Face Value: The Hidden Ways Beauty Shapes Women’s Lives
Face Value: The Hidden Ways Beauty Shapes Women’s Lives purports to explain the connection between our perceptions of beauty and the effects of those perceptions on our lives. The book jacket touts “meticulous research” that never quite materializes. The notes do include references to respected periodicals, but there also are references to websites, media releases, and the genre of magazines for which the author has written and edited that diminish any expectation of empirical research.
Despite the numerous interviews claimed to have been conducted for the book, much of the discussion is centered around the author’s personal opinions of beauty and her experiments with various means of measuring beauty. Most of the discussion is simply a new way of presenting existing thoughts on the subject. An example: “So the ziggurat of words is uneven, supported by social propriety and the need to be able to describe the variety of human physical appeal” (38). Much of the writing has the effect of an attempt to be simultaneously hip and academic, proving that a singular goal is sufficient for any writer.
Simon & Schuster