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Download The Beauty Suit: How My Year of Religious Modesty Made Me a Better Feminist Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Beauty Suit: How My Year of Religious Modesty Made Me a Better Feminist Audiobook, by Lauren Shields Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lauren Shields Narrator: to be announced Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 15, 2018 ISBN: 9780807092378
Coming Soon! The audiobook will be available for pre-order on April 24, 2018.Check back on that date to pre-order this title for the May 15, 2018 release!
Available for pre-order on: April 24, 2018

A young feminist finds herself questioning why "hotness" has become necessary for female empowerment--and looks for alternatives.

Looking good feels good. And in an age in which seemingly everything women do is subject to "calling out," it's tempting to believe that any choice a woman makes, by virtue of being made by a female, is "feminist."

But in a society where looking good is posited as being strong, while negotiating for better pay is statistically proven to damage our careers, is it fair to say that wicked eyeliner, weekly blowouts, and a polished Instagram feed are the keys to our liberation? If so--if "hot" really is a good enough synonym for "empowered"-- why do so many of us feel, deep in our bones, that the sexy-as-strong model is a distraction? Is "pretty" still the closest to power women can get? And if not, can we finally leave behind our obsession with beauty? Why is looking fierce an acceptable substitute for living in a world where women are safe?

Inspired in seminary by American Muslimahs who wear the hijab for feminist reasons, Lauren Shields took off what she calls the Beauty Suit--the "done" hair, the tasteful and carefully applied makeup, the tight clothes and foot-binding shoes--for nine months. She'd really only wanted to do an experiment. Instead, her life--especially her views on what constitutes "liberation"--changed forever.

Rooted in feminist theory and religious history, and guided by a snappy personal narrative, The Beauty Suit unpacks modern American womanhood: a landscape where the female body is still so often the battleground for male ideals, and where we struggle with our rights as human beings to define and exercise our freedom. Exploring what religious traditions and secular culture say about how a woman should dress, look, and, by extension, be, Shields investigates the modesty practices of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity with humor and an eye to separating the facts from the propaganda, and drags runaway consumerism under her microscope in the process.

With a voice echoing the amusing and confessional tone of authors like Lena Dunham and Caitlin Moran, Shields spins the messiness of her journey into a narrative that will resonate deeply in the hearts of modern women as we notice the widening gap between how liberated we're told we are and our actual lived experiences. The Beauty Suit takes us on Shields' own quest to discover what she should be, navigating the contradictions both of our age and of religious traditions, and exploring the difference between power bestowed and power possessed. Download and start listening now!

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About the Author

Lauren Shields is a Licensed Minister in the United Church of Christ, currently serving at Campbell United Church of Christ in Silicon Valley. A former Chaplaincy Resident at the California Pacific Medical Center, Shields studies the practical applications of faith.

About the Narrator

Lindy West is a Seattle-based writer, editor, and performer whose work focuses on pop culture, social justice, humor, and body image. She’s currently a culture writer for GQ magazine and GQ.com and a weekly columnist at the Guardian, as well as the founder and editor of I Believe You | It’s Not Your Fault, an advice blog for teens. In January of 2015 she wrote and recorded a story for This American Life about confronting an internet troll who impersonated her dead father.