By Debra Gimlin
This day girls are lifting weights to construct muscle, wrapping their our bodies in seaweed to minimize undesirable water retention, attending weigh-ins at nutrition facilities, and devoting themselves to many different sorts of "body work." stuffed with the voices of actual girls, this publication unravels the advanced emotional and highbrow motivations that force them as they confront American culture's unreachable attractiveness beliefs. This robust feminist research lucidly and compellingly argues opposed to the concept the recognition of physique paintings implies that girls are enslaved to a male-fashioned "beauty myth." crucial interpreting for knowing present debates on attractiveness, physique paintings demonstrates that girls truly use physique paintings to flee that attractiveness delusion. Debra Gimlin makes a speciality of 4 websites the place she carried out in-depth research--a attractiveness salon, aerobics sessions, a cosmetic surgery sanatorium, and a social and political association for obese ladies. The sincere and provocative interviews incorporated during this ebook discover those women's emotions approximately their our bodies, their purposes for trying to switch or come to phrases with them, and the reactions of others of their lives. those interviews express that girls are redefining their identities via their participation in physique paintings, that they are engaged on their self-images up to on their our bodies. cosmetic surgery, for instance, finally is an empowering existence event for plenty of ladies who pick out it, whereas hairstyling turns into an area for laying declare to specialist and social classification identities. This publication develops a resounding photo of ways girls use physique paintings to negotiate the connection among physique and self, a procedure that necessarily contains coming to phrases with bodies' deviation from cultural beliefs. one in every of the few experiences that incorporates empirical facts of women's personal interpretations of physique paintings, this crucial venture is usually established firmly in cultural reviews, symbolic interactionism, and feminism. With this publication, Debra Gimlin provides her voice to these of students who're now having a look past the outside of the sweetness fable to the complicated fact of women's lives.
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Additional info for Body Work: Beauty and Self-Image in American Culture
Hair that is styled with technical competence and hair that is trendy become indistinguishable when stylists advise customers; when they equate fashion and technique, the beauticians effectively broaden their area of expertise. They are experts not only in hairdressing, but also in style, contemporary trends, and general attractiveness. Trish talks about making recommendations to her customers: “I’ll tell [clients] what they’re doing wrong and how they can do it right. People don’t know how to scrunch their hair.
Participants use classes as a resource for renegotiating meanings of body and self, even when aerobics provides little actual physical change. Participation in aerobics allows women to construct accounts of their bodies that, ﬁrst, release notions of selfhood from the physical and, second, provide a lens through which they can negotiate ideals of beauty. Aerobics provides women with alternative conceptions of beauty and the social context to support those ideals. 5 Nevertheless, one of the most popular forms of athletics today remains almost entirely the preserve of women.
Stylists’ attempts to reduce status differences are, however, largely unsuccessful, primarily because of the emotion-laden aspects of hairstyling work itself. While beauty workers attach rich meanings to appearance and hair, these meanings typically diverge considerably from those of their customers, who use hairstyling to accomplish ends in keeping with their lifestyles. While both groups of women use beauty work to portray gender, hairstylists use beauty culture speciﬁcally to enact professional identities; their customers, conversely, use professional and social class identities to resist beauty ideology.
Body Work: Beauty and Self-Image in American Culture by Debra Gimlin