- Paperback: 248 pages
- Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong Books (Dec 23 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0738214655
- ASIN: B00FY5E5CU
- Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 13.3 x 21.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 99.8 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,079,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Beauty Experiment: How I Skipped Lipstick, Ditched Fashion, Faced the World without Concealer, and Learned to Love the Real Me Paperback – Bargain Price, Dec 23 2012
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About the Author
Phoebe Baker Hyde started her beauty experiment in 2007 while living in Hong Kong. She holds degrees in Cultural Anthropology and English from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Fine Arts in writing from the University of California, Irvine. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in 'The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Confrontation, The Chrysalis Reader, High Plains Literary Review' and on the website 'Pology'. Her writing has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two children. Visit: PhoebeBakerHyde.com
Top customer reviews
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Then and there, "The Beauty Experiment" began with a vow to swear off the trappings of artificial beauty and the hope of revealing the author's inner beauty. As she further explored the connections between inner and outer beauty for herself, she also started to wonder: “am I alone in feeling and thinking as I do?” Thus, she designed a 44-question survey and posted it online from June 30, 2010 to January 4, 2011 along with a shorter survey for men. The results of this survey combined with personal notes became the basis for this memoir.
Baker Hyde's quest for self acceptance begins thoughtfully but becomes disjointed and loses the reader's interest with its repetitiveness. As is typical of the genre, the book's narcissistic tone ultimately results in tedious reading. However, the author does successfully show how perfectionism can block happiness, confidence, and serenity.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Besides it being applicable to me as my body and self image were changed by my cancer diagnosis and treatment, I also have a now 2.5 year old daughter, and it sensitized me to issues that we will face as she grows up (that I faced as I grew up). I didn't put too much stock in her survey results due to the small sample size, but they were interesting to look at.
Overall, an easy, entertaining read that provides some good thinking on the side. I turned down quite a few pages to go back through and look at when I want to re-read a section of the book. I would recommend this to a friend.
I definitely found the book topic relatable. We've all tried on a million outfits and a variety of make-up before a big night or day. We've all struggled with mommy vs wife vs me identities. We've all struggled with our own looks vs some beauty or fashion ideal. The author faced a wide variety of challenges in Hong Kong with pregnancy, new motherhood, spouse's career, life in expat community, trying to manage her own career, no family around, and her daughter's birth. It made my early years with my kids look easy in comparison. Although they are wonderful years, they are exhausting & all-consuming years and it's very easy to lose the "me" in them because everyone else's needs come first.
I felt this was a book about growth, even more so than about the beauty experiment which she used as her lens. It was a great read and I'd highly recommend it.
I was pulled in by the beginning of the book, when the author talked about living in Hong Kong and mentioned a number of places I am familiar with...but then it almost seemed as though she would go off on tangents and that caused me to lose a little more interest each time. There was a lot of self-pity, I felt, although she was the one who decided to do the experiment on herself. As a female, it made me a little sad that the author felt almost as though she was losing her identity during the course of the experiment - no one should measure their self-worth based on whether or not they're wearing the latest fashions or using makeup.
I'd recommend it if you're in the market for a book that showcases the author's internal conflicts over something as silly as makeup or clothing, if only to see how you compare. It was an interesting look into the mind of another female, though I can't say I agree with too many of her viewpoints.