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Thoughts on the Army of Therapists, Beauticians & Trainers Who Navigate Women's Bodies in the New "Damage Control" Anthology. FASHIONTRIBES BEAUTY BLOG

Beauty

We love them and we hate them; we revere them and we fear them; we need them and wish we didn’t: they're the hairstylists, trainers, manicurists, waxers, nutritionists, masseurs, healers, and sundry other pain/pleasure purveyors whose digits are on the top of every modern woman’s speed dial. In Damage Control: Women on the Therapists, Beauticians, and Trainers Who Navigate Their Bodies (Avon A; 2007), novelist, journalist, and now editor, Emma Forrest serves them up on a skewer in an eclectic, colorful collection of essays and interviews by women in, around, and behind the spotlight. They are as cheeky, smart, and down-to-earth as our best mani/pedi buddies, fellow revelers and commiseraters not afraid to talk about themselves in the process. “It’s real women writing about real things with raw honesty and courage and balls. And hope," notes Forrest about this edgy collection of tales that surf feminism’s third wave.

Forrest calls on her most insightful, outspoken colleagues across the entertainment continuum (as well as a handful of professionals on the other side of the egg timer) to express their intimate thoughts about the love/hate relationship women have with the “beauty machine.” With contributions from Francesca Lia Block, Minnie Driver, Marian Keyes, Jennifer Belle, Sarah Jones (Tony Award-winning actor and playwright of Bridge and Tunnel), Rachel Resnik, author of Go West Young F*cked Up Chick, and others, the range of topics covers cat haircuts, gossip, clean feet, and nose jobs to heartbreak, divorce, virginity, sexual abuse, cancer, and even parental suicide.

  • In the opening piece, You Have to Understand My Hair, Minnie Driver reveals the details of a long-standing and very complex relationship she has had since childhood…with her hair, and how one fateful cut in her teen years shaped that relationship for years to come.
  • Marian Keyes, author of Watermelon, Sushi for Beginners, Angels, and four other humorous, wise women-on-the-edge novels, gives a minute-by-minute countdown in Hair Rage of the interminable wait (and public meltdown) she endures at the hairdresser on the eve of a book launch party in her honor.
  • Rose McGowan of the TV hit Charmed and currently starring in Quentin Tarantino's Grindhouse, advocates a middle ground as she considers the feminist rebuke of the beauty industry in It Takes A Village: "I don’t think people have to be glamour pusses all the time…but the bottom-line is: it’s harder to be depressed with hot pink lipstick on."
  • Marcelle Karp, aka Betty Boob, founding editor of the raucous, groundbreaking magazine Bust: For Women With Something to Get Off Their Chests, confesses in Tender to the unexpected girl crush she develops on a punked-out bikini waxer named June whose intimate, non-traditional approach to her art bring about some seismic life changes.
  • Indira Varma, plucked from drama school at the age of nineteen to star in Mira Nair’s Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love, interviews “Anita” on the trials and tribulations of her rise from NYU fashion student to become one of Hollywood’s most sought-after make-up artists. What is it like to work with Spike Lee? Only this make-up artist knows for sure.
  • Maysan Haydar, whose essay Veiled Intentions: Don't Judge a Muslim Girl by Her Covering appears in the anthology Body Outlaws: Rewriting the Rules of Beauty and Body Image, mines the cultural/historical roots of beautification customs, discussing the sense of  community they build with other women in Permanent: The Persistence of Arab Beauty Rituals.
  • Emma Forrest - herself a colorful character who landed a column in London’s Sunday Times at the precocious age of 16 & penned 3 buzz-inciting novels: Namedropper, Thin Skin, and Cherries in the Snow: A Novel of Lust, Love, Loss, and Lipstick - contributes to the collection in A Fixed Ideal, discussing her tattoo obsession and the Buddhist tattoo artist she falls in love with who helps her understand it.

Interspersed with equally funny, heart-warming, biting, soul-searching pieces written by the primping professionals themselves (including one anonymous strip club make-up artist and the manicurist who began doing Tori Spelling’s nails when she was five), Forrest’s collection explores in a new way the reasons women continue to so gamely support the beauty industry, the behind-the-scenes stories and perspectives of the industry professionals, as well as what these people mean to us…and why.

Available for pre-order - the release date is June 12, 2007 - at Amazon.com.

- Lesley Scott

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May 25, 2007 in Beauty, Books and Literature, Pop Culture, Weblogs | Permalink

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