Can the pressures women feel to look good be traced to the 16th century?

As the Renaissance visual world became populated by female nudes by the likes of Michelangelo and Titian, a vibrant literary scene of beauty tips emerged - fuelling debates about cosmetics and adornment, with 'solutions' to worries about everything from podgy upper arms, smelly armpits, droopy breasts, stretch marks and bad breath.

Telling the stories of courtesans, artists, actors and writers rebelling against the strictures of their time, when burgeoning colonialism gave rise to increasingly sinister evaluations of bodies and skin colour, this book puts beauty culture into the frame.

It will make you question your ideas about your own body, and ask: why are women often so critical of their appearance? What do we stand to lose, but also to gain, from beauty culture? What is the relationship between looks and power?

Hardback  Trade binding  336pp  h236mm  x  w158mm  x s38mm  560g  Integrated b/w and plate section; Integrated b/w and plate section  Hardback 

ISBN13: 9781788166669