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1 Local Warehouse Feminist Studies- Body Image

This title in other editions

On Blondes

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On Blondes Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In art and literature, in history and popular culture, blonde has never been a mere color. For two and a half thousand years, it has been a blazing signal in code, conferring beauty, power, and status. Weaving a story rich in drama, mystery, triumph, deception, disaster, and curiosity, Joanna Pitman effortlessly combines the wealth of her knowledge with a clear-sighted view of the power of the blonde through the ages.

Joanna Pitman read Japanese at Cambridge University and was Tokyo correspondent for The Times from 1990 to 1994. She is now the photography critic for The Times. This is her first book. She lives in London, England, with her family.

In art and literature, in history and popular culture, blonde has never been a mere color. For two and a half thousand years, it has been a blazing signal in code, signifying beauty, power, and status.

From Greek prostitutes mimicking the golden-haired Aphrodite to the California beach babe, from pigeon dung and saffron dyes to L'Oréal (because you're worth it), Joanna Pitman unveils the lengths to which women will go to become blonde. We watch while the blonde as erotic symbol, saintly virgin, or racial elite waxes and wanes throughout the ages, but never disappears. Why is it that blondes rose to prominence in Hollywood and in Nazi Germany at the same time? Why do young Japanese women today want to be blonde?

By looking at the world through the eyes of famous and infamous blondes and their admirers, Joanna Pitman draws us into an intriguing portrait of society. Weaving a story rich in drama, mystery, triumph, deception, disaster, and curiosity, Pitman combines her knowledge with a sharp and clear-sighted view of the power of the blonde throughout the ages.

"Vast, thorough and highly engaging . . . a work of wry brilliance."The Baltimore Sun

"Fair hair . . . is a fetish so ingrained we seldom think to question it. In her first book Joanna Pitman does just that, uncovering a remarkable history of blondness and illuminating the deep-seated fears, passions and aspirations behind it."Time Out New York

"Ms. Pitman draws interesting parallels between the Nazis' adulation of the blond, the Soviet Union's promotion of the dynamic blond ideal, and 'the development of a radiantly sunlit blond American ideal, the WASP American dream."The New York Times

"A fast, witty and rollicking read."Associated Press

"An engaging and dishy read, On Blondes will have power-hungry brunettes reaching for the peroxide."Entertainment Weekly

"Pitman, a distinguished Times of London writer, has taken up the subject of why golden hair has so fascinated men and, to a lesser extent, women, for so many centuries. She traces the origin of the fetish to Greek times, when the sex-goddess (literally) Aphrodite was depicted as a golden blonde, thereby encouraging any number of naturally raven-tressed women to bleach themselves to match her image. Through the ages, the association of blonde hair with sexual allure has held, right down to the present, when advertisers double-talk women into seeing blondeness as both empowering ('I'm worth it') and seductive ('I'm worth dating'). With such an engaging subject, it would be hard to go wrong, and Pitman's engaging style only highlights the appeal of this combination of history, folklore, and shrewd cultural commentary."Booklist

"The book tackles issues of race, gender and class, ultimately asking, 'Why is America, f1 a culture so publicly concerned with overcoming its problems with race, still so fixated on the blonde?' Pitman admits there are no clear answers, but she offers a bright, energetic and witty exploration of the topic."Publishers Weekly

"Pitman examines with verve and style the changing significance of blondness from ancient Greece to modern times."Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

In art and literature, in history and popular culture, blonde has never been a mere color. For two and a half thousand years, it has been a blazing signal in code, conferring beauty, power, and status. Weaving a story rich in drama, mystery, triumph, deception, disaster, and curiosity, Joanna Pitman effortlessly combines the wealth of her knowledge with a clear-sighted view of the power of the blonde through the ages.

About the Author

Joanna Pitman is the photography critic for the London Times and a features writer for the Times Magazine, where she also worked as Tokyo bureau chief from 1990 to 1994. She lives in London with her husband and two daughters.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781582344027
Author:
Pitman, Joanna
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Subject:
General
Subject:
History
Subject:
Social history
Subject:
Hair
Subject:
Beauty & Grooming - Hair
Subject:
General History
Subject:
Hair -- Dyeing and bleaching.
Subject:
Hair -- Social aspects.
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20040318
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
7.75 x 5.06 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » Body Image
History and Social Science » World History » General

On Blondes Used Trade Paper
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Product details 320 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781582344027 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
In art and literature, in history and popular culture, blonde has never been a mere color. For two and a half thousand years, it has been a blazing signal in code, conferring beauty, power, and status. Weaving a story rich in drama, mystery, triumph, deception, disaster, and curiosity, Joanna Pitman effortlessly combines the wealth of her knowledge with a clear-sighted view of the power of the blonde through the ages.

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