Beauty Junkies

Inside Our $15 Billion Obsession With Cosmetic Surgery

Author: Alex Kuczynski

Publisher: Harmony

ISBN: 9780385515092

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 7910

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A star writer for the New York Times Styles section captures the follies, frauds, and fanaticism that fuel the American pursuit of youth and beauty in a wickedly revealing excursion into the burgeoning business of cosmetic enhancement. Americans are aging faster and getting fatter than any other population on the planet. At the same time, our popular notions of perfect beauty have become so strict it seems even Barbie wouldn’t have a chance of making it into the local beauty pageant. Aging may be a natural fact of life, but for a growing number of Americans its hallmarks—wrinkles, love handles, jiggling flesh—are seen as obstacles to be conquered on the path to lasting, flawless beauty. In Beauty Junkies Alex Kuczynski, whose sly wit and fearless reporting in the Times has won her fans across the country, delivers a fresh and irresistible look at America's increasingly desperate pursuit of ultimate beauty by any means necessary. From a group of high-maintenance New York City women who devote themselves to preserving their looks twenty-four hours a day, to a “surgery safari” in South Africa complete with “after” photographs of magically rejuvenated patients posing with wild animals, to a podiatrist's office in Manhattan where a “foot face-lift” provides women with the right fit for their $700 Jimmy Choos, Kuczynski portrays the all-American quest for self-transformation in all its extremes. In New York, lawyers become Botox junkies in an effort to remain poker-faced. In Los Angeles, women of an uncertain age nip and tuck their most private areas, so that every inch of their bodies is as taut as their lifted faces. Across the country, young women graduating from high school receive gifts of breast implants – from their parents. As medicine and technology stretch the boundaries of biology, Kuczynski asks whether cosmetic surgery might even be part of human evolution, a kind of cosmetic survival of the fittest – or firmest? With incomparable portraits of obsessive patients and the equally obsessed doctors who cater to their dreams, Beauty Junkies examines the hype, the hope, and the questionable ethics surrounding the advent of each new miraculous technique. Lively and entertaining, thought-provoking and disturbing, Beauty Junkies is destined to be one of the most talked-about books of the season.
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Blush: The Unbelievably Absurd Diary of a Gay Beauty Junkie

Author: Harvey Helms

Publisher: Lulu Press, Inc

ISBN: 1312602252

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: N.A

View: 325

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blush: the unbelievably absurd diary of a gay beauty junkie is a memoir based "traumedy" taken from the pages of Harvey Helms' diary, about a young gay man who accidentally ends up as one of the very first MALE beauty advisors selling behind a department store cosmetic counter in the south. Throw in She-Dragons, Man Drama, Lipstick, Tammy Faye Baker, Senator Jesse Helms, plus more than a large dose of gay man craziness and mix! You'll have one of the most twisted Mint Juleps you've ever tasted! Through a humorous lens blush examines almost deadly bullying, and the not so pretty side of the cosmetic industry. Men behind cosmetic counters are seen as the norm today. When Harvey started it was more like he was part of a freak show that is vividly conveyed in the first chapter "I'm the Revlon Girl." The book also gives an in-depth look at growing up gay in an intolerant world and being authentically yourself against all odds.
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Botox Nation

Changing the Face of America

Author: Dana Berkowitz

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 1479825263

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 6089

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The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery estimates there are about two-and-a-half million Botox procedures performed annually, and that number continues to increase. The procedure is used as a preventive measure against aging and a means by which bodies, particularly women’s, can be transformed and “improved” through the appearance of youth. But why is Botox so popular, and why is aging such a terrifying concept? Botox Nation draws from engaging, in-depth interviews with Botox users and providers as well as Dana Berkowitz’s own experiences receiving the injections. The interviews reveal the personal motivations for using Botox and help unpack how anti-aging practices are conceived by, and resonate with, everyday people. Berkowitz is particularly interested in how Botox is now being targeted to younger women; since Botox is a procedure that must be continually administered to work, the strategic choice to market to younger women, Berkowitz argues, aims to create lifetime consumers. Berkowitz also analyzes magazine articles, advertisements, and even medical documents to consider how narratives of aging are depicted. She employs a critical feminist lens to consider the construction of feminine bodies and selves, and explores the impact of cosmetic medical interventions aimed at maintaining the desired appearance of youth, the culture of preventative medicine, the application of medical procedures to seemingly healthy bodies, and the growth and technological advancement to the anti-aging industry. The first in-depth social investigation into the development of Botox as a phenomenon, Botox Nation is a captivating and critical story of how norms about bodies, gender, and aging are constructed and reproduced on both cultural and individual levels.
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The Beauty Bias

The Injustice of Appearance in Life and Law

Author: Deborah L. Rhode

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199779451

Category: Law

Page: 272

View: 5810

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"It hurts to be beautiful" has been a cliche for centuries. What has been far less appreciated is how much it hurts not to be beautiful. The Beauty Bias explores our cultural preoccupation with attractiveness, the costs it imposes, and the responses it demands. Beauty may be only skin deep, but the damages associated with its absence go much deeper. Unattractive individuals are less likely to be hired and promoted, and are assumed less likely to have desirable traits, such as goodness, kindness, and honesty. Three quarters of women consider appearance important to their self image and over a third rank it as the most important factor. Although appearance can be a significant source of pleasure, its price can also be excessive, not only in time and money, but also in physical and psychological health. Our annual global investment in appearance totals close to $200 billion. Many individuals experience stigma, discrimination, and related difficulties, such as eating disorders, depression, and risky dieting and cosmetic procedures. Women bear a vastly disproportionate share of these costs, in part because they face standards more exacting than those for men, and pay greater penalties for falling short. The Beauty Bias explores the social, biological, market, and media forces that have contributed to appearance-related problems, as well as feminism's difficulties in confronting them. The book also reviews why it matters. Appearance-related bias infringes fundamental rights, compromises merit principles, reinforces debilitating stereotypes, and compounds the disadvantages of race, class, and gender. Yet only one state and a half dozen localities explicitly prohibit such discrimination. The Beauty Bias provides the first systematic survey of how appearance laws work in practice, and a compelling argument for extending their reach. The book offers case histories of invidious discrimination and a plausible legal and political strategy for addressing them. Our prejudices run deep, but we can do far more to promote realistic and healthy images of attractiveness, and to reduce the price of their pursuit.
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What Women Want

An Agenda for the Women's Movement

Author: Deborah L. Rhode

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199348294

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 7683

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What Women Want is a trenchant examination of the struggle for women's equality, and a prescription for what to focus on next in order to ensure maximum success. Feminism today is a movement that lacks leadership, unity, and definition, and it has gotten stuck in a boom and bust cycle when it comes to public opinion and action. Despite significant progress over the last fifty years, equality is still a distant goal in the political, social, and economic spheres. Only by identifying the barriers (both internal and external) that remain, Deborah Rhode argues, can we begin to identify solutions. A rigorously researched and well-written answer to the glut of gender-related books that have come onto the market recently, What Women Want comprehensively analyzes the challenges the feminist movement faces today. Combining sharp academic analysis and interviews with notable figures such as Sheryl Sandberg, Rhode focuses on five main topics: employment issues such as pay discrimination, work-life balance and the government's pitiful response, the assault on women's reproductive rights and the limits it places on their economic mobility, sexual harassment and violence, and the detrimental effect that the unfashionable label "feminist" can have, especially in attracting young women to the movement. Despite these formidable obstacles, the goals and principles of feminism are widely accepted by the American mainstream, and Rhode, herself a pathbreaker in the fields of law and education, offers effective strategies for redefining and advancing the feminist agenda, thereby creating a movement that truly recognizes, and is responsive to, what all women want.
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Making the Cut

How Cosmetic Surgery is Transforming Our Lives

Author: Anthony Elliott

Publisher: Reaktion Books

ISBN: 1861895658

Category: Medical

Page: 256

View: 4001

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From London to New York, Madrid to Melbourne, Singapore to Tehran, the demand for cosmetic surgery is soaring. Botox injections, collagen fillers, breast implants, microdermabrasion, mini face-lifts: extreme reinvention is all the rage. For better or worse, ours is the era of cosmetic surgical culture. In this captivating book, which draws upon research conducted in Europe, America and Australasia, social commentator Anthony Elliott investigates the rise and rise of cosmetic surgery, lucidly reviewing recent developments in celebrity culture and the consumer industries, which many argue are responsible for the popularity of cosmetic and surgical forms of extreme reinvention. Yet it is not just cultural forces advancing the makeover industries: Elliott shows that cosmetic surgical culture has become increasingly global in our own time as a result of major institutional changes dominating public life in Western societies. He provocatively argues that personal vulnerabilities have reached the point where people turn to surgical culture in an effort to reinvent themselves and improve their life prospects Making the Cut paints a disturbing social portrait of a global culture held in thrall to immediacy, where cosmetic surgical enhancements of the body are fundamental to new forms of self-design and self-improvement.
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Obesity and Self-Image

Author: Judith Levin

Publisher: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc

ISBN: 1404217681

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 64

View: 5051

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Examines how our self-image affects our life, how messages from the media may affect our self-image, and how to make lifestyle changes that are positive.
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