Author: Autumn Whitefield-Madrano
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Summary: I really enjoyed this thoughtful, balanced look at both the empowering and enjoyable side of beauty and the negative ways it affects women’s lives.
“In Face Value, journalist Autumn Whitefield-Madrano thoughtfully examines the relationship between appearance and science, social media, sex, friendship, language, and advertising to show how beauty actually affects us day to day. Through meticulous research and interviews with dozens of women across all walks of life, she reveals surprising findings, like that wearing makeup can actually relax you, that you can convince people you’re better looking just by tweaking your personality, and the ways beauty can be a powerful tool of connection among women.” (source)
As soon as I picked this book up, I found that it was making me think about ways beauty impacts our lives that had never occurred to me. The author’s own enjoyment of beauty and makeup, as well as her career as a beauty journalist and experiences as a professional woman, gave her a very balanced perspective on both the good and bad ways beauty can affect the lives of women. I enjoyed the anecdotes and personal stories she shared, especially since they were often paired with science studies (although not quite as often as I would have liked!). I would love to have read this with a book club, because I think it would have made for some great discussion.
My only complaint about this book was the organization. Each chapter had a theme, but I often had to think pretty hard to remember what it was once I got into the middle of a chapter. The subsections in each chapter read almost like their own essays and while they flowed well, there wasn’t as much overall structure as I would have liked. I particularly would have appreciated summaries of the points in each chapter at the end, because there were so many good points and interesting facts I would have liked to remember. I enjoyed the book a lot anyway and would definitely recommend it, especially for book clubs, but I think I’ll remember it less well than I might have with more help from the author.