Beauty Bound

Rita Freedman, Author Lexington Books $16.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-669-11141-5
Most women take for granted that part of being female is looking the part, seldom questioning the social conditioning and sexist role-modeling this bespeaks. The props and paint, the shaping up, the obsession with youth are, the author writes, part of a social myth of female beauty which serves to keep women in their place as ""the fair sex,'' powerless, weak and properly submissive. Stiletto heels, incessant dieting and elaborate cosmetic rituals are no different from such cultural keep-her-in-her-place dictums as Chinese foot-binding or veiling the female form in Arab countries, observes Freedman, a New York psychologist. Designed to appeal to men's, not women's, taste, the prescriptions for female beauty mean that most women ``put on their face'' in the morning, dislike some part of their bodies, perhaps even resort to cosmetic surgery. Freedman discusses her subject in a low-key, convincing way that provides excellent historical background on the ways concepts of beauty have shaped women's sense of self. Major ad/promo. November
Reviewed on: 09/01/1985
Release date: 09/01/1985
Hardcover - 288 pages - 978-0-669-13955-6
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