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Publisher's Summary

An award-winning Northwestern University psychology professor reveals how the cultural obsession with women's appearance is an epidemic that harms women's ability to get ahead and to live happy, meaningful lives, in this powerful, eye-opening work in the vein of Naomi Wolf, Peggy Orenstein, and Sheryl Sandberg.

Today's young women face a bewildering set of contradictions when it comes to beauty. They don't want to be Barbie dolls but, like generations of women before them, are told they must look like them. They're angry about the media's treatment of women but hungrily consume the very outlets that belittle them. They mock modern culture's absurd beauty ideal and make videos exposing Photoshopping tricks but feel pressured to emulate the same images they criticize by posing with a "skinny arm". They understand that what they see isn't real but still download apps to airbrush their selfies. Yet these same young women are fierce fighters for the issues they care about. They are ready to fight back against their beauty-sick culture and create a different world for themselves, but they need a way forward.

In Beauty Sick, Dr. Renee Engeln, whose TEDx talk on beauty sickness has received more than 250,000 views, reveals the shocking consequences of our obsession with girls' appearance on their emotional and physical health and their wallets and ambitions, including depression, eating disorders, disruptions in cognitive processing, and lost money and time. Combining scientific studies with the voices of real women of all ages, she makes clear that to truly fulfill their potential, we must break free from cultural forces that feed destructive desires, attitudes, and words - from fat-shaming to denigrating commentary about other women. She provides inspiration and workable solutions to help girls and women overcome negative attitudes and embrace their whole selves, to transform their lives, claim the futures they deserve, and, ultimately, change their world.

©2017 Renee Engeln (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Beauty Sick

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No conclusion

A book that brings up every emotional scare you have, then offers little to no conclusion.

2 people found this helpful

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Highly Recommend

It's easy to succumb to beauty culture. This book acknowledges that and turns it around.

1 person found this helpful

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everyone should read this book!

We all need to take steps to help women and girls take the focus off their appearance so they can focus on making positive impacts in this world!

1 person found this helpful

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feel more free and brave

Good book! I always felt uncomfortable but can’t tell why. No I know it’s not my fault. It’s the sick culture. The book let me feel relieved and brave!

1 person found this helpful

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All boys, men, ladies, and girls should read

Loved it so much. Should be mandatory in middle school! Must read now! You'll love it too.

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Life changing!

This should be required reading for every woman in America. We can fight back together and heal our culture's beauty sickness!

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Highly recommend!

I'm not sure if the reviewer who said the book doesn't offer solutions actually finished the book because I thought the author did a great job of offering different approaches to healing beauty sickness. Thankful to have read this along with The Beauty Myth, both books have helped me immensely on my journey towards becoming more in touch with who I really want to be and what I have to offer the world. A must for all women!