cover image Pricing Beauty: The Making of a Fashion Model

Pricing Beauty: The Making of a Fashion Model

Ashley Mears. Univ. of California, $26.95 trade paper (328p) ISBN 978-0-520-27076-3

Former model and current Boston University sociology professor Mears provides an insider's look at the modeling industry from the perspective of sociology. In addition to utilizing data from interviews with 40 models and 40 clients in London and New York, Mears offers first-hand stories about the humiliation inherent in the industry. She tackles tough and complex subjects, such as the economics of race in modeling (white consumers buy Prada, so advertisements feature white models) and the presence of "institutionalized racism," while also examining male modeling, including the darker "gay for pay" practice. Learning to lie, as Mears shows, is just part of the job. While probably too complex for the average reader, this is a well-researched, well-written, and thorough study of the industry. (Sept.)