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Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Beauty, Grooming, & Style > Hair > 0374529426
  1. Rapunzel's Daughters: What Women's Hair Tells Us About Women's Lives
    Image(s) provided for illustrative purposes and may differ from the actual product
  2. Rapunzel's Daughters: What Women's Hair Tells Us About Women's Lives

    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (16 reviews)
    Price R287.00

Additional Information

The first book to explore the role of hair in women's lives and what it reveals about their identities, intimate relationships, and work lives

Hair is one of the first things other people notice about us--and is one of the primary ways we declare our identity to others. Both in our personal relationships and in relationships with the larger world, hair sends an immediate signal that conveys messages about our gender, age, social class, and more.
In Rapunzel's Daughters, Rose Weitz first surveys the history of women's hair, from the covered hair of the Middle Ages to the two-foot-high, wildly ornamented styles of pre-Revolutionary France to the purple dyes worn by some modern teens. In the remainder of the book, Weitz, a prominent sociologist, explores--through interviews with dozens of girls and women across the country--what hair means today, both to young girls and to women; what part it plays in adolescent (and adult) struggles with identity; how it can create conflicts in the workplace; and how women face the changes in their hair that illness and aging can bring. Rapunzel's Daughters is a work of deep scholarship as well as an eye-opening and personal look at a surprisingly complex-and fascinating-subject.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Although Rapunzel's Daughter is apparently a book meant for university-level cultural studies, it is readable and entertaining enough for a general audience. Refreshingly free of academic jargon, it's filled with examples and insights into the meaning of women's hair at various times and in different cultures. Black and white photos illustrate.
In an especially interesting profile, Weitz describes an American woman who fell in love with an Egyptian Muslim while studying in England. They married and returned to the United States, where she learned about Islam and eventually converted. Then she started covering her head, even though her husband was adamantly against it. She continues to cover her hair and wear the hijab robe against her husband's wishes, because she likes the way men treat her when she is covered. One suspects there is a lot more than hair involved in this vignette.
Other interesting topics covered include hair loss and the culture of the beauty salon... Read more
A fascinating look at women and their relationship with their hair. Weitz conducted many interviews and personal research to provide the nine interesting and thought-provoking chapters. She begins with a short history of women's hair, touching briefly on some ancient, medieval and early modern sources and pictures. Most of the book focuses on modern women and the advances within the past one hundred years such as chemical treatments for straightening and relaxing the hair, as well as permanent waves and dyeing treatments. She devotes special portions of the book to African hair, and other ethnic/cultural hairstyles, and how hair makes up the identity of many women. Some particularly interesting styles she mentioned were the Mexican-American "chola" style, dreadlocks, and lesbian hair styles.
Why do women dye their hair? How are women affected when they lose their hair (whether they have alopecia, chemotherapy, or a voluntary buzzcut?) What are women's relationships like... Read more
Sure the book is easy to read - because any woman could write it. I found very little here that any person with common sense would not realize on her own. For example, the author says that most women who learn they have cancer learn on the same day that they will need chemotherapy and will lose their hair, and therefore link the cancer and their hair loss forever. Is this even noteworthy?

Also, while the author obviously tries to address the way different cultures and ethnicities view hair, I found that she was disproportionately addressing certain ethnic groups. She talks a great deal about Mexican Americans and lesbians, but there is little mention of any of the many Asian cultures or other Latino cultures in this country - or in other countries, for that matter.

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