Attorney and legal analyst Lisa Bloom just published a book, Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World.  Elle Magazine interviewed her about it.  In her book, Bloom argues that while women have made tremendous strides in society over the past decades, they are actually becoming dumber.

She sites studies (the actual studies weren’t mentioned) claiming that women would rather lose their ability to read than lose their figure, and she believes that women, included herself, spend way too much time caring for their beauty rather than nurturing their brains.  “As a television personality,” she says, “I spend a fair amount of time keeping up my appearance — and I hate it…that’s hundreds of hours a year I’m not getting back.”Obviously I can’t disagree that our celebrity, reality TV-based culture dumbs us down.  And of course I don’t think we should forgo our intelligence for beauty.

BUT it’s not an all or nothing equation! First of all, feeling beautiful gives us the confidence we need to excel in our world…not just as beauty queens but as smart professionals. Second of all, as I’ve written many times before, spending a few minutes a day taking care of our bodies nourishes us emotionally.  Finally, if taking care of our bodies means were eating better and exercising, that much better for the health of our bodies and our minds!

Sure, Bloom wants to sell her book so she has to go to the extreme.  And I’m all for empowering women to be smarter and more successful in life.  But beauty can be a part of doing that, not a hindrance to it.

By the way, Bloom could always cease dying her hair and wearing make-up.  She’s obviously powerful enough not to have to succumb to society’s grooming “rules.”  But she doesn’t.  What does that say?

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