Information on Beauty Up

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The University of California Press is pleased to announce the publication of:

Beauty Up: Exploring Contemporary Japanese Body Aesthetics

Laura Miller, Associate Professor of Anthropology
at Loyola University Chicago, is Past President
of the Society for East Asian Anthropology,
American Anthropological Association, and
coeditor, with Jan Bardsley, of _Bad Girls of
Japan_ (2005).

"This is a very well researched, thoughtful, and
engagingly written study of some of the hottest
areas of Japan's beauty industry. Always careful
to avoid easy generalizations or clichés about
Japanese culture, Miller shows both the diversity
of Japanese beauty practices and perceptions, and
their dramatic shifts in recent years. Her
critical yet sensitive descriptions of Japan's
consumers and her critiques of Euro-American
understandings about them will leave the reader
reflecting as much about the 'West' as about
Japan."-Takashi Fujitani, author of _Splendid
Monarchy: Power and Pageantry in Modern Japan_

This engaging introduction to Japan's burgeoning
beauty culture investigates a wide range of
phenomenon-aesthetic salons, dieting products,
male beauty activities, and beauty language-to
find out why Japanese women and men are paying so
much attention to their bodies. Laura Miller uses
social science and popular culture sources to
connect breast enhancements, eyelid surgery, body
hair removal, nipple bleaching, and other beauty
work to larger issues of gender ideology, the
culturally-constructed nature of beauty ideals,
and the globalization of beauty technologies and
standards. Her sophisticated treatment of this
timely topic suggests that new body aesthetics
are not forms of "deracializiation" but rather
innovative experimentation with identity
management. While recognizing that these beauty
activities are potentially a form of resistance,
Miller also considers the commodification of
beauty, exploring how new ideals and technologies
are tying consumers even more firmly to an
ever-expanding beauty industry. By considering
beauty in a Japanese context, Miller challenges
widespread assumptions about the universality and
naturalness of beauty standards.

Full information about the book, including the
table of contents, is available online: