March 20, 2012

Book Review: "The Beauty Bias" by Deborah L. Rhode


Finally finished reading Deborah L. Rhode's "The Beauty Bias: The Injustice of Appearance in Life and Law" after starting in September. While I was researching a post for Spa Week, this book was suggested so I was intrigued. Ms. Rhodes is the Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law and the Director of the Center on the Legal Profession at Stanford University. The Beauty Bias explores our cultural preoccupation with attractiveness, the costs it imposes and the responses it demands according to the back label.

It's a difficult subject to explore but Rhodes does her best to break it down factually explaining history, recent court cases and the price we pay. After a long chapter discussing all the major cases involving discrimination against women she closes the book with how to reform the laws. We basically need to reset the whole mind frame of our society. She points out Jamie Oliver's food movement in schools as a positive influence but of course demonstrates the flaws in the fashion world when it comes to models specifically. She notes that parents need to raise confident individuals and that we need to work on reforming our laws that supposedly protect us.

The financial, physical, and psychological price of appearance demands closer attention and collective action. We will never eliminate all the injustices, but we can surely do better.

Agreed. Society needs to stop making women feel that they have to change to fit in while women have to start demanding they be accepted for their uniqueness. This book is good for getting some more background on the feminist movement and what strides it has made. You're going to be horrified by the atrocious ways companies have discriminated against women: hair, religious garments, skirt length, weight and the list goes on.

Next on my reading list is "Ogilvy on Advertising" by David Ogilivy. I'm trying to read all the books published by the great minds of marketing.

What's on your reading list?

Image via Jezebel

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