Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

After trying to read Going Bovine and feeling like I was too dumb to understand what the heck was going on, I wasn’t sure I wanted to read Beauty Queens. But, luckily, I talked to a coworker who thought this book would be perfect for me and I decided to give the audiobook a chance. Librarians are just so darn good at reading their patrons! Shortly after finishing this book, I discovered a blog post entitled “Ten Things I Want to Tell Teenage Girls” and it was like this entire book was condensed into number 10…  In a much less sarcastic way, that is.  And I think that might be a big part of what I loved about this book.  The sarcasm, that is.  I am an *extremely* sarcastic person, and I just love me some tongue-in-cheek satire. 

Have you ever asked yourself, “What would happen if  a plane full of beauty queens crash-landed on a deserted island?”  Then, this is the book for you!  Beauty Queens examines consumer culture, reality TV, politics, rom-coms, the beauty industry, and religion while exploring issues of gender, race, sexuality, beauty, and identity.  And while it’s hard to believe that a unified storyline can emerge from a story that tackles so many issues, it really came together nicely.  Although the issues covered in this book are totally serious, Bray manages to be anything but serious and still makes her point.  (She also manages to sound like a full cast of readers in the audiobook, which is practically a super-power!)  I wish I could assign this book as required reading to every insecure girl/woman I know so they could start to see how ridiculous it is that we allow society to put so much pressure on us to be “perfect.”  One of my favorite lines was from an advertizement for Lady ‘Stache Off — “Because there’s nothing wrong with you … that can’t be fixed.”  I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of our culture telling me that I need to “fix” myself and I hope to teach my daughter (and every teen girl I work with) that we’re all beautiful just the way we are thankyouverymuch!

Happy Reading!

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