Wow, just finished reading Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth, (yah, I know, I’m about fifteen years behind the times but whatever, it came out when I was eleven and only read John Grisham and Star Trek novelizations ) Anyhow, so wow, basically the patriarchy hates me and is so clever they’ve managed to get me to subjugate myself, which is kind of brilliant. While I’m trying to figure out whether to eat the bacon cheeseburger or the salad, a dude is eating the cheeseburger, putting his tie on and using the remaining time to get ahead in the world. Also has a whole section on why wearing glitter is like a totally normal response to the invisibility of women in society. Oh and in a diseased world where women must be thin to be attractive, and thus are forced to choose between food and sex, bulimia is a rational response that allows you to have both (!!!!!!). She also points out that the average daily calorie allotment on most major commercial diet programs is equivalent to the daily rations alloted people in the Netherlands during the World War II. Is she equating the two? She says no, but then, um, actually, yes. In fact many times in her book she equates dieting and disordered eating to involuntary famine !!???!!
Mind you, I think it’s supposed to be empowering, but in the end it’s sooo not because it says, basically, that if you are not thin and/or don’t look like a porn star, society will reject you, men will reject you and you will reject yourself. Obviously, she takes a v.strong moral stance against this fact but she never questions for a second the truth of it in practice. I mean, gosh, is this true? Also, her book is all about rich, white, educated, young women and there are other people in the world who are affected by the Beauty Myth is vastly different ways and I think that could have been addressed. Also, i once saw Naomi Wolf on the street in NYC and she is really beautiful so I wonder how that plays into her whole analysis of the issue.