The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
Summary: The bestselling classic that redefined our view of the relationship between beauty and female identity. In today’s world, women have more power, legal recognition, and professional success than ever before. Alongside the evident progress of the women’s movement, however, writer and journalist Naomi Wolf is troubled by a different kind of social control, which, she argues, may prove just as restrictive as the traditional image of homemaker and wife. It’s 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 society’s impossible definition of “the flawless beauty.”
My heart, mind, and soul are full of this book right now. The beauty and power with which Naomi Wolf identifies and analyzes so many truths of life as a woman has gone right to my core. I’ve been reading this book as part of my immersion into my current YA fantasy novel project, which is a fairy tale retelling that is an intersection of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and Snow White. And Wolf’s work has given me so much to ponder, especially in its insightful analysis of the ways in which women participate in our own oppression when we believe that “beauty” is an objective standard, and in the ways the beauty myth drives women apart, individually and generationally. An absolute must read.