If you were to stand naked in front of a mirror right now, in full fluorescent lighting, what would run through your mind? Would you be brave enough to put those thoughts on a page, and send that page out into the world?
That’s what Bri Lee has done in Beauty—a literary essay (longer than a think-piece, shorter than a book), and the fine folks at Allen & Unwin were kind enough to send me a copy for review.
In the first half, Lee gives a candid account of her experience of disordered eating (and, by extension, her disordered thinking about food and body). She details the money she spends on various beautification endeavours, and her difficulty to reconcile the idea of self-improvement without self-loathing.
Then, in the second half, she looks at how thinness has become an ethical imperative, she starts to explore the racial intersectionality of the beauty ideal, and she takes aim at the hypocrisy of women’s media and their symbiotic industries. I am HERE FOR IT!
This is an intimate and laudably honest account of what it means to strive for a beauty (read as thinness) ideal. I devoured it in a single sitting.