A Year of Feminist Classics

Because they're better together :)

Introduction to The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf

Written in 1991, The Beauty Myth explores the issue of the ideal of a perfect beauty to which women are subjected and which women strive to achieve. Culture and society push certain images at women which makes women feel they have to look a certain way.

The book summary reads:

In today’s world, women have more power, legal recognition, and professional success than ever before. Alongside the evident progress of the women’s movement, however, writer and journalist Naomi Wolf is troubled by a different kind of social control, which, she argues, may prove just as restrictive as the traditional image of homemaker and wife. It’s the beauty myth, an obsession with physical perfection that traps the modern woman in an endless spiral of hope, self-consciousness, and self-hatred as she tries to fulfill society’s impossible definition of “the flawless beauty”.

I’ve heard numerous critiques that Wolf in this book deals only with women like her – i.e., moderate to well off white women – but I am hopeful going in to the book that I will be proven wrong. This will definitely be one angle though that I will explore in my discussion of the book. I’m looking forward to what others pull out of the book as well.

Wolf herself has made quite a name for herself recently with some of the things she has been in the news for (that Palin and Bachmann are feminists, even if they work against women’s rights in legislation), that the allegations of sexual assault against Assange are definitely all false, and more. Knowing these facts about her I will most likely be reading into her politics through the book as well.

Has anyone started the book yet? I apologize for getting the introduction post up so late, but am looking forward to what everyone thinks of the book!

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8 responses to “Introduction to The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf

  1. dangermom September 9, 2011 at 1:05 am

    Ooh, you should post links to news on her; I haven’t seen any of that. I have the book but haven’t started it yet! I think I’ve read it before, and while I’m definitely sympathetic to the message of the book, I may decide that she takes it too far.

  2. Emily Jane September 9, 2011 at 2:15 am

    Yeah, I’m actually so disgusted by the stuff she’s written the past few years that I’m not sure I can go back and read this without projecting that resentment onto it, but perhaps it’ll be worth the effort? I hope so!

  3. Melissa September 10, 2011 at 1:29 am

    I met Wolf a few years ago at a reading and was soooo excited. She’s a great speaker, she’s obviously really smart, and she’s intense. My friend and I left feeling inspired and ready to take on the world. It was a HUGE let down when she started saying all the crazy stuff. I’m going to read the book because it’s a classic and it’s been on my TBR pile for ages, but it won’t be the same. 😦

    • amymckie September 10, 2011 at 1:50 pm

      That is so fantastic Melissa, that she was such an inspiration. It is too bad we have to put was in there though isn’t it… It just won’t be the same, you are right!

  4. Shelley September 27, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Even sadder, with the current economic crash, the “divide” between people who can afford to look great on the job market or not has widened. Saddest time since the Great Depression….

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