The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf in the Vintage Pocket Feminist Classics Series
Genre – Feminist Theory
Excitable Rating – 10/10
The only question I have is WHY THE HECK DID I NOT READ THIS SOONER??
Not only is this an astounding piece of feminist theory, its rhetoric has a relevance in everyday life that I have never experienced before when reading a feminist text. Just absolutely brilliant in both the methodical an impassioned way in which Wolf puts all of her arguments across.
Obviously being a classic, I don’t feel I have much to add to the massive analysis and discussion that already exists about this piece of writing so I shall swiftly segue into quotes I felt the need to highlight while I read. Things that I suspect will stick with me forever. So instead of exciting features I present…
‘The double standard for appearance is a constant reminder that men are worth more and need not try as hard.’
‘Female culture’s greatest writers share the search for radiance, a beauty that has meaning.’
‘A girl learns that stories happen to “beautiful” women, whether they are interesting or not. And interesting or not, stories do not happen to women who are not “beautiful”.’
‘Female sexuality is turned inside out from birth, so “beauty” can take its place, keeping women’s eyes lowered to their own bodies, glancing up only to check their reflections in the eyes of men.’
‘Whenever we dismiss or do not hear a woman on television or in print because our attention has been drawn to her size or makeup or clothing or hairstyle, the beauty myth is working with optimum efficiency.’
As the edition I purchased is only 100 pages rather than the roughly 500 pages of the full text I will definitely be reading the full book when I get the chance. Until then this book will be getting handed out to anyone and everyone I can persuade to read it.
It is ultimately uplifting in a way that much feminist theory fails to be. I feel driven towards change both on a personal level and on a social level. Please, if you can, read it. Read it now.
Thanks for reading!
~ The Excitable feminist