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Book summary and reviews of Die Hot with a Vengeance by Sable Yong

Die Hot with a Vengeance by Sable Yong

Die Hot with a Vengeance

Essays on Vanity

by Sable Yong

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  • Readers' Opinion:
  •  Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
  • Jul 2024
    256 pages
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About this book

Book Summary

Journalist and former Allure editor Sable Yong debuts with a sharp-toothed and hilarious essay collection about beauty and vanity, examining their stigmatization in the cultural zeitgeist, and how to shift the focus to use both for powerful tools for self-exploration, interpersonal connection, and cultural change.

The beauty industry has a single mandate: be hot.

In the same week that you might be encouraged to try curtain bangs, contouring, bleached eyebrows, laser facials, buccal fat removal, fillers, and "non-invasive" facelifts, you're simultaneously absorbing mantras about self-care, body positivity, empowerment, and loving yourself just as you are.

Overwhelmed yet? 

Fear not. Die Hot with a Vengeance delves into the machinations of this multi-billion-dollar industry, offering readers an expert analysis of its inner workings with the precision of a scalpel and the humor of a stand-up comedian. Along the way, Yong sets off to answer some of the biggest questions of our time: 

  • How do you break through the noise of beauty and wellness culture's endless optimization protocols?
  • How can you find actual authenticity in a world of performative artifice?
  • Can the antidote to aging be found in a jar, tube, or at the end of a syringe?
  • Do blondes really have more fun?

  • Using Yong's many years of experience as a beauty editor to unlock the industry's myriad secrets, Die Hot with a Vengeance gives beauty and vanity a neutralizing make-over. At its best, beauty is so much more than an aesthetic; it's an inspirational mindset. It's a playfulness inherent to the practice of self-expression.

    And yet it's difficult to engage playfully when it feels like beauty is an ever-moving target. We're all subject to societal expectations surrounding beauty and vanity, enough so that breaking through the capitalist pressures can feel impossible. Yong argues that while the mandate may be for us to be hot, the beauty industry thrives on us absorbing its teachings so it can keep us in a constant feedback loop of appearance-based anxiety, forever perpetuating unattainable standards. Flipping that imperative, Yong's debut collection poses the most important question of all: How do you discover your value of beauty so you can free yourself from the loud and bullshitty noise of all these entities telling you that you're not good enough?

    Digging deep into our most pervasive and questionable beauty trends and conventions, Die Hot with a Vengeance offers an incisive yet wry dissection of one of our most enduring cultural addictions. Irreverent, side-splittingly funny, and astute, the book is as amusing as it is insightful, an instant classic for beauty-readers and aspirant hotties alike. 

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    Reviews

    Media Reviews

    "A vibrant essay collection about beauty, identity, and cultural acceptance...Yong's take on beauty and fashion is revealing, playful, and heartfelt." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

    "Yong asserts that 'a pleasant experience with beauty is possible when you engage with it on your own terms,' but this pat explanation fails to acknowledge the ways in which notions of what constitutes beauty are reliant on social and aesthetic values that individuals have little power to change. Candid but conflicted, this will leave readers scratching their heads." —Publishers Weekly

    "A must-read for anyone who has felt the tension between the beauty industry's ability to simultaneously exploit and empower, Die Hot With a Vengeance eviscerates the manipulative aspects of Big Beauty without shaming those who love what beauty practices can offer. With this comprehensive collection of essays, Yong demystifies the beauty industry while illuminating a path toward self-liberation in which we can enjoy beauty while extricating ourselves from ideals that don't serve us." —Ling Ling Huang, author of Natural Beauty

    This information about Die Hot with a Vengeance was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

    Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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    Author Information

    Sable Yong

    Sable Yong is a freelance writer and editor. Formerly a beauty editor at Allure, she got her start in beauty as a writer and editor at xoVain, championing the personal, individual, and truly weird nature of beauty. She co-hosts a podcast about all things scent-related, called Smell Ya Later. Sable's extensive work and talent has appeared in Vogue, ElleThe New York Times, Manrepeller, GQ, New York Magazine, Harper's Bazaar, Nylon, Teen Vogue, and others. Die Hot with a Vengeance is her first book. 

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