IN PERSON - Elise Hu - FLAWLESS

Start: 
Wednesday, May 31, 2023 - 6:30pm
Location: 
Brazos Bookstore--
2421 Bissonnet Street
Houston, TX 77005

Brazos Bookstore will host Elise Hu in person on Wednesday, May 31 at 6:30pm.

Elise Hu will be in conversation with Chris Vognar.


An audacious journalistic exploration of the present and future of beauty through the lens of South Korea's booming "K-beauty" industry and the culture it promotes, by Elise Hu, NPR host-at-large and the host of TED Talks Daily

K-beauty has captured imaginations worldwide by promising a kind of mesmerizing perfection. Its skincare and makeup products—creams packaged to look like milkshakes or pandas, and snail mucus face masks, to name a few—work together to fascinate us, champion consumerism, and invite us to indulge. In the four years Elise spent in Seoul as NPR’s bureau chief, the global K-beauty industry quadrupled. Today it's worth $10 billion and is only getting bigger as it rides the Hallyu wave around the globe.

And fun as self-care consumerism may be, Elise turns her veteran eye to the darker questions lurking beneath the surface of this story. When technology makes it easy to quantify and optimize ourselves—from banishing blemishes, to whittling our waistlines, even to shaving down our jaws—where do we draw the line? What are the dangers for a society where a flawless face and body are promoted and possible? What are the real financial, physical, and emotional costs of beauty work in a culture that valorizes endless self-improvement and codes it as empowerment?
 
With rich historical context and deep reporting, including hours of interviews with South Korean women, this is a complex, provocative look at the ways hustle culture has reached into the sinews of our bodies. It raises complicated questions about gender disparity, consumerism, the beauty imperative of an appearance obsessed society, and the undeniable political, economic, and social capital of good looks worldwide. And it points the way toward an alternative vision, one that's more affirming and inclusive than a beauty culture led by industry.


Elise Hu is a correspondent and host at-large for NPR, the American news network; and since April 2020, the inaugural host of TED Talks Daily, the daily podcast from TED that’s downloaded a million times a day in all countries of the world. For nearly four years, she was the NPR bureau chief responsible for coverage of North Korea, South Korea, and Japan. Her work has earned the national DuPont Columbia, Edward R. Murrow and Gracie awards, along with a Gannett Foundation Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism. She lives in Los Angeles with her three daughters.

Chris Vognar writes about arts and culture for publications including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone and Texas Monthly. He is a former Nieman Arts and Culture Fellow at Harvard University. 


 
Flawless: Lessons in Looks and Culture from the K-Beauty Capital By Elise Hu Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9780593184189
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Dutton - May 23rd, 2023