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All Made Up: The Power and Pitfalls of Beauty Culture, from Cleopatra to Kim Kardashian

Authors: Nudson, Rae
Publisher: Beacon Press
BISAC/Subject: SOC022000, SOC028000, SOC032000
ISBN: 9780807059821, Related ISBNs: 080705562X, 0807059684, 080705982X, 0807094560, 0807094579
Classification: Non-Fiction
Number of pages: 216,
Audience: General/trade
Synopsis: A fascinating journey through history and culture, examining how makeup affects self-empowerment, how people have used it to define (and defy) their roles in society, and why we all need to care

There is a history and a cultural significance that comes with wearing cat-eye-inspired liner or a bold red lip, one that many women feel to this day, even if we don’t realize exactly why. Increasingly, people of all genders are wrestling with what it means to be a woman living in a patriarchy, and part of that is how looking like a woman—whatever that means—affects people’s real lives.

Through the stories of famous women like Cleopatra, Empress Wu, Madam C. J. Walker, Elizabeth Taylor, and Marsha P. Johnson, Rae Nudson unpacks makeup’s cultural impact—including how it can be used to shape a personal or cultural narrative, how often beauty standards align with whiteness, how and when it can be used for safety, and its function in the workplace, to name a few examples.

Every woman has had to make a very personal choice about her relationship with makeup, and consciously or unconsciously, every woman knows that the choice is never entirely hers to make. This book also holds space for complicating factors, especially the ways that beauty standards differ across race, class, and culture. Engaging and informative, All Made Up will expand the discussion around what it means to participate in creating your own self-image.
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