This pressure to conform to unrealistic standards Wolf argues has a detrimental effect for many women on a personal level. The Beauty Myth is the idea that the more legal and material freedom women achieve the more strictly and cruelly images of female beauty come to weigh upon us.
Wolf believes that there are five parts to the Beauty Myth.
The beauty myth. Naomi Wolf exposes the tyranny of the beauty myth through the ages and its oppressive function today in the home and at work in literature and the media in relationships between men and women between women and women. The beauty myth has been in existence for a long time. The beauty myth culture fostered in women a private sense of self that was passive anxious and emotional.
Lifetimes are spent primping and preening. How many women are in a Catch-22 at work – you must be pretty and feminine but not TOO pretty and feminine else its your fault for sexual harassment. The beauty myth has been swallowed whole by modern women.
The author guides us through the existence of the beauty myth at work culture religion sex hunger and in violence. The myth of female beauty challenges every woman every day of her life. The beauty myth in its modern form gained ground after the upheavals of industrialization as the work unit of the family was destroyed and urbanization and the emerging factory system demanded what social engineers of the time termed the separate sphere of domesticity which supported the new labor category of the breadwinner who left home for the workplace during the day.
The women who took this to the extreme were filled with self-hatred because they could never live up to the impossible ideal of beauty portrayed in womens magazines and TV ads. It was republished in 2002 by HarperPerennial with a new introduction by Wolf. For those of you unfamiliar with Wolfs work the notion of the beauty myth is the idea that the institutional pressures on women to conform to a beauty ideal that is largely unattainable.
It is considered one of the best feminist books dealing with the idea that women have been conned into believing that they have to attain flawless beauty at any cost. In The Beauty Myth book we are presented with the idea that attaining beauty is a concept that is being used to oppress women. The beauty myth is a tyrannical and problematic system of beliefs that subjugates women to psychologically abusive and demeaning aesthetic ideals.
The Beauty Myth is a work that criticizes the suggested appearance of women in public and how sharp contrasts in the style of men versus womens dress came to be. Women from all walks of life cannot seize power and happiness completely because their insecurity at personal appearance while bombarded by brands fashion editorials and pornography is so profound that it mentally pulls them back. A seminal feminist work The Beauty Myth digs into the ways that the pursuit of beauty has hampered feminism.
The basic premise of THE BEAUTY MYTH is that forced adherence to standards of physical beauty has grown stronger for women as they gained power in other societal arenas. For centuries beauty has been the currency of womanhood transcending class culture and time. More valuable than intelligence athleticism confidence or kindness physical beauty has always.
The beauty myth simply took over the function of Friedans religion of domesticity. Work religion sex violence and hunger. The beauty myth that lighter skin is better is even propounded by companies that are black-owned and managed because cultural myths are extremely hard to break down.
Hundreds of hours are frittered away on beauty treatments hair extensions facials manicures. The book most strongly emphasizes the fact that the way women are supposed to act and dress in society has come from their increased presence in the public and in the workplace and there are still remnants of Victorian Era behaviors in. It is a book that clearly correlates the different periods of the last century with the evolution of capitalism and the position of woman inside society.
In The Beauty Myth Wolf argues that the standard of beauty and feminine traits assigned to women are devaluing. Secondly The beauty myth is not an essay written by mustached desperate feminists and thats no good. How many women rush to pursue the next makeup line instead of equal pay for equal work.
Referencing what Wolf calls the Iron Maiden she recounts that women have been put. Its 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 societys impossible definition of the flawless beauty. The terms have changed but.
In each of these instances the author begins with a history of the issue in the specific setting. How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women is a nonfiction book by Naomi Wolf published in 1991 by William Morrow and Company. The beauty myth in its modern form arose to take the place of the Feminine Mystique to save magazines and advertisers from the economic fallout of the womens revolution.