The Beauty Myth
By Naomi Wolf

This is such an important book. Wolf's idea is that women—mainly middle-class Western women—are oppressed and controlled by the imposition of beauty requirements in every aspect of our lives: the media, religion, the office. Women spend so much time plucking and grooming, trimming and styling to live up to this two-dimensional plastic ideal of beauty. All that time, Wolf argues, could go into something else. My mum gave this book to me when I was 21; I started thinking about it again recently because I have a daughter; you suddenly panic about the possibility of your child being subjected to a barrage of images promoting an ideal that doesn't exist in real life.


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