Catalogue


Beauty bias : discrimination and social power /
Bonnie Berry.
imprint
Westport, Conn. : Praeger Publishers, 2007.
description
xii, 164 p.
ISBN
0275990125 (alk. paper), 9780275990121 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Westport, Conn. : Praeger Publishers, 2007.
isbn
0275990125 (alk. paper)
9780275990121 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
6213743
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [157]-160) and indexes.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2008-06-01:
In the tradition of Naomi Wolf's The Beauty Myth (CH, Jan'92, 29-3031), sociologist Berry takes to task US culturally created ideals of beauty, documenting the unfairness of life's outcomes for those who fall short. She contends that discrimination on the basis of less-than-beautiful physical features remains legally permitted and socially acceptable at the same time as various rights movements have demonstrated the irrationality and harmful effects of inequities of age, race, religion, and gender. The unattractive, the plain, and the fat have less access than the beautiful, the thin, and the attractive to the resources of friendship, romance, work opportunity, and economic advancement. In addition, the social pressures placed on the unbeautiful to beautify lead to unhealthy psychological and physical outcomes, and are kept alive by "the system"--the corporate world--that benefits from the very insecurities it produces. While there is no doubt that the issue of discrimination based on physical appearance demands a solid social analysis, this book offers nothing new. It does draw on scientific research and highlights topics of general interest, but it would benefit significantly from more attention to coherence and organization in presentation and argumentation. Summing Up: Optional. Public and general libraries. K. M. McKinley Cabrini College
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A fascinating and authoritative account of looks-based judgments and discriminations, Beauty Bias should be required reading for everyone who has a stake in how they (and how we) look--that is, for everyone. Berry's book is important both for the sheer amount of research it conveys and for the ways of thinking she models." - Susan Schweik, Associate Professor, University of California at Berkeley
" Beauty Bias: Discrimination and Social Power moves the few works we have on appearance to a new level, surpassing even the previous important work by Jean Kilbourne."
"Beauty Bias: Discrimination and Social Power moves the few works we have on appearance to a new level, surpassing even the previous important work by Jean Kilbourne." - Earl Smith, Ph.D. Professor of Sociology Wake Forest University
" Beauty Bias is a welcome and necessary text. Berry tackles the complexities of appearance and how it is related to gender, race, ethnicity, age, disability status, and more. This book examines this topic historically, scientifically, psychologically, economically, and most importantly, critically."
"Beauty Bias is a welcome and necessary text. Berry tackles the complexities of appearance and how it is related to gender, race, ethnicity, age, disability status, and more. This book examines this topic historically, scientifically, psychologically, economically, and most importantly, critically." - Joanne Belknap, Ph.D. Professor, Sociology, University of Colorado Author, The Invisible Woman
" Beauty BiaS≪/i> is a welcome and necessary text. Berry tackles the complexities of appearance and how it is related to gender, race, ethnicity, age, disability status, and more. This book examines this topic historically, scientifically, psychologically, economically, and most importantly, critically."
"Berry's treatment of physical appearance in the workplace is especially important."
"Berry's treatment of physical appearance in the workplace is especially important." - Rosemary Erickson, President Athena Research Corporation
"Dr. Berry provides a cogent and accessible analysis of the long-standing discrimination the less-than-lovely face daily. Her humanistic and jargon-free coverage of what it is like to be denied access and opportunity and to have your value as a human being called into question simply because you're not tall, slender, and beautiful enough is located both in the worlds of scholarly rigor and experiential closeness. Insightful, provocative, and compelling, this book is a must read for anyone seeking to understand the myriad costs and consequences of fetish-ed beauty in 21st century America."
"Dr. Berry provides a cogent and accessible analysis of the long-standing discrimination the "less-than-lovely" face daily. Her humanistic and jargon-free coverage of what it is like to be denied access and opportunity, and to have your value as a human being called into question simply because you're not tall, slender and beautiful enough is located both in the worlds of scholarly rigor and experiential closeness. Insightful, provocative and compelling; this book is a must read for anyone seeking to understand the myriad costs and consequences of fetish-ed beauty in 21st century America." - Stephen L. Muzzatti, Ryerson University, author of Reflections from the Wrong Side of the Tracks
"A fascinating and authoritative account of looks-based judgments and discriminations, Beauty BiaS≪/i> should be required reading for everyone who has a stake in how they (and how we) look--that is, for everyone. Berry's book is important both for the sheer amount of research it conveys and for the ways of thinking she models."
"A fascinating and authoritative account of looks-based judgments and discriminations, Beauty Bias should be required reading for everyone who has a stake in how they (and how we) look--that is, for everyone. Berry's book is important both for the sheer amount of research it conveys and for the ways of thinking she models."
"Public and general libraries." – Choice
"Sociologist Berry has taught at several American universities....In this text, she tackles social inequality centered on physical appearance skin color, hair texture, height, weight, eye shape, disabilities and deformities, condition of the teeth, evidence of aging, and beauty which, compared to other forms of racism, is still legal and socially acceptable. Berry examines the ways that physical appearance affects health, chances at romance (and marriage and family), and workplace experiences; the activities and procedures people undergo to become more socially desirable via their appearance; how various systems medical and health insurance professions, the legal system, the global and economic community respond to people differently depending on appearance; the issue of choice to engage in appearance enhancement; and movements to promote looks-diversity acceptance." – Reference & Research Book News
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, June 2008
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Summaries
Long Description
Society has always been fixated on looks and celebrities, but how we look has deep ramifications for ordinary people too. In this book, Bonnie Berry explains how social inequality pertains to prejudice and discrimination against people based on their physical appearance. This form of inequality overlaps with other, better-known forms of inequality such as those that result from sexism, racism, ageism, and homophobia. Social inequality regarding looks is notable in a number of settings: work, medical treatment, romance, and marriage, to mention a few. It is experienced as limitations on access to social power. Berry discusses the pressures to be attractive and the methods by which we strive to alter our appearance through plastic surgery, cosmetics, and the like. Berry also discusses cultural factors, such as the manner in which globalization of media, advertisements, and movies have trended toward homogenization, whereby we are all encouraged to appear tall, thin, white, and with Northern European features even if we are none of those things. She also analyzes the underlying social forces such as economic incentives that, on the one hand, channel us to be as physically acceptable as possible via the sale of diet pills and skin lighteners, and on the other hand, encourage us to accept ourselves as we are by selling us plus-size clothing. The book concludes with suggestions for equal rights extended to all regardless of appearance. Here, Berry describes budding social movements and grassroots endeavors toward an acceptance of "looks diversity."
Long Description
Society has always been fixated on looks and celebrities, but how we look has deep ramifications for ordinary people too. In this book, Bonnie Berry explains how social inequality pertains to prejudice and discrimination against people based on their physical appearance. This form of inequality overlaps with other, better-known forms of inequality such as those that result from sexism, racism, ageism, and classism. Social inequality regarding looks is notable in a number of settings: work, medical treatment, romance, and marriage, to mention a few. It is experienced as limitations on access to social power. Berry discusses the pressures to be attractive and the methods by which we strive to alter our appearance through plastic surgery, cosmetics, and the like. Berry also discusses cultural factors, such as the manner in which globalization of media, advertisements, and movies have trended toward homogenization, whereby we are all encouraged to appear tall, thin, white, and with Northern European features even if we are none of those things. She also analyzes the underlying social forces such as economic incentives that, on the one hand, channel us to be as physically acceptable as possible via the sale of diet pills and skin lighteners, and on the other hand, encourage us to accept ourselves as we are by selling us plus-size clothing. The book concludes with suggestions for equal rights extended to all regardless of appearance. Here, Berry describes budding social movements and grassroots endeavors toward an acceptance of looks diversity.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Berry discusses the pressures to be attractive and the methods by which we strive to alter our appearance. She also looks at cultural factors such as the manner in which globalisation of media, advertisements and movies have trended toward homogenisation.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
Introduction: The Power of Looksp. 1
The Ramificationsp. 15
Looks and Healthp. 17
Looks and Romancep. 29
Looks and the Workplacep. 39
The Pressuresp. 53
The Diet, Fitness, and Supplements Industriesp. 55
Cosmetics, Cosmeceuticals, and Other Superficial Changesp. 63
The Plastic Surgery Industryp. 71
The Systemp. 85
The Medical and Health Insurance Communitiesp. 87
The Legal Communityp. 95
The Economy, Globalization, and Powerp. 101
Conclusion: Toward an Acceptance of Looks Diversityp. 111
Appendixes
Filmographyp. 127
Selected Resourcesp. 129
Notesp. 133
Bibliographyp. 157
Subject Indexp. 161
Name Indexp. 163
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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