Overview of The Beauty Myth
In The Beauty Myth, Naomi Wolf had the opportunity to challenge, inspire, and clarify so many of the issues that the modern woman faces and she achieved a bestselling novel. She wrote this feminist book to raise awareness amongst women that there is another threat to their equality. It is a trap that they are unwittingly walking into with their eyes tightly shut.
However, by writing The Beauty Myth book, she also created feelings of disappointment and frustration in some readers and I am sure that was not what she intended.
What Is The Aim Of This Book?
Wolf was trying to say that the progress that had been made in women’s rights was now being undermined by a new kind of social control. In the past, women were forced to be submissive homemakers and wives.
Having attained certain freedoms, like having careers and making lifestyle choices, they are now being controlled by the idea that they must be physically perfect in every way and at any cost. Wolf believes that beauty is the currency used by men to enable them to keep their dominant position over women.
By being obsessed with attaining perfection in their bodies, women are now suffering from a range of eating disorders, low self-esteem, and spiraling depression. They enter a cycle of punishment and elation which is fed by endless “selfies” on social media and mindless vanity that detracts from all the hard work by feminists in the past who struggled tirelessly to achieve equality for women.
In The Beauty Myth book, we are presented with the idea that attaining beauty is a concept that is being used to oppress women. 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. They must achieve this to attract men and be successful in life.
Wolf speaks of all the possible areas of life where women have been forced into positions of inferior status by religious beliefs in a male-dominated society. While most readers accept the truth of many of her statements about women being exploited, The Beauty Myth book reviews were mixed by readers of both genders. The reason for this is that there are many discrepancies in Wolf’s research and data.
Are Men Really To Blame For All The Problems In A Woman’s World?
Blame for this new problem for women is placed squarely at the feet of “Men” and Wolf does not consider additional reasons for why this situation exists. For example, she fails to recognize that capitalism is not restricted to exploit only the female gender and that advertising is targeted at specific audiences across all walks of life.
In this book, there is a hint of a conspiracy theory – in which women are being manipulated and are unaware that it is happening. This does not give much credit for a woman’s ability to think and make her own decisions!
While no-one refutes the truth of the message in The Beauty Myth, book reviews indicate that readers believe that Wolf could have achieved far more for feminism if she had taken more care to collect accurate data on the size of this problem. She also needed to refine her research skills to add impact and credibility to her information.
Unfortunately, Wolf loses credibility because she does not present a balanced argument and places all the blame for the Beauty Myth at the feet of men.