The Beauty Experiment

Reviews and Testimonials


From The Philadelphia Inquirer—                                                                                                                                                                                                                  “Hyde is bright and engaging, with a novelist’s gift for depicting social nuance with precision and wit.”

From The New Inquiry
“There are plenty of reasons to recommend this book: The  biggest reason is its Zen-like quality. Where I expected an arc of insecurity to security, there was a cyclic tale of relationship dynamics, liberations co-existing with expectations, mixed responses from friends and cultural pressures….The riddle of beauty is rarely as well articulated as it is here.”

From the Sacramento/San Francisco Book Review —
“This is not a book about battling the celebrities who tout expensive beauty treatments or advertisements with scantily-clad, heavily-airbrushed beauties. Instead, it is a book about a hard-fought and seemingly interminable battle against one’s own ingrained notions of beauty.”

From The National Post (Canada)
“Hyde chooses to explore the personal, rather than institutional effects of the “female body as advertising medium”….the memoir benefits from time, and the digestion of lessons learned… She offers reasoned, measured and manageable changes rather than reactionary ones, allowing the book to reasonably dissect the airbrushed nation…”

From the Blisstree Bookshelf
“Read this book if you loved Dove’s recent “real beauty” drawing experiment. Also read this book if you hated that experiment. Read this book if you took one women’s studies class in college and enjoyed it but didn’t have enough room in your schedule to do a minor. Read this book if you like memoirs by women….Read this book if you, too, have a nagging inner voice that wants to tell you how you can and should feel about your own body and beauty.”

Comments from the Audience

“Phoebe is a genuine and engaging woman and a truly captivating speaker. One moment we were laughing as she donned a tiara and let her inner voice do the talking, the next we were miffed at how people had treated her during the experiment, the next we were enlightened by her commentary. Phoebe is so easy to relate to that it’s like talking to your girlfriend.”

                  –Jenny Powers, Founder & CEO, Running With Heels: A Busy Woman’s  Networking Event

“Phoebe’s thought-provoking presentation left our group wishing we could extend the evening and continue the discussion.  She presented a fascinating interplay between beauty and the unique relationship each woman has with it.  She shared the honesty of her “Beauty Experiment” and its “results” with grace and humor.”

–Melissa Bradley, Speaker Series Coordinator  for Newton Mother’s Forum

On The Beauty Experiment in the classroom:

“Any young woman who asks how to balance work, ambition, love, family, and positive self-regard will benefit from reading this book.  Hyde offers no easy answers, but she serves as a lively and honest tour guide for an exploration of the question.”

–Flannery Burke, Associate Professor  of History, St. Louis  University

“I need to be thanking Phoebe for dedicating so much of her afternoon to my students. They’re amazing young women – and very opinionated. That (she) won them over should be considered a significant success.”

–Debra Gibson, Senior Clinician/Meredith Professional in Residence, Iowa State University

On the “Making Peace with Your Inner Voice” workshop: 

“Phoebe delivered an engaging and valuable workshop that included practical exercises and group discussion. Her experiential approach encourages reflection and insight. Phoebe has a great way of creating an atmosphere of emotional safety that allows the participants to access and share their inner experiences.”

–Emilia Sabatowska, LMHC, Counselor and Mental Health Professional, Whole Living Center, Cambridge, MA

“After we signed off from Phoebe’s workshop, we had a lively discussion concerning our worksheets and some of the insightful comments Phoebe made about how to identify and address your inner voice.”

–Member,  Mothers and More of Greater New Haven

Book Group Comments

“Phoebe’s book and visit were eye opening and enjoyable. Not only was it interesting to read about Phoebe’s journey of self discovery… but we learned a lot – for example about the “language” and purpose of clothing and how it differs from culture to culture. Also, for weeks after Phoebe’s visit I found myself telling friends about the activity she had our book club try!”

–Member, Fitchburg Book Club

“Phoebe helped drive an insightful, open discussion about issues that all women face.  Highly recommended book and visit!”

–Member, Malden Book Club