Body Works considers the different ways we maintain and modify our bodies for the sake of either living up to or rejecting cultural standards. Which ways are visible, which are accessible, or necessary, or safe?
For the 4th edition Barr states:
In the three years since Body Works was first published, Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty with an unprecedented 50 shades of foundation, pushing its competitors to be more inclusive of darker skin tones; Kylie Jenner became the youngest “self-made” billionaire with her “lip kits,” which help her fans recreate the look of her famously medically-enhanced lips; and Kim Kardashian has come out with a line of body foundation and a line of shapewear, or as she calls it, “solutionwear.”
Three years after writing Body Works, I continue to ask myself the same questions. What do I want to look like and why? What work goes into maintaining my body on a daily basis? How does that work shape my body? What privileges have I been afforded based on the way my body looks, and what privileges, if any, have I been denied? What cultural forces shape my own perception of my body? What am I willing to risk for beauty? -Liz Barr, 2019