Explores the power that the media and the beauty and fashion industries have over young women's self-image, and shows the health risks involved.
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Gr. 8-12. Landau's insightful and disturbing examination of society's obsession with the way women look and the damage caused not only to individual girls and women, but also to the female gender as a whole should be required reading for all young adults, their parents, and their teachers. Narratives, in which teenage girls tell how the beauty trap has impacted them, alternate with factual material, which itself is augmented by personal accounts and examples. The result is a fast-paced, hard-hitting, and approachable but not condescending account that covers an impressive array of topics, from the predictable criticisms of Barbie, pencil-thin models, and the Miss America ideal to informative and revealing discussions of the American prejudice against obesity, the causes of anorexia nervosa and bulimia, and the expansion, in spite of growing risks, of the cosmetic surgery industry. Landau exposes the double standard for male and female attractiveness that exists socially and in the workforce, and she places the only hope for eventual escape from the "beauty trap" on the shoulders of women themselves. Her discussion of the importance of the new feminism should open some eyes and may even win a few converts. Landau's research is excellent, with endnotes, a reading list, and a list of "organizations concerned about the status of women" all contributing to making this an important book about a subject that touches every teenage girl and the people who care about her. Jeanne TrinerFrom School Library Journal:
Grade 7-10-Defining the beauty trap as "a way of thinking that asserts that a woman's true value and desirability are essentially tied to the way she looks," this book explores ways in which society and the media promote that attitude and, consequently, diminish the female self-image. The interesting and easy-to-follow text also serves to instill pride in being female by explaining the challenges women face and the determination with which they are confronting them. Each of the four chapters is preceded by a first-person account of a personal problem posed by the beauty trap. Footnotes are appended, as are a short but useful index and a mailing list of 24 organizations concerned about the status of women. This book provides basic information about this concept and related problems, but it offers little advice for anyone interested in changing their attitudes toward others.
Dona Weisman, Northeast Texas Library System, Garland
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description New Discovery Books, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0027513890
Book Description Silver Burdett Pr, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0027513890