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Renee Engeln: Beauty Sick: How the Cultural Obsession with Beauty Hurts Girls and Women

  • Bookends & Beginnings Bookstore 1712 Sherman Avenue, Alley #1 Evanston, IL, 60201 United States (map)

For the past fifteen years, award-winning Northwestern University psychology professor Renee Engeln has dedicated herself to studying girls’ and women’s struggles with beauty and body image. In her revelatory new book, Beauty Sick, she explores the shocking consequences of our culture’s obsession with girls’ and women’s appearance—effects on their wallets and their ambitions as well as their emotional and physical health, including depression, eating disorders, disruptions in cognitive processing, and lost money and time. Fed by a culture that focuses on women’s appearance over anything else they might do or say, beauty sickness prevents too many of today’s women from living the happy, meaningful lives they deserve. So what can be done to heal our beauty sick world?

This program is part of Bookends & Beginnings' contribution to the year-long conversation of art, community dialogue, and new works called The Women’s Voices Project, which is being curated by Piven Theatre to celebrate its 45th anniversary and honor its founder, Joyce Piven. On April 30, Bookends is hosting three programs on books that seek to empower women, all of them by accomplished, Chicago-area women authors.