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"It was self indulgent, we told ourselves. It was reinforcing bad old stereotypes - women as vain, self-absorbed. it was the evil step-mother looking in the mirror, bemoaning the signs of wear and tear. It brought back the lessons learned at the mothers knee, from the media: women are in competition with one another and can never be true friends, and looks are the arena in which the battle is fought. Hence, women cannot openly discuss their looks with each other. It would be giving too much away to the competition."
Lakoff, R and Scherr, L. Face Value, The Politics of Beauty, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1984