1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Beauty Politics

Edited By Maxine Leeds Craig Copyright 2021
    404 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    404 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The growth of the service economy, widespread acceptance of cosmetic technologies, expansion of global media, and the intensification of scrutiny of appearance brought about by the internet have heightened the power of beauty ideals in everyday life. A range of interdisciplinary contributions by an international roster of established and emerging scholars will introduce students to the emergence of debates about beauty, including work in history, sociology, communications, anthropology, gender studies, disability studies, ethnic studies, cultural studies, philosophy, and psychology.

    The Routledge Companion to Beauty Politics is an essential reference work for students and researchers interested in the politics of appearance. Comprising over 30 chapters by a team of international contributors the Handbook is divided into six parts:

    • Theorizing Beauty Politics
    • Competing Definitions of Beauty
    • Beauty, Activism, and Social Change
    • Body Work
    • Beauty and Labor
    • Beauty and the Lifecourse

    The Routledge Companion to Beauty Politics is essential reading for students in Women and Gender Studies, Sociology, Media Studies, Communications, Philosophy, and Psychology.

    Part One: Theorizing Beauty Politics

    1 Introduction

    Maxine Leeds Craig

    2 Neoliberal Beauty

    Rosalind Gill

    3 Beauty and Class

    Helen Wood

    4 Transnational Feminist Approaches to Beauty

    Oluwakemi M. Balogun and Gracia Dodds

    5 Philosophy and the Politics of Beauty

    Monique Roelofs

    6 Picking Your Battles: Beauty, Complacency and the Other Life of Racism

    Mónica G. Moreno Figueroa

    Part Two: Competing Definitions of Beauty

    7 Democratizing Looks: The Politics of Gender, Class and Beauty in early 20th century United States

    Einav Rabinovitch-Fox

    8 Some’s Thin, Some’s Voluptuous But They All Fine: Feminine Beauty in Black Publications 1827-1909

    Sabrina Strings

    9 Colorism and the Racial Politics of Beauty

    Margaret Hunter

    10 Beauty, Colorism, and Anti-Colorism in Transnational India

    Vanita Reddy

    11 Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Body Size

    Viren Swami

    12 Beauty Standards and Body-Image Issues in the West and Japan from a Cultural Perspective

    Yuko Yamamiya and Tomohiro Suzuki

    13 Body Aesthetics & Beauty Politics in 21st Century Africa: Case of the Sudan

    Nada Mustafa Ali

    14 Fantastic Bodies: Navigating Ideals of Beauty in Cosplay

    Erynn Masi de Casanova and Jeremy Brenner-Levoy

    Part Three: Beauty, Activism, and Social Change

    15 The Rise of Disability Aesthetics: Reframing the Relationship between Disability, Beauty, and Art

    Ann M. Fox

    16 "There is Something Chic about Women Wearing Men’s Clothes": Lesbian Activists as Fashionable Women in the Fight for the Rights of Sexual Minorities in the United States, 1955-1972

    Malia McAndrew

    17 Fat Activism and Beauty Politics

    Carla A. Pfeffer

    18 Bumpah Politics: The Thick Black Female Body in the US and Caribbean Academic Discourses

    Kamille Gentles-Peart

    19 Rooted: On Black Women, Beauty, Hair and Embodiment

    Kristin Denise Rowe

    20 I do not see myself as anything else than white: Black resistance to racial cosplay blackfishing

    Shirley A. Tate

    21 The Beautiful Body in the Age of #metoo

    Bernadette Wegenstein

    Part Four: Body Work

    22 Genital Aesthetics

    Eric Plemons

    23 Body hair removal: Constructing the ‘baseline’ for the normative gendered body in the contemporary Anglophone West

    Melisa Trujillo

    24 Negotiating "Islamic" Beauty in Turkey, or Conceptualizing the Complex Entanglements Between Beauty and Religion

    Claudia Liebelt

    25 Botox and Beauty Politics

    Dana Berkowitz

    26 Orthodontics as Expected Beauty Work

    Maxine Leeds Craig

    27 Cosmetic Surgery and the discourse of Westernization of Korean Bodies

    Jo Elfving-Hwang

    28 The Racial Politics of Plastic Surgery

    Alexander Edmonds and So Yeon Leem

    Part Five: Beauty and Labor

    29 Size Matters (In Modeling)

    Amanda M. Czerniawski

    30 Tattooers at Work: An Emotional and Permanent Body Labor

    Dustin Kiskaddon

    31 Beauty Pageants and Border Crossings: The Politics of Class, Cosmopolitanism, Race and Place

    Karen Tice

    32 Retail Work, Race and Aesthetic Labor

    Kyla Walters

    33 Hourly Beauty: Aesthetic Labor in China

    Eileen Otis

    Part Six: Beauty and the Lifecourse

    34 Girls and Beauty (Pageant) Culture

    Hilary L. Levey Friedman

    35 The Politics of Looking Old: Older Adults and the Aging Body

    Laura Hurd

    36 The Incredible Invisible Woman: Age, Beauty and the Specter of Identity

    Brenda Weber


    Maxine Leeds Craig is a professor in the Sociology Department at the University of California, Davis, USA. She is the author of Sorry I Don’t Dance: Why Men Refuse to Move (2014) and Ain’t I a Beauty Queen? Black Women, Beauty, and the Politics of Race (2002). She studies the politics of beauty, of dancing and not dancing, or, in other words, the ways in which social structures of race, gender, and class are lived in day-to-day embodiment.