Pricing Beauty (Paperback)

The Making of a Fashion Model

By Ashley Mears

University of California Press, 9780520270763, 328pp.

Publication Date: September 14, 2011

List Price: 29.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Sociologist Ashley Mears takes us behind the brightly lit runways and glossy advertisements of the fashion industry in this insider’s study of the world of modeling. Mears, who worked as a model in New York and London, draws on observations as well as extensive interviews with male and female models, agents, clients, photographers, stylists, and others, to explore the economics and politics—and the arbitrariness— behind the business of glamour. Exploring a largely hidden arena of cultural production, she shows how the right “look” is discovered, developed, and packaged to become a prized commodity. She examines how models sell themselves, how agents promote them, and how clients decide to hire them. An original contribution to the sociology of work in the new cultural economy, Pricing Beauty offers rich, accessible analysis of the invisible ways in which gender, race, and class shape worth in the marketplace.

About the Author

Ashley Mears is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Boston University

Praise For Pricing Beauty: The Making of a Fashion Model

"Mears gives voice to a group of women who are paid to be seen and not heard."

— Slate

“Mears has produced a fascinating study.”

— Boston Globe/The Find

“Mears acknowledges that walking the runway can be a thrill unlike any other [but also] notes some of the industry’s exploitative aspects.”

— Stylelist

“A nuanced, and deliciously complicated depiction of an industry.”

— Tottenville Review

“Mears's book represents an original, highly readable contribution to the field.”

— Choice

“This book is sociology at its finest. Mears’s rarified status as a model-researcher provides rich insight into the specific nuances of fashion.”

— American Journal Of Sociology/AJS