Book – If Beauty Is Inside, Why Do We Hate Our Guts?
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-- About the Book --
Do you compare your real-life body to digitally-altered photos of surgically-enhanced lingerie models? Do their inflated breasts deflate you? You’re not alone. The elusive goal of “beauty” is often the Achilles’ heel of otherwise confident and accomplished women.
With wit, wisdom, and lots of satirical illustrations, Nancy Lynne Kanter examines how the beauty and entertainment industries manipulate women with a constant stream of idealized images that link their value with a collection of perfect parts.
She challenges the sexism in treating female bodies as public property and argues how it teaches women to observe themselves from the outside in and prioritize others’ needs. She relates how women are socialized with mutually-reinforcing expectations to be beautiful and to be people-pleasing nice girls.
Drawing upon her own struggles, Kanter offers an insightful look at how women internalize oppressive standards that prey upon their insecurity and undermine their courage. She argues that striving for an illusion of perfection keeps women from finding true fulfillment – a goal too big to fit in a bikini.
Both passionate and wickedly funny, she offers a compelling new voice that declares war against damaging media imagery. She questions critical messages and shares strategies to help women reconnect with the beauty inside, inspiring them to reclaim their power and stop hating their own guts.
-- About the Cover Art --
I designed the cover for my book by using two of my own paintings. I painted them in acrylic on 20"x24" canvases. I thought the iconic mudflap girl would be a great way to conceptualize how beauty pressures affect women. I decided to use the same image for both paintings to show the two sides of the issue. For the top painting, I included as many external pressures as I could think of, from words like “PLAYMATE” to phrases like “PIECE OF ASS.” I wrote them in all caps to simulate how these expectations seem to shout out at us. For the bottom painting, I wanted to describe how all those external pressures work together to damage our internal selves. I used feelings like “not good enough” and “disgusting,” and I wrote them in cursive because it seemed to make it more personal.