The controversial, critically-acclaimed, bestselling book that kickstarted the third wave of feminism is now available with a new introduction and a new look.
In 1990, Naomi Wolf published The Beauty Myth - a book that catapulted Wolf into the international spotlight and onto bestseller lists everywhere (88 straight weeks on The Globe and Mail bestseller list). The effects it had on feminist discourse can still be felt today (and in some ways are even more relevant), and the author's new introduction will help put all the controversy, debate, and media it inspired in context for the next millennium.
About the Author
Naomi Wolf graduated from Yale in 1984 and won a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University. The Beauty Myth was published in 14 countries (over 66,000 copies sold in paperback in Canada to date) and became an instant bestseller. Wolf has appeared on many talk shows and speaks to college audiences across North America.
"Being a woman. . .makes you hungry, weak, and sick," says Wolf, a British scholar, journalist and poet who argues that the contemporary myth (meaning false ideal) of beauty - youthful, slender, flawless - was invented by a male power structure in order to prevent women from fulfilling the feminist ideals of the 70's. According to Wolf, a whole generation of women (by which she means white, educated, professional, childless, probably single), crippled by a male-generated myth of beauty that does not apply to them, are hungry (the woman who earns a $100,000 a year "has a bodily income of 1,000 calories a day"), sexually deprived, physically mutilated, and addicted to beauty rituals that leave them feeling anxious and unfulfilled. Along with masses of undifferentiated statistics (90% of women surveyed say they weigh too much), imaginative displacements (men having sexually enhancing cosmetic surgery), and perceptive analyses of cosmetic advertising (creams, shampoos, conditioners with sexual attributes substituting for failed relationships with men), Wolf, an immensely talented and resourceful writer, offers some controversial, certainly memorable analyses of contemporary female behavior: a college campus, for example, resembles "the Holocaust" - "a vast number of emaciated bodies starved not by nature but by men." This repeated shifting of responsibility to men for what women look like, or eat, or how they feel, Wolf says, is itself a denial of the autonomy that women as human beings should have, and that, as feminists, they seek to define only in an economic and political sphere. In spite of the anger, the generalization, the hortatory tone, the shifting from the implicative "you" to "we," this book should be read by men who are bewildered by women and by women who are too busy raising children, or earning a living, or creating a life to deal with this finally tangential and avoidable non-issue. Powerful, angry, and maybe influential. (Kirkus Reviews)
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 2nd November 1993
Publisher: Random House
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 20.0 x 13.2 x 2.4
Weight (kg): 0.26