsic cultural or biological preferences, and B) How our modern ideals of beauty put women at a disadvantage to men.I have a few disagreements with her, listed below, but I agree with her in general and it's a really good book to read, even if you are not going to ag [...]

    3. Lani on said:

      Jesus, I FINALLY finished this book UGH.I feel like I have been extremely negative about the last few books I've reviewed, so it's a shame that this is the other one I have left to write up. Because those other books were the ones I was reading to avoid this one!Naomi Wolf is exactly the reason I don't read much in the ways of feminist tracts. Blahblahblah male conspiracy blahblahblah. It's a shame because some of her points ARE valid and thought-provokingThe concept of the Beauty Myth hardly ne [...]

    4. Ian on said:

      A very popular book in the (relatively) modern feminism movement, I have mixed thoughts on this. It's a book I wanted to like but couldn't.Wolf's basic premise is that "beauty" is an artifical concept that is used systematically to oppress women primarily for political purposes. The book is replete with figures, statistics, citations (a total of 268), and quotes, which are distributed throughout six sections or topics: work, culture, religion, sex, hunger, and violence. In each section, Wolf att [...]

    5. Thomas on said:

      A great book about deconstructing the myth of beauty and recognizing how patriarchy emphasizes our appearances to harm us all. Published in 1990, The Beauty Myth came out ahead of its time, as Naomi Wolf rails against the thin ideal, how companies lure women into buying products by making them feel insecure about their bodies, ageism, and so much more. I feel glad that more and more people talk nowadays about the cruelty of beauty standards and how we can love ourselves for more than how we look [...]

    6. Alieda on said:

      By the time I had read twenty pages of The Beauty Myth, I realized that this is one of the most important books I will ever read. Admittedly, I was initially skeptical of Wolf's central thesis-- that the cultural "myth" of feminine beauty is a political and economic weapon used by the male-dominated world to undermine women's advancement in society-- but, by the time I had finished reading the first chapter, I had a changed perspective of the world. This is a book, in my opinion, that should be [...]

    7. Andrew on said:

      God dammit, this is such an important argument, why can't it be better presented? Wolf clearly takes her cue from Betty Friedan, but Friedan's argument was devastating, fully exposing the manifestations of a myth in our culture. Meanwhile, Naomi Wolf writes a hopelessly sloppy and superficial analysis that falls into one of the great pits of the literature of social change: assumption of conspiracy and/or a myth functioning as a conscious organism instead of a complex assemblage of assumptions, [...]

    8. El on said:

      I have always been wary of reading this book, even though I knew a lot would resonate with me. A part of me knew that a lot of it, however, would make me cringe. Like - oh, I don't know the overwrought hyperbolic statements and inaccurate history and data. I picked it up thinking maybe I could just get over some of those mistaken details.God, that was hard.All of that aside, the positive is that there is a lot of good information in this book. There is a problem in media (and social media, but t [...]

    9. Chris on said:

      I probably should not have tried reading Mercedes Lackey’s Fire Rose after reading this book. That novel, a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, has a woman as the central character. The woman, Rose, doesn’t realize how beautiful she is and looks down her nose at other women whom she deems to have looks but not brains. Rose has brains (well, she thinks she does) but doesn’t think that she has looks, surprising considering how much effort seems to be put into assuring the reader that despite [...]

    10. Ben Babcock on said:

      One of the nice things about writing reviews on a place like is the audience. I can pontificate about a book, and about subjects like feminism, for as long as I like, which is something I can’t do with my friends in person—at least, as I discovered empirically, not if I want to have friends in person. (Call me!) But you people, you crazy people, are different, because no one is forcing you to read my reviews, so I am going to assume that if you are still reading, it’s because you are gene [...]

    11. Tanja Berg on said:

      Although this book was released in 1991, it is still relevant today. The liberation of women in the sense of getting legal rights as human beings, such as voting rights and access to birth control, lead to a backlash. In order to disempower women, we were made to think we were ugly and inundated with images of what the perfect woman should look like and how to get there. Bulimia and anorexia are still rampant. A woman is still supposed to be wrinkle-free, and we're still supposed to spend inordi [...]

    12. Nabila Tabassum Chowdhury on said:

      বইটা মূলত আমেরিকা বা পাশ্চাত্যের দেশগুলোর জন্য বেশি প্রাসঙ্গিক, যেখানে মেয়েরা ঘর ছেড়ে এসে অন্য সব ক্ষেত্রে নিজের জায়গা করে নিচ্ছে এবং সেক্সুয়াল রেভল্যুশনের সুফল ভোগ করেছে। সেখানে বিউটি ম [...]

    13. Rachel on said:

      This is the second time I've read this book in a two month time period. It's just full of huge ideas. Yes, the author has an agenda, and yes, she comes across a little harsh at times. However, the overall message of this book has changed the way I'll look at my body forever: Love your body because YOU are in it--not the other way around! My belly fat and butt-fat-dimples don't scare me the way they used to. Fat is just a substance--one that our female bodies need to live, reproduce, and satisfy [...]

    14. Literary Ames Against GR Censorship on said:

      *Cross-posted on Wordpress and BookLikes.Naomi Wolf does not have a way with words. Dense, vague and ambiguous language; sweeping generalizations; and seeing a deeper meaning or intent where a simpler explanation is more likely and appropriate – which created a conspiratorial air that everyone, or just men, were doing everything they can to oppress women and repress their desires. Frustration had me skimming, and I found myself regularly defending men and questioning women’s complicit behavi [...]

    15. Emily on said:

      This book took me forever to get through! My favorite part was how it put into words things I’ve thought or felt but was unable to vocalize. However, it does feel a bit dated, it’s incredibly dense, and I thought some of her generalizations were a bit problematic. I definitely see why this is considered essential reading on the feminist bookshelf, but its density dulled the power of the message for me.

    16. Ana Rînceanu on said:

      This book provided me with a good second-hand understanding of the role beauty played in the 80s, but I wish I had read it earlier because if you have insight into how advertising works, most of this book will sound familiar. While I do think that the internet has changed how we see beauty, this book was still worth a read as an intro into advertising and body image as seen through a feminist lens.

    17. Katie Boyer on said:

      SO glad I read this despite how long it took me (I would read a chapter at a time over a few months basically). Each chapter is focused on a different topic (sex, religion, violence, hunger, etc.). I wish I had taken more notes or highlighted more while actually reading it. Though it was a bit heavy and dense for me at times, it has some really good info and explanations of feelings I have that I have trouble vocalizing or understanding. These problems are not just personal, they are cultural an [...]

    18. Julie Ehlers on said:

      As I have mentioned several times here on , I bought this book when it came out in paperback in 1992 and attempted to read it almost immediately. Unfortunately, The Beauty Myth lacked the snap, crackle & pop of Susan Faludi's similarly themed Backlash, which came out around the same time, and which I devoured immediately and then reread several times purely for entertainment value. Although Susan Faludi, like Naomi Wolf, was only in her early 30s, she was already a seasoned reporter and unde [...]

    19. Yellow Rose on said:

      According to the author beauty is a myth,I think the authors book is a myth. So much information and literature is published saying quite the contrary in fact that most women want to be beautiful and feminine no matter how much the feminists brainwash them. For scientific knowledge on the subject please read the "Survival of the Prettiest" By Nancy Etcoff.Wolf writes about Work and complains that women work so much that and that now there is a standard of beauty that she must look good for a job [...]

    20. Ceilidh on said:

      I like a lot of what Wolf says, even if she frequently says it in the most overwrought manner possible, but I'm not sure the book completely stands up on its own merit. It's a long book, much longer than the most recent feminist pieces I've read, but for all of Wolf's trumpeting and data quoting, she gets a little conspiratorial at times, then she'll just blame the patriarchy with no further explanation. It got tiring after a while. But it does discuss some important topics like our modern ideal [...]

    21. Adriana Scarpin on said:

      Décimo terceiro livro do clube do livro feminista da Emma WatsonOs livros escolhidos por Emma Watson nos últimos meses vem sendo exemplares, com O Conto da Aia e O Mito da Beleza, de livrinhos meia boca ela passou para tiro-porrada-e-bomba. Ainda bem, pois finalmente fui incitada a ler este clássico da Naomi Wolf que toda mulher REALMENTE deveria ler.O Mito da Beleza: neste primeiro capítulo a autora mostra que depois da segunda onda feminista que tirara a aura doméstica da mulher, o mercad [...]

    22. Ylenia on said:

      #NonFictionNovember 2016: IMPORTANT.✨3.25 stars✨We do not need to change our bodies, we need to change the rules.I had high hopes for this book.First of all, this is a condensed version of The Beauty Myth which, originally, was something like 380 pages. The version I read is the short and tiny one, barely 120 pages. The original version was also published in 1990: 26 years ago. Me being stupid I thought 1990 was like 6 years ago, because it feels like that, but it's actually like a quarter o [...]

    23. Maria on said:

      после каждой такой книги хочется водрузить флаг куда-нибудь - мол, я взошел и герой. впечатления, меж тем, противоречивые. с одной стороны, "миф о красоте", безусловно, произведение для феминистской риторики программное. бодипозитив растет оттуда, осмысление сексуальности, о [...]

    24. ayanami on said:

      Good arguments but presented really poorly. The first couple of chapters talk about the beauty myth like a conspiracy, as if there's a group of men holding meetings going "Hmm, how shall we make women feel inferior this time?" Naomi Wolf never clearly identifies "the oppressors" (which I infer from the text that it's a combination of various factors, including social hierarchy, the economy, and so on) though she does mention much later in the book that regular men are not into the thinness and b [...]

    25. Heather on said:

      Although it did make me think and it did make some good points, it has so many holes it's not even funny. Wolf focuses almost exclusively on the concerns of middle class white women. How can you talk about the suffering that beauty ideals can cause without talking about how white supremacist beauty ideals hurt women of colour? How can you talk about how beauty ideals affect romantic relationships without talking about queer women? How can you talk about gatekeeping based on meeting the beauty id [...]

    26. Sophie on said:

      A tough read! Wolf zooms out to dizzying heights, makes questionable jumps in logic and sweeping generalisations, and the book is badly in need of an update (the chapter on Culture particularly is almost obsolete).That said, looking at history from such height does lay bare patterns you otherwise can't see. And I recognized a lot of the beauty myth's insidious influence in my own life, and feel a little more able to deal with that now. I found the last chapter hopeful and helpful.Also, I've neve [...]

    27. Dariia Puhach on said:

      По суті, головний посил Вулф - те, як жінки, замість того, щоб нарівні конкурувати в професійній діяльності з чоловіками й включатися в політичну боротьбу, змушені повсякчас дбати про свою "красу". Причому остання - це не просто сексуальна привабливість жінки чи її доглянуті [...]

    28. Katya on said:

      Having mixed feelings for feminist manifestos seems to be the theme for me lately.As a 'feel good for yourself' read, The Beauty Myth definitely finds the mark. It points out why exactly women feel inadequate because their bodies are not good enough, and why that is not true. I was especially touched of her portrait of an aging woman, where the wrinkles and laugh lines aren't a stigma of shame, but, on the contrary, evidence of a full life. I think this is an important message any woman should c [...]

    29. David on said:

      It's a helluva book. First, some caveats: The book is 17 years old at the time of this reading. It did not correctly predict the future, and really, how could it be expected to? Not many of Naomi Wolf's prognostications of our dystopian nightmare future came true (but a fair number of trends have indeed increased). There is a great deal of hyperbole in this book, and also assumptions that the reader and those affected by the beauty myth are middle class and (even if unspoken) white.However, this [...]

    30. Ayala Levinger on said:

      damn wrote a long review and it is gone.I have read it a long time ago and also met Naomi and she signed my over-read marked all over copy! I recommend this book a lot, together withEmer O'tooleGirls Will Be Girls: Dressing Up, Playing Parts and Daring to Act Differently especially in a FB group I moderate for women (or people who are precieved as women) who don't remove body hair. I find this book helpful. it keep you focusing on your anger about lookist oppression.I only find the conclusion ch [...]

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