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“A fascinating look” (The Boston Globe) at how we think and talk about beauty in the twenty-first century—and the unexpected and often positive way that beauty shapes our lives.
For decades, we’ve thought of beauty as a negative influence in our lives. We feel insecure in the face of retouched, impossibly-perfect images. We worry primping and preening are a distraction and a trap. But in Face Value, journalist Autumn Whitefield-Modrano dispels this one-sided beauty myth and examines the relationship between appearance and science, social media, sex, friendship, language, and advertising to show how beauty actually affects us day to day.
Through meticulous research and interviews with dozens of women across all walks of life, she reveals surprising findings, like wearing makeup can actually relax you, you can convince people you’re better looking just by tweaking your personality, and the ways beauty can be a powerful tool of connection among women. Provocative and empowering, it celebrates a relaxed brand of feminism, one in which it’s equally okay to feel fierce in your fake eyelashes and confident when going makeup-free.
Face Value is “an immensely valuable work, one that seamlessly—and impressively—combines the tropes of the academic lit review and the memoir and the work of cultural criticism into an engaging, and timely, follow-up to The Beauty Myth” (The Atlantic).