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Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Beauty, Grooming, & Style > 0385508530
  1. Beauty Junkies: Inside Our $15 Billion Obsession With Cosmetic Surgery
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  2. Beauty Junkies: Inside Our $15 Billion Obsession With Cosmetic Surgery

    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (40 reviews)
    Price R462.00

Additional Information

A star writer for the New York Times Styles section captures the follies, frauds, and fanaticism that fuel the American pursuit of youth and beauty in a wickedly revealing excursion into the burgeoning business of cosmetic enhancement.

Americans are aging faster and getting fatter than any other population on the planet. At the same time, our popular notions of perfect beauty have become so strict it seems even Barbie wouldn’t have a chance of making it into the local beauty pageant.

Aging may be a natural fact of life, but for a growing number of Americans its hallmarks—wrinkles, love handles, jiggling flesh—are seen as obstacles to be conquered on the path to lasting, flawless beauty. In Beauty Junkies Alex Kuczynski, whose sly wit and fearless reporting in the Times has won her fans across the country, delivers a fresh and irresistible look at America's increasingly desperate pursuit of ultimate beauty by any means necessary.

From a group of high-maintenance New York City women who devote themselves to preserving their looks twenty-four hours a day, to a “surgery safari” in South Africa complete with “after” photographs of magically rejuvenated patients posing with wild animals, to a podiatrist's office in Manhattan where a “foot face-lift” provides women with the right fit for their $700 Jimmy Choos, Kuczynski portrays the all-American quest for self-transformation in all its extremes. In New York, lawyers become Botox junkies in an effort to remain poker-faced. In Los Angeles, women of an uncertain age nip and tuck their most private areas, so that every inch of their bodies is as taut as their lifted faces. Across the country, young women graduating from high school receive gifts of breast implants – from their parents.

As medicine and technology stretch the boundaries of biology, Kuczynski asks whether cosmetic surgery might even be part of human evolution, a kind of cosmetic survival of the fittest – or firmest? With incomparable portraits of obsessive patients and the equally obsessed doctors who cater to their dreams, Beauty Junkies examines the hype, the hope, and the questionable ethics surrounding the advent of each new miraculous technique. Lively and entertaining, thought-provoking and disturbing, Beauty Junkies is destined to be one of the most talked-about books of the season.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

I purchased this book when I was having a difficult time in regards to my body image. Prior to this book, I underwent cosmetic surgery on my breasts with implants. Since day one, I was unhappy - not with the results - but with myself and my choice. I did not feel like myself anymore. I was looking for a book in which I could relate to why this culture emphasizes body image so strongly. This book helped me see that many women and men go through the same things, some fall pray to surgery, while some cannot afford it, or choose not to. Alex Kuczynski has an empowered writing style. I read this book in all of three days and loved every page of it. It was hard to put down. She discovers her own decision to undergo plastic surgery and walks you through her journey. I found this book helpful for me and I have since decided to reverse my decision and get to a more comfortable place in my life by reducing my implants for now... then eventually removing them all together. To put yourself... Read more
I read the paperback version of Alex Kuczynski's book, so I'll stick my review here. I don't understand why the publisher decided to muddle things up by re-launching the paperback as a new-ish piece of work with a brand new subtitle of "In Search of the Thinnest Thighs, Perkiest Breasts, Smoothest Faces, Whitest Teeth, and Skinniest, Most Perfect Toes in America." Not only is that a sales-flopping mouthful, it's also off-base. First, she hardly talks about toes. There's just a fleeting reference to them, no longer than a paragraph. Second, the book does a 360 degree look at the cosmetic surgery industry, not just the 'search' which sounds like it's purely a consumer-centric look. The subtitle of the hardcover was more spot-on: "Inside Our $15 Billion Obsession With Cosmetic Surgery." That's a better indication of what's inside.

On page 215 of the paperback, the author notes that "(t)he multiple eyes on the cover of this book are mine..." Well, not on my paperback,... Read more
This was a personalized psychological study into the history of cosmetic surgery through its earliest beginnings with plastic and corrective surgery beginning back in the 1400's to today, or at least the today of 2006. The historical parts were quite interesting without getting as technical and boring as a medical book would. The author speaks from first hand experience of the mental and physical anguish that women [and it IS primarily women] go through to maintain an aura of youth and beauty, which are for all of us [males and females] a diminishing commodity whether we want to admit it or not. The photos of the author on the jacket and website show her to be a very attractive woman herself, so it is somewhat heart-wrenching to think she didn't see herself as such. I found the book to be easily readable, funny at times, poignant in places, somewhat sarcastic in others, and also a little long winded as some other reviewers have noted. But all in all it was enjoyable to find the... Read more
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