Boob Job: Confessions of a Professional Bra Fitter
Boob Job recounts the summer author Natalee Woods spent working in a high-end department store lingerie section. The book promises humor and “subtle and profound insights” into issues like beauty standards and the social/political/economic impact of having breasts. And that’s still a book I would love to read. That’s not, however, this book. Woods writes in the somehow simultaneously glib and trying to hard tone of books like The Nanny Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada. Though there might be some important insights here, you won’t arrive at them courtesy of the author. Woods unfortunately mistakes judgment for insight and teeth-gnashing detail for narrative.
Woods is incredibly judgmental of the various characters she encounters, apparently thinking that unflattering descriptions of women’s bodies and behaviors are what pass for insight. But, in fact, the callowness of Woods’ narrative voice is undisguisable. She sounds like what she is in this situation—a very young woman trying to make smart-sounding observations about adult life. And the book loves nothing so much as using piles of excessive detail to take the place of the wisdom the author lacks. (“Her skin was Lancome-controlled from her forehead down to her chin, making way for a smooth golden bronzer, dark strategic lashes, and wet Chanel lips.”) The book also has a tendency to be quite judgey and cruel about other women. It isn’t so much a reflection on the societal pressures on women as it is the mean-girls’ table making cutting commentary at the expense of other women. And I think there’s some kind of romantic subplot that happens because there are some sex scenes (if I have to read the phrase “boobs jiggling” ever again…), and some guy’s name keeps popping up for some reason, but I really had checked out by that point. So did I learn anything interesting about behind-the-scenes at a lingerie department? Only that it subverts your expectations by being more boring than you could have imagined, even by famously dull retail-story standards.
|Page Count||300 pages|
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