5 Books By Women Dissecting The Evolution Of Beauty And Fashion

As our societal conceptions of beauty change, so too must industries that revolve around consumers' desire to present themselves in the best light. Ideas like body positivity and sustainable clothing production are changing the way we view these worlds, and one can only wonder how our attitudes will change in the future. These authors take a critical look at beauty and fashion, considering how much we value our relationship to the things that make us feel beautiful. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

5 Books Revealing Changing Attitudes In The Worlds Of Fashion And Beauty

Title Author More by the Author
Slave to Fashion Safia Minney Naked Fashion: The New Sustainable Fashion Revolution
True Beauty Emme with Daniel Paisner Morning Has Broken: A Couple's Journey Through Depression
ECOrenaissance: A Lifestyle Guide for Cocreating a Stylish, Sexy, and Sustainable World Marci Zaroff
Style, Naturally: The Savvy Shopping Guide to Sustainable Fashion and Beauty Summer Rayne Oakes How to Make a Plant Love You: Cultivate Green Space in Your Home and Heart
Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful Arwen Elys Dayton Seeker

Safia Minney Discusses Slave to Fashion

Companies That Sell Cruelty-Free Beauty Products

Name What It Offers
LEMONHEAD.LA Offers certified vegan adult glitter and gels, designed and handcrafted by Los Angeles makeup artists
Poppy Austin Creates premium hair and skin products, preventing signs of aging by using only the finest, most ethically sourced cosmetics
Maple Holistics Provides a natural, holistic range of premium products which can enhance hygiene, health, and daily living, including therapeutic shampoos and conditioners, facial masks, and essential oils
Dr.Lipp Makes a multi-use balm containing just one ingredient: 100% medical-grade lanolin from free-roaming Australian sheep wool
OROGOLD Cosmetics Specially infuses each one of its products with 24K gold, creating makeup and skincare that's cruelty- and paraben-free
Briogeo Creates haircare using natural oils, vitamins, and antioxidants to address immediate concerns and build the foundation for long-term healthy, nourished, and beautiful hair

Marci Zaroff at Women Empower Expo

In Depth

Concepts of beauty, like the cultures they stem from, are never static. As attitudes and practices shift over time, there are attendant changes in what is considered stylish, progressive, and permissible. The female-authored books included here, presented in no particular order, interrogate this ongoing evolution, exploring everything from current trends in sustainable fashion to the future possibilities of human genetic manipulation.

Showing up at #1 is "Slave to Fashion" by Safia Minney. Comprised of interviews with the men, women, and children who are forced to make our clothes, this book explores and exposes modern slavery in the fashion industry. It also details the best practices of brands and designers, showing how exploitation-free clothing is not only achievable, but can be used to empower workers.

A pioneer in ethical business and sustainable clothing, Minney has written other books that focus on illuminating and improving her industry. In "Slow Fashion," she examines the eco-concept store movement, profiling the people and businesses fostering a new, more ethical economy. There's also "Naked Fashion," which provides further insights from eco-conscious designers and creatives. Beyond her writing, Minney runs the Fair Trade company People Tree, and does speaking and consulting.

A pioneer in ethical business and sustainable clothing, Minney has written other books that focus on illuminating and improving her industry.

For #2 we get "True Beauty," by renowned plus-size model and body image spokeswoman Emme. When it was first published in the late 1990s, photographers often refused to shoot full-figured models, who were paid a fraction of what thinner women received. In the book, Emme talks about her struggles, shares her success story, and offers encouragement and tips for women striving to improve their self-esteems.

Emme followed her debut with "Life's Little Emergencies," a practical and humorous guide to getting through everyday dilemmas. Among her myriad other achievements, Emme is the founder of Fashion Without Limits, an initiative teaching future designers how to cater to women of all sizes.

Next up at #3 is "Eco-renaissance" by Marci Zaroff. A lifestyle guide, Zaroff's book provides tips and tricks for living and shopping in harmony with nature. Drawing on the wisdom of leaders of the green movement, it sheds light on the rise of progressive ethics in commerce, and helps readers embrace sustainable living as both a celebration of style and a necessary strategy for maintaining everyday comforts with limited resources.

Drawing on the wisdom of leaders of the green movement, it sheds light on the rise of progressive ethics in commerce, and helps readers embrace sustainable living as both a celebration of style and a necessary strategy for maintaining everyday comforts with limited resources.

After years in the food and beauty industry, Zaroff launched the lifestyle brand Under the Canopy, and coined the term "ecofashion." She helped pioneer the market for organic and sustainable apparel and home textiles, founding additional eco-friendly companies MetaWear and Farm to Home, and spearheading sustainable fashion initiatives at top retailers. Today, Zaroff speaks and consults internationally, and is featured extensively in TV and print media.

For #4 we come to "Style, Naturally" by Summer Rayne Oakes, who has been recognized as the first "eco-model." Featuring over 350 color images, plus interviews, profiles, and perspectives from global designers, beauty trendsetters, and eco-conscious brands, the book assists readers with making informed shopping decisions.

Oakes bridges her interest in ecology with industries that affect everyday life. She is the co-founder of Source4Style, a venture-backed marketplace that connects designers to sustainable material suppliers around the world. More recently, she has focused on sustainable food, agricultural, and horticultural systems, helping with the launch of companies including Good Eggs and Foodstand. Among many other projects, Oakes has designed environmentally-preferable lines and served as a correspondent on Discovery Networks.

Among many other projects, Oakes has designed environmentally-preferable lines and served as a correspondent on Discovery Networks.

Finally, landing at #5 is "Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful," a science-fiction title by Arwen Elys Dayton. Its six interconnected stories explore human gene editing and body modification, with each one set slightly further ahead in time. Throughout, Dayton raises thought-provoking questions about ethics in organ transplants, the implications of "designer babies," and the class consequences of eugenics, pondering how far we'll go to remake ourselves into the perfect specimen.

Dayton began her career as a teenage staff writer at a foundation that produced Peabody Award-winning educational shows for PBS. Soon afterward, she began writing screenplays and novels, eventually authoring the Amazon bestseller "Resurrection" and the popular "Seeker" series. Dayton spends months doing research for her stories, traveling around the world to places such as the Great Pyramid of Giza, Hong Kong, and Scotland.