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Pretty Boys: Legendary Icons Who Embraced Their Beauty, Redefined Masculinity, and Changed the World

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Chanel and Goop might have seemed ahead of the curve when they launched their men’s beauty and wellness lines, but pharaohs were exfoliating, moisturizing, and masking eons earlier. Thousands of years before Harry Styles strutted down the red carpet with multicolored fingernails, Babylonian army officials had their own personal manicure sets. And BTS might have become an i Chanel and Goop might have seemed ahead of the curve when they launched their men’s beauty and wellness lines, but pharaohs were exfoliating, moisturizing, and masking eons earlier. Thousands of years before Harry Styles strutted down the red carpet with multicolored fingernails, Babylonian army officials had their own personal manicure sets. And BTS might have become an international sensation for their smoky eyes and perfect pouts, but the Korean Hwarang warriors who put on a full face before battle preceded them by centuries.   Pretty Boys unearths diverse and surprising beauty icons who have redefined what masculinity and gender expression look like throughout history, to empower us to live and look our truths. Whether you’re brand new to beauty, or you already have a ten-step routine, Pretty Boys will inspire and teach you how to find your best self through tutorials, beauty secrets, and advice from the biggest names in the beauty industry, Hollywood, and social media.   From Frank Ocean’s skin-care routine to Clark Gable’s perfectly styled hair, Rami Malek’s subtle eyeliner to a face beat to the gods à la Boy George or Kimchi the drag queen, K-Beauty to clean beauty, Pretty Boys will completely change the way we all see gender expression and identity.


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Chanel and Goop might have seemed ahead of the curve when they launched their men’s beauty and wellness lines, but pharaohs were exfoliating, moisturizing, and masking eons earlier. Thousands of years before Harry Styles strutted down the red carpet with multicolored fingernails, Babylonian army officials had their own personal manicure sets. And BTS might have become an i Chanel and Goop might have seemed ahead of the curve when they launched their men’s beauty and wellness lines, but pharaohs were exfoliating, moisturizing, and masking eons earlier. Thousands of years before Harry Styles strutted down the red carpet with multicolored fingernails, Babylonian army officials had their own personal manicure sets. And BTS might have become an international sensation for their smoky eyes and perfect pouts, but the Korean Hwarang warriors who put on a full face before battle preceded them by centuries.   Pretty Boys unearths diverse and surprising beauty icons who have redefined what masculinity and gender expression look like throughout history, to empower us to live and look our truths. Whether you’re brand new to beauty, or you already have a ten-step routine, Pretty Boys will inspire and teach you how to find your best self through tutorials, beauty secrets, and advice from the biggest names in the beauty industry, Hollywood, and social media.   From Frank Ocean’s skin-care routine to Clark Gable’s perfectly styled hair, Rami Malek’s subtle eyeliner to a face beat to the gods à la Boy George or Kimchi the drag queen, K-Beauty to clean beauty, Pretty Boys will completely change the way we all see gender expression and identity.

30 review for Pretty Boys: Legendary Icons Who Embraced Their Beauty, Redefined Masculinity, and Changed the World

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    BTS made me read it... but I'm really glad I did. **Thank you to the publisher and Bookish First for providing me with a free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.** I think it's safe to say that I don't read a lot of nonfiction - or pretty much any. But this was not dull like a textbook, it was pretty and sparkly and kept me entertained even though I'm a straight cis woman who doesn't even wear makeup or put much effort into her appearance. I was fascinated by the historical tidbits tha BTS made me read it... but I'm really glad I did. **Thank you to the publisher and Bookish First for providing me with a free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.** I think it's safe to say that I don't read a lot of nonfiction - or pretty much any. But this was not dull like a textbook, it was pretty and sparkly and kept me entertained even though I'm a straight cis woman who doesn't even wear makeup or put much effort into her appearance. I was fascinated by the historical tidbits that I wouldn't have even thought of to research on my own. And it was all told in a down-to-earth, approachable, chatting with my bestie style that really made this a good time to finger through the pages. I admit I did end up glossing over the actual beauty tips after a certain point because I'm just not going to use them, but that doesn't deter from how I enjoyed the book. I also really liked the illustrations and, of course, I flipped out fangirling when I saw the whole glorious chapter on BTS. I even texted my boyfriend (a Jungkook stan lol) screaming with pics of our boys in the book. xD Note: I hope they fix the typo in the spelling of BTS' name before publication. It's Bangtan Sonyeondan not Sonyeondang. Ddaeng. lol Sorry. Another thing I appreciated was that the book showcased how makeup + men does not always equate to queer. It can mean that, but it spread the message that makeup should be for everyone and anyone who wants it, regardless of who they are or how they identify. I'm a girl who loves equality and this book didn't leave ANYONE out. So yay.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Ryan

    Audiobook via Audible. I heard of this book through JVN’s ‘Getting Curious’ podcast. It’s a fascinating exploration of male beauty practices and gender fluidity throughout history and global cultures, the role of colonialism in the creation of the gender binary, and interspersed with beauty & skincare tips. Loved the section the Hwarang and the evolution of K-pop. Bonus of the audiobook is that I’ve found another one where Kevin R. Free is one of the narrators.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kal ★ Reader Voracious

    FIRST IMPRESSIONS REVIEW This isn't something I normally would give a second glance at, but I read an excerpt on BookishFirst and all I have to say is WOW. "Beauty has been a constant symbol of power. It has always been a conduit for change." Well researched and beautifully illustrated, Pretty Boys is more than a surface-level look at men in fashion through the ages, but explores how makeup is used to show status, the beauty regimens of men throughout history with tutorials to replicat FIRST IMPRESSIONS REVIEW This isn't something I normally would give a second glance at, but I read an excerpt on BookishFirst and all I have to say is WOW. "Beauty has been a constant symbol of power. It has always been a conduit for change." Well researched and beautifully illustrated, Pretty Boys is more than a surface-level look at men in fashion through the ages, but explores how makeup is used to show status, the beauty regimens of men throughout history with tutorials to replicate for yourself, and how beauty ideals/regimens have changed. It reads like a fun sociology textbook, and I am here for it. Looking forward to checking out the full book upon release in June 2021! Blog | Twitter | Pinterest

  4. 4 out of 5

    Suzie

    What first interested me about this book was the cover. I instantly recognized RM, leader of BTS, on the letter "B". And while I admittedly don't know anything about make-up or skincare, I found myself completely captivated by this read. This book begins by chronicling the history of make-up, beginning with the Neanderthal in prehistoric times. We learn about various cultures as time moves forward. In this way, the reader is able to grasp how the use of make-up within society has changed over ti What first interested me about this book was the cover. I instantly recognized RM, leader of BTS, on the letter "B". And while I admittedly don't know anything about make-up or skincare, I found myself completely captivated by this read. This book begins by chronicling the history of make-up, beginning with the Neanderthal in prehistoric times. We learn about various cultures as time moves forward. In this way, the reader is able to grasp how the use of make-up within society has changed over time. The book also looks at present day figures that bend gender norms. It is a very informative book. Lots of great tips about skincare and make-up. Also includes quick interviews with various people. Overall, the book is simple and straightforward. Yes, it is about make-up and skin care. But it's more. It's all about loving yourself. Being comfortable with yourself. A great read. Rating: 3.5/5 *Thank you BookishFirst for the ARC of this book in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own and based solely on the copy provided*

  5. 5 out of 5

    Renee (The B-Roll)

    When I saw what this book was about and the fact that it is a non-fiction piece, I was so excited because it has been difficult to find books on this subject and since now there has been a general cultural and social shift to inclusion, this type of book can be written, published, and shared. I loved reading this book and all the stories and anecdotes about icons. This is seriously a book that I would love to buy a bunch of copies of and just share it with everyone because it is a great convers When I saw what this book was about and the fact that it is a non-fiction piece, I was so excited because it has been difficult to find books on this subject and since now there has been a general cultural and social shift to inclusion, this type of book can be written, published, and shared. I loved reading this book and all the stories and anecdotes about icons. This is seriously a book that I would love to buy a bunch of copies of and just share it with everyone because it is a great conversation started and its important to have these sorts of topics and issues in our repertoires for future use. I love that this book breaks the stereotypes set forth and creates something new and dynamic that celebrates each person and each person's beauty while also reminding us that we should all be happy and proud to be who we are, regardless of what society thinks or places on us.

  6. 4 out of 5

    R.J. Sorrento

    I love this so much, and I haven’t read a nonfiction book quite like this before. PRETTY BOYS: LEGENDARY ICONS WHO REDEFINED BEAUTY is an excellent guide for the LGBTQ+ readers, featuring historical accounts of people (mostly men) who live outside the gender binary. From BTS to Ramses the Great, David Yi explores beauty and expression from around the world and throughout time. There self care guides sprinkled throughout which is an added bonus. As a genderfluid person I found a lot of it very he I love this so much, and I haven’t read a nonfiction book quite like this before. PRETTY BOYS: LEGENDARY ICONS WHO REDEFINED BEAUTY is an excellent guide for the LGBTQ+ readers, featuring historical accounts of people (mostly men) who live outside the gender binary. From BTS to Ramses the Great, David Yi explores beauty and expression from around the world and throughout time. There self care guides sprinkled throughout which is an added bonus. As a genderfluid person I found a lot of it very helpful even though the target audience is men or masc people. The book is inclusive of race and culture, and there are a few features on trans men and nonbinary people as well, which is much appreciated. For anyone who wants to learn more about beauty for men and the many ways to express gender, I highly recommend PRETTY BOYS. Thank you to Bookish First and the publisher for an ARC.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Irene

    The premise of this book sounded absolutely wonderful, and I have to say it delivered. Pretty Boys takes us through a history of how men's beauty has been a constant feature in culture since ancient Egyptian times, and highlights this across a range of cultures. I was also happily surprised by the sprinkles of beauty how-to's that followed each chapter, which while not the most helpful for me all the time, was a nice way to tie history to the present. I also applaud the approach taken to definin The premise of this book sounded absolutely wonderful, and I have to say it delivered. Pretty Boys takes us through a history of how men's beauty has been a constant feature in culture since ancient Egyptian times, and highlights this across a range of cultures. I was also happily surprised by the sprinkles of beauty how-to's that followed each chapter, which while not the most helpful for me all the time, was a nice way to tie history to the present. I also applaud the approach taken to defining beauty and prettiness in this book, as it is clear the message is that beauty isn't restricted to simply physical appearance, but to the overcoming of adversity and the free expression of identity, among other things. By the way, to no one's surprise, my favourite chapter was on BTS. I'm glad Yi gave a thorough background on the band, including their struggles and triumphs, as it felt really well-rounded. I'd love to get an entire book just on how K-pop, and the Korean pop cultural industry in general, have shifted men's beauty trends. My one drawback with this book is that I wish it had gone deeper. I wanted a deeper look at the historical aspects, which while well-researched, still seemed quite surface-level. I also would have liked a greater commentary on how each of the icons mentioned in this book have interacted specifically with the concept of beauty. To take the BTS chapter as an example, while it was mentioned that Kim Namjoon was outside the typical image of a K-pop idol at the time of his debut, it would have been nice to see some further consideration of his individual journey of self-acceptance. I would also have been interested to delve into Park Jimin's particular struggle with his appearance, noting he's the member who appears to have changed the most in terms of how he presents physically, and who was noted amongst the members for being exceptionally strict on himself for his own appearance in the past. Overall, a very solid book and definitely thought-provoking on what beauty really means today.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    Confession: I didn’t read all the beauty tips, as I’m not really big on make up. I really enjoyed the history and cultural significance of makeup and skin care that this this book covered. It was really interesting to see how it played a role all around the world and throughout time. It also makes you realize how silly it is that guys are ostracized or made fun of if they wear make up. This book really is a champion for being yourself through style, even if that doesn’t follow cultural norms and Confession: I didn’t read all the beauty tips, as I’m not really big on make up. I really enjoyed the history and cultural significance of makeup and skin care that this this book covered. It was really interesting to see how it played a role all around the world and throughout time. It also makes you realize how silly it is that guys are ostracized or made fun of if they wear make up. This book really is a champion for being yourself through style, even if that doesn’t follow cultural norms and showcasing many others who have done the same through history. The only Thing I wasn’t a fan of and this was a personal opinion, is the opinion that how we ‘look’, our visual representation is what gives us worth. Don’t get me wrong, I love to sport the things I’m passionate about in clothes and accessories,etc., but it doesn’t define me as a person and I just feel our society puts much too much emphasis on the fact that the way we look defines us and that can lead to some pretty toxic and unhealthy avenues. I suppose that wasn’t the aim of this book, but I found it curious that the BTS portion (which is why I read it as part of a BTS book club) was about what made them special were mostly NOT their looks, but what they have achieved through meaningful songs, a positive message and hard work. That’s what defines them! I wish there had been more of that in the other areas that were covered, even while addressing the issue of men doing what is typically seen as the realm of women only and how that’s not only okay, but really needs more acceptance in our own time in history. Overall it’s a positive look at an issue rarely discussed with a lot of research to back it up, which is a good thing, but personally I wished it was balanced out with more than just visuals.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Allie

    "Beauty" is a word a lot of people typically associate with femininity, and traditionally femininity is only acceptable when it applies to women. More and more we can see this hard line between men and beauty being blurred. Enter: "Pretty Boys." This is a book about self-care and how things like makeup, skincare, nail polish, perfume, etc, have a history of being gender-neutral. David Yi talks about why and when a binary was created and how it's only been in recent years that strict gender roles "Beauty" is a word a lot of people typically associate with femininity, and traditionally femininity is only acceptable when it applies to women. More and more we can see this hard line between men and beauty being blurred. Enter: "Pretty Boys." This is a book about self-care and how things like makeup, skincare, nail polish, perfume, etc, have a history of being gender-neutral. David Yi talks about why and when a binary was created and how it's only been in recent years that strict gender roles have been seriously questioned, allowing self-expression and men, queer or not, to embrace beauty. The tone of the writing in this book is casual and colored by David Yi's vibrant personality. It was a light and enjoyable read. The tutorials were hit or miss for me, though, so I could've done without them. Also a little surprised Yi didn't mention that some baseball players (the catchers) paint their nails with bright colors. Even though it's a little thing, a bit of nail polish has become a normal thing in a very straight, male-dominated space, so I was kind of expecting a mention. *read via NetGalley

  10. 4 out of 5

    Coco Carré

    I picked this up on a whim from my library, because I thought it was cool to start seeing books like this on the shelf. While it has a lot of information for someone who hasn't been socialized to do things like defy gender norms, take care of your hair and skin, and learn about queer icons, I felt like this could have been done better. The information is good, but not hard to seek out for free on the internet, and also likely to quickly become outdated as brands, trends, and other things go off I picked this up on a whim from my library, because I thought it was cool to start seeing books like this on the shelf. While it has a lot of information for someone who hasn't been socialized to do things like defy gender norms, take care of your hair and skin, and learn about queer icons, I felt like this could have been done better. The information is good, but not hard to seek out for free on the internet, and also likely to quickly become outdated as brands, trends, and other things go off the market, fall out of fashion, or otherwise become less relevant. The biggest problem with this book, for me, is that it puts a lot of people on pedestals that I feel are antithetical to the purpose and mission of writing a book like this. RuPaul is iconic, but in 2021, there are other drag artists that aren't infamously transphobic - and why would a book about learning to become comfortable in your skin, gender, and expression include someone who is a TERF? Likewise, there are several other "icons" in here that have been accused of sexual assault, or who publicly dated underage people. I can't, in good conscience, recommend this over other books to anyone.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sabrina Adhikari

    I was already super interested in this book just from the first impression and synopsis, but I'm glad it lived up to my expectations. David Yi has written a book full of history of men's makeup, and how it has evolved throughout time. We go from Egyptian rulers to Harry Styles and BTS. I found this book very informative and a great way to start research on the history of makeup and male beauty. Not to mention, it also has great tips on skin care and such. Now, I'm not the target audience for th I was already super interested in this book just from the first impression and synopsis, but I'm glad it lived up to my expectations. David Yi has written a book full of history of men's makeup, and how it has evolved throughout time. We go from Egyptian rulers to Harry Styles and BTS. I found this book very informative and a great way to start research on the history of makeup and male beauty. Not to mention, it also has great tips on skin care and such. Now, I'm not the target audience for the book, so I can't really speak on how helpful it was to me personally, but I will say that this book was a great starting place for further research. I loved the look of the book as well. The illustrations, diagram and such were amazing. This book was a lot of things: a biography, a beauty guide, and much more, and I think it was all done in a great way. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is even remotely interested in history and beauty. Thank you to Bookish First and the publisher for the ARC

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lashyashy84

    Pretty Boys: Legendary Icons Who Embraced Their Beauty, Redefined Masculinity, and Changed the World describes and illustrates the historical impact of beauty established by men. If I had to pick one word to describe this book it would be phenomenal. The author did a great job of explaining beauty care and beauty design throughout history and also explained why certain beauty techniques were helpful or unhelpful. It also has illustrates that provide guidance on how to replicate looks and techniq Pretty Boys: Legendary Icons Who Embraced Their Beauty, Redefined Masculinity, and Changed the World describes and illustrates the historical impact of beauty established by men. If I had to pick one word to describe this book it would be phenomenal. The author did a great job of explaining beauty care and beauty design throughout history and also explained why certain beauty techniques were helpful or unhelpful. It also has illustrates that provide guidance on how to replicate looks and techniques with an explanation on how it redefined the time period and influences modern day looks. Another great thing about this book is that it incorporates not only fashion but also some background story about different specific people who are featured in the different chapters. I think the book does a fantastic job of collectively highlighting how beneficial diversity is while encouraging inclusion. *I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced reader's copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own*

  13. 5 out of 5

    Leighton

    Thank you to Bookish First and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review! Pretty Boys is an outstanding history of male beauty. David Yi does an amazing job of combining historical facts with current beauty tips. Each chapter explores a different aspect aspect of beauty and sexuality, from King Tut and ancient rituals of male make-up, all the way to BTS and Korean skincare. At the end of each chapter are tips on how boys and men can improve their own make-up looks. This book would Thank you to Bookish First and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review! Pretty Boys is an outstanding history of male beauty. David Yi does an amazing job of combining historical facts with current beauty tips. Each chapter explores a different aspect aspect of beauty and sexuality, from King Tut and ancient rituals of male make-up, all the way to BTS and Korean skincare. At the end of each chapter are tips on how boys and men can improve their own make-up looks. This book would be an amazing gift for the male beauty star or the average man in your life who has never used make-up. I think girls and women would also be interested in this book. Personally, I've rarely used make-up myself, but I was still interested in the rituals and tips provided in the book. The the illustrations at the beginning of each chapter were a nice and beautiful touch. Overall, this is a beautiful and well-researched book, and would make a wonderful gift for anyone.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Munevver

    I really enjoyed this book. It’s not at all my cup of tea, I don’t wear makeup personally. I loved the history of it all. I enjoyed a historical look at men that wasn’t all about war. Pretty Boys is a thoroughly informative book. I think both sexes could learn so much from reading this. This was well researched though at times I thought it was slightly speculative. The end of the chapter instructions on how to do-it-yourself were priceless. David Yi has written a book on the history of men and t I really enjoyed this book. It’s not at all my cup of tea, I don’t wear makeup personally. I loved the history of it all. I enjoyed a historical look at men that wasn’t all about war. Pretty Boys is a thoroughly informative book. I think both sexes could learn so much from reading this. This was well researched though at times I thought it was slightly speculative. The end of the chapter instructions on how to do-it-yourself were priceless. David Yi has written a book on the history of men and the role that makeup has played throughout history. Starting with the Egyptian pharaohs through to present day, he talks about how makeup, skincare and taking care of one’s self is not a new thing. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in history as well as beauty and self care. As I said it was really quite nice to read a historical look at men that didn’t include war and violence.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Karla Dee

    Wow I love this book!! The perfect gift for any teen going through puberty struggling with self image and acne. The cover is fun and inviting and there are so many stars or famous people to learn from even if they are no longer with us. So cool to see their legacies and styles live on in a unique way thru these pages. My favorite that they included in the book is Freddie Mercury. My nephew is bi and is getting a lot of grief from my mother but I really feel like he would identify with this story Wow I love this book!! The perfect gift for any teen going through puberty struggling with self image and acne. The cover is fun and inviting and there are so many stars or famous people to learn from even if they are no longer with us. So cool to see their legacies and styles live on in a unique way thru these pages. My favorite that they included in the book is Freddie Mercury. My nephew is bi and is getting a lot of grief from my mother but I really feel like he would identify with this story and learn to grow from reading this book. He also plays a few instruments so when I told him about this book and who was in it he got excited to read it himself. So happy this book is LGBTQ friendly and the beauty standard is different than another other book I have read. It gives people who are not conforming to a gender a book to identify with and make them feel like they are the standard for beauty.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Adriana

    I'm not the target audience for this book, but I definitely feel like I learned not only some great beauty tips but some very well-defined information on how beauty and the masculine have intertwined in history. This is the kind of book that hits you with both book and useful knowledge. The part I liked the most is definitely how uplifting and positive the tone of the book is. It's one great detail in history after another coming together to show that beauty has always been universal and that th I'm not the target audience for this book, but I definitely feel like I learned not only some great beauty tips but some very well-defined information on how beauty and the masculine have intertwined in history. This is the kind of book that hits you with both book and useful knowledge. The part I liked the most is definitely how uplifting and positive the tone of the book is. It's one great detail in history after another coming together to show that beauty has always been universal and that the modern obsession with making it only feminine is as contrary to reality as can be. Everything from wigs being made for me and the fiercest warriors wore makeup to the modern interpretation of male beauty and the people who, little by little, are doing amazing work in opening people's eyes to the truth that any gender can take pride and care in how they look. Many very happy thanks to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the great read!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Marsha

    We all know that looks can be important. They form the first impression of a potential date, in-law, employer, talent agent. Maintaining those looks and projecting the right impression have been concerns for anybody who’s ever wanted to land that job, get the girl or sit on the throne. This book takes us through history from ancient times to modern day and provides insights as to how men—yes, men!—maintained their good looks to stunning effect and just why it was so important to face the day with We all know that looks can be important. They form the first impression of a potential date, in-law, employer, talent agent. Maintaining those looks and projecting the right impression have been concerns for anybody who’s ever wanted to land that job, get the girl or sit on the throne. This book takes us through history from ancient times to modern day and provides insights as to how men—yes, men!—maintained their good looks to stunning effect and just why it was so important to face the day with a cleansed skin and smoldering eyeliner. The book also provides drawn illustrations and in-depth instructions on how you too can achieve that perfect skin and lovely glow. That’s probably stuff you’ve read in hundreds of other books on the subject of proper skin, hair and body care. But how many of those books mentioned the beauty regime of Ramses the Great or the gender fluidity of Hatsepshut?

  18. 4 out of 5

    Robin Claire

    The author's voice is authentic and approachable, and the makeup lessons are for all of us who need help where it comes to looking our best. The stories of the author's life is what touched me - who he is, who he was, and what made him the person of today. The history alone is worth the read. My daughter, who knows history of just about anything including fashion and cosmetics, will love this book! I am enjoying the history lessons almost as much as the makeup tips. It's about time that we reach The author's voice is authentic and approachable, and the makeup lessons are for all of us who need help where it comes to looking our best. The stories of the author's life is what touched me - who he is, who he was, and what made him the person of today. The history alone is worth the read. My daughter, who knows history of just about anything including fashion and cosmetics, will love this book! I am enjoying the history lessons almost as much as the makeup tips. It's about time that we reach out to the men in our lives who are looking for ideas, techniques and support. This is true for any young man regardless of how he identifies or defines himself. This is a great read, and one that I will share with anyone and everyone. My local library is getting a donation from me for their teen shelf!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lina

    Pretty Boys: Legendary Icons Who Embraced Their Beauty, Redefined Masculinity, and Changed the World by David Yi describes and illustrates the history of beauty, focused on men. I'm not a large nonfiction reader, but I quite enjoyed the mix of history with real-life tips and beauty care. The historical details were really interesting. I definitely learned quite a few new things that I found quite fascinating. It was definitely an enjoyable read and was quite well researched. Yi did a great job r Pretty Boys: Legendary Icons Who Embraced Their Beauty, Redefined Masculinity, and Changed the World by David Yi describes and illustrates the history of beauty, focused on men. I'm not a large nonfiction reader, but I quite enjoyed the mix of history with real-life tips and beauty care. The historical details were really interesting. I definitely learned quite a few new things that I found quite fascinating. It was definitely an enjoyable read and was quite well researched. Yi did a great job researching and weaving everything together, though I think I would love to go deeper into the historical aspects as it really piqued my interests quite a bit. Also, how fun is this cover? I am not a fan of BTS, but I know that their addition was a big hit! A great, light-hearted book for anyone who likes history, make-up or interesting reads!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kristine

    Pretty Boys by David Yi is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early June. A chronological history, how-to tutorials and tips, profiles, and modern prominence of male aesthetics - yes, this is pretty rad, fun, and frequently extends into southeast Asian influences and beyond the borderbrink of gender with sleek, colorful, progressive, comicbook-like sketches and portraits and essays on empowerment, doing what makes you comfortable yet confident, cycles of time when men beautify, then utilize an Pretty Boys by David Yi is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early June. A chronological history, how-to tutorials and tips, profiles, and modern prominence of male aesthetics - yes, this is pretty rad, fun, and frequently extends into southeast Asian influences and beyond the borderbrink of gender with sleek, colorful, progressive, comicbook-like sketches and portraits and essays on empowerment, doing what makes you comfortable yet confident, cycles of time when men beautify, then utilize and labor, grunt and harumpf, then beautify again. And, when not otherwise beautifying, men have undergone acts of anointing, refining, currying, tidying, embellishing, maintaining prominence, intimidation and just plain scaring people.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sarah (thebphiles)

    I love nonfiction of all stripes, but Pretty Boys has to be one of the most fun nonfiction reads I’ve ever had! Highlighting men who moved beyond the ‘norm’, the ‘traditional’, and traditional ‘masculine expectations’, this book covers the entire known history of man and how they have bucked stereotypes from the start. From ancient emperors to Vikings to 80s club kids to modern icons of style such as Harry Styles and Billy Porter, this book gives context to the concept of gender-bending within e I love nonfiction of all stripes, but Pretty Boys has to be one of the most fun nonfiction reads I’ve ever had! Highlighting men who moved beyond the ‘norm’, the ‘traditional’, and traditional ‘masculine expectations’, this book covers the entire known history of man and how they have bucked stereotypes from the start. From ancient emperors to Vikings to 80s club kids to modern icons of style such as Harry Styles and Billy Porter, this book gives context to the concept of gender-bending within each of their time periods, how-tos on style, and their place in history. There are illustrations, jokes, and trivia, and the entire thing is a joy!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Bachman

    What a fascinating book! As someone who has never really been interested in beauty, makeup, or fashion, I found this book very informative and compelling. It was a fun educational experience to learn about how different aspects of masculinity and beauty expression have evolved over history. It was great seeing real accounts of historical figures and cultural icons as we/they recount their contributions to the world of male beauty. There were not only informative pieces, but also moving ones of i What a fascinating book! As someone who has never really been interested in beauty, makeup, or fashion, I found this book very informative and compelling. It was a fun educational experience to learn about how different aspects of masculinity and beauty expression have evolved over history. It was great seeing real accounts of historical figures and cultural icons as we/they recount their contributions to the world of male beauty. There were not only informative pieces, but also moving ones of inspiration. Great compilation of excerpts here! P.S. I loved the write-up on BTS in particular :)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bungluna

    I received an ARC of this book in exchange for a fair review. I've always been interested in anthropology and sociology, and this book reads like a great study of male beautification throughout the ages. It's well researched and offers a wide view of beauty regimes and standards through recorded human history. It also offers expert advise on how to replicate some of the beautification treatments it mentions. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who's interested in how beauty standards and regimes ha I received an ARC of this book in exchange for a fair review. I've always been interested in anthropology and sociology, and this book reads like a great study of male beautification throughout the ages. It's well researched and offers a wide view of beauty regimes and standards through recorded human history. It also offers expert advise on how to replicate some of the beautification treatments it mentions. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who's interested in how beauty standards and regimes have changed vis a vis stayed the same throughout time, culture and geography.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Elisabeth

    A unique compilation of pretty boys and GNC folx throughout history and into modern day, with descriptions of their lives, lifestyles, and beauty regimens/habits. Also included are tips from various experts in beauty fields across the world and while I don't know if I'll try much of the beauty tips myself, I appreciated their inclusion. A unique compilation of pretty boys and GNC folx throughout history and into modern day, with descriptions of their lives, lifestyles, and beauty regimens/habits. Also included are tips from various experts in beauty fields across the world and while I don't know if I'll try much of the beauty tips myself, I appreciated their inclusion.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Abby

    I loved this book! Highly informative but still light hearted and fun.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay C-T

    AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING!!!!

  27. 4 out of 5

    tinyflower.reads

    this book is phenomenal, iconic, and necessary - everyone should read it! it really reads that this beautiful book was made with so much love and care 💖

  28. 4 out of 5

    Misun

    Very enjoyable, and I learned a lot of interesting info and history. I might've named the book Pretty Men. Very enjoyable, and I learned a lot of interesting info and history. I might've named the book Pretty Men.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Anil

    Cute; I didn’t really get it, but I hope others will get something more than I out of the tremendous effort the author put in 🙂

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gladie

    Some super fun trivia, but lacked focus. I wish it had less contemporary and more historical content. Fine to listen to while doing chores.

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