The Beauty Myth

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Naomi Wolf, starter of the third feminist movement wrote a book called ‘The Beauty Myth’, any famous and important feminists called this book a must-read for women, and it was shown as the most significant feminist publication since the Female Eunuch. Wolf created a definition ‘Beauty Myth’ and explained how it was constituted. She argued that definition of beauty was completely socially constructed and that patriarchy determines the content and boundaries of it with the goal of creating its own hegemony. As she claimed and many feminists think alike, women are under assault by ‘the beauty myth’ on some areas of life; sex, violence, work, religion, hunger.. Her biggest point was that men were in control of this, they were the leaders of politics, economy, business and media. She says that they constructed this view with their interests, and they used media as the main tool to get in people’s brains and stick myths about beauty there. This effected the behavior of men to women also women to other women. The Beauty Myth was not about woman at all, it was about mens institutions and institutional power(P.118). Feminists who believe this think this is a very bad thing for women and breaks equality amongst sexes.

However some feminists don’t agree with Wolf, they have just the opposite thought, enlightened sexists think it is a good thing as it helps actually women to have the power while men think they have the power. Susan Douglas wrote about this in ‘Girls Gone Anti-Feminist’. Think about these two side of views, can you determine which side you would support..?

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