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Why is 'The Beauty Myth' crap?

(15 Posts)
blushington Sun 12-Dec-10 21:56:56

I read it about a year ago and thought it was quite good. In general I agreed with her argument that as women have gained independence in other areas, big industries have reacted by trying to get women to fit in with impossible standards of beauty in order to keep them in their 'place'.

But I've heard some people say it is crap. In what ways?

sethstarkaddersmum Sun 12-Dec-10 22:55:49

I don't think it is crap at all; I think a lot of the stuff Wolf has written since then is crap, but The Beauty Myth is sound and increasingly relevant.

I don't know who the people were that you know that think it is crap, but I have heard some criticism of it from older feminists at the time who didn't say it was wrong, they just said that they had said it all first in the 70s. But that is not a very serious criticism!

I think a lot of people who haven't already been convinced by feminism are very resistant to her type of analysis because they don't like being told that they are being manipulated; they would say they enjoy doing make-up, fashion etc and that they do it for themselves not for men. I think that misses the point that influences are more complex than that, of course....

I think we might have done it for a book study group on here - will have a look.

Sakura Sun 12-Dec-10 23:16:40

I think The Beauty Myth is really good.

I heard the author had a hard time over it, she was lambasted in interviews by people who didn't want to hear what she was writing about.
Unfortunately, I think it had an effect on her. There is a thread on here about how the author has backtracked over the years and now doesn't appear to be pro-feminist at all

walkinginaWUKTERwonderland Sun 12-Dec-10 23:18:51

I don't recommend you go near that thread though....

blushington Sun 12-Dec-10 23:20:40

oh OK, I thought I had heard people on here say it was really flawed

BeerTricksPotter Sun 12-Dec-10 23:23:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

blushington Sun 12-Dec-10 23:26:14

No, it was before the Assange thing.

walkinginaWUKTERwonderland Sun 12-Dec-10 23:28:28

What do you mean Beertricks? You sounded a bit sharp.

BeerTricksPotter Sun 12-Dec-10 23:30:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BeerTricksPotter Sun 12-Dec-10 23:34:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sakura Sun 12-Dec-10 23:35:39

no BeerTricks, you've misunderstood. Everyone on here thinks the Beauty Myth was fab AFAIK confused

I know why Naomi Wolf was lambasted for writing the Beauty Myth: because she questioned the Good Old US of A. WHen 14 women died in an African country from cosmetic surgery, the president of that country banned it altogether. NOt so in the US. Plenty more than 14 women have died from this unecessary cosmetic surgery and yet the wheels of the industry keep spinning. It's too lucrative (for some) to shut it down. WOmen keep dying and nobody says anything. THat's why WOlf was attacked for writing it.

And I believe that's why she tried frantically to say it wasn't a radical feminist text, and ultimately handed in her feminist card. Because she didn't want to be treated like a pariah anymore.

THe Beauty Myth was bloody brilliant

Sakura Sun 12-Dec-10 23:37:58

The only reason people on here are attacking Naomi Wolf is because they're confused how someone who wrote such a brilliant book could have backpeddled so much, but as I say, there were forces working against her.
When a woman writes a brilliant feminist book, nobody pats her on the back, society attacks her instead. The better the book, the more shit she has to put up with.

hester Sun 12-Dec-10 23:59:23

The Beauty Myth was a good book. It got a bit of flak at the time because some saw it as repackaging older feminist writings, and going along with the packaging/marketing of the author as a beautiful young woman.

All of which is mere detail. It was a good book; it deserved to be published; it still deserves to be widely read.

earwicga Mon 13-Dec-10 00:32:31

'and said something that doesn't tally with quite a narrow feminist view.'

I'm going to have to pull you up on this. Naomi Wolf used rape myths to defend Assange. Also used the Daily Mail to back up her crap.

dittany Mon 13-Dec-10 07:54:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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