Films on Beauty

Chasing Beauty

Documentary 2013 NR 1hr 24m. Go behind the glossy covers of top magazines to get a rare glimpse into the intriguingly complex — and sometimes dangerous — world of modeling.

America the Beautiful

Documentary 2007 R 1hr 45m. Director Darryl Roberts’ provocative documentary examines America’s fixation with outward appearance and the unrealistic standards of beauty dictated to the public by the media, pop culture and the fashion industry. Featuring interviews with fashion experts, media personalities and celebrities such as Mena Suvari and Aisha Tyler, the film looks at everything from plastic surgery’s growing popularity to widespread concerns about eating disorders.

America the Beautiful 2:
The Thin Commandments

Documentary 2011 NR 1hr 49m. Documentary provocateur Darryl Roberts returns with another look at the American beauty industry, this time examining how the national obsession with weight loss has negatively affected our perception of what really constitutes a healthy weight.

Miss Representation

Documentary 2011 NR 1hr 30m. Explore how the mainstream media’s often disparaging portrayals of women contribute to the under-representation of females in positions of leadership. This film presents startling facts and gives you information that you may have known on some level, but that also needs to be brought to the forefront for anything to change. Men should see this film to help realize how engrained sexism is in our society and how to change it, and women should watch this film to help empower themselves. Everyone should see this film to understand how to treat people (especially women) with the respect they deserve.

France: Outlawing Ana
French lawmakers battle eating disorders

Documentary Frontline / World 2009. When reporter Lucie Schwartz began researching eating disorders among French women, she had never heard of “pro-Ana” blogs. A quick Google search turned up hundreds of websites in all languages featuring images of skeletal women and a mantra for starvation and thinness. Her story explores those caught in the phenomenon of “Ana” and why French lawmakers are taking “her” on.

Picture Perfect

Documentary 2007 43 mins. We are barraged by media images that unrealistically glamorize and sexualize women and girls. This lively and engaging film explores the impact these messages have on young women’s physical, psychological and emotional health. Through the voices of a racially and culturally diverse group of women and girls, Picture Perfect examines the interplay of race and ethnicity, body image, dieting and eating disorders, and the early influence of toys and cartoons. It offers tools to begin dissecting and questioning the media that influence our behaviors, attitudes, and values.


Documentary 2006 TV-MA 102 minutes. Filmmaker Lauren Greenfield chronicles six months in the lives of four women undergoing treatment for eating disorders in this revealing documentary that captures the stark realities of the disease with unprecedented access. Powerful and haunting, the film follows four anorexics ranging from age 15 to 30 as they undergo therapy sessions, endure daily weigh-ins and battle with staff at a Florida treatment center.

Plastic Disasters

Documentary 2006 NR 60 minutes. Filmmakers Kate Davis and David Heilbroner offer a sobering look at cosmetic surgery gone horribly wrong. The documentary tells the shocking story of Mona, whose bowel was punctured during liposuction, resulting in the loss of her legs. Then there’s Tony, whose nose job ended up causing permanent damage to his bones, and Lucille, whose operations left her with breathing problems — and looking 20 years older.

Fed Up

Documentary 2014 PG 90 minutes. The film focuses on the causes of obesity in the United States. It presents evidence showing that the large quantities of sugar in processed foods are an overlooked root of the problem. It points to the monied lobbying power of “Big Sugar” in blocking attempts to enact effective policies to address the issue. This eye-opening documentary examines the underlying causes behind the obesity epidemic, including the marketing strategies of major U.S. food producers. How did 60% of the country get so fat?  2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight, with 1 in 3 adults considered obese. Childhood obesity has become an ever-more serious medical issue in the United States. The film includes touching video self-portraits by young people who belong to the almost 17 percent of children and adolescents, ages 2 to 19, who are considered obese. The obese parents who raise obese children — why aren’t they in the least bit curious as to how they’ve become 300 pounders when their ancestors were all normal. This film is an expose of the food industry’s pedaling of sugar-rich junk food to kids and the epidemic of obesity that has resulted from it. It rightly points to the chief villain in our food choices–sugar–as addictive and toxic. Sugar is clearly added to food products that historically had none in an effort to elicit a crave factor, so you can’t stop eating them. See Full Review

Diet Wars

Documentary Frontline 2004. Americans spend $40 billion a year on books, products, and programs designed to do one thing: help us lose weight. From Atkins to Ornish and Weight Watchers to the Zone, today’s dieters have a dizzying array of weight loss programs from which to choose–yet the underlying principles of these diets are often contradictory. Is low fat better than low carb? Is Atkins the answer? And has the USDA Food Pyramid done more harm than good? In “Diet Wars,” Frontline examines the great diet debate

Busting Out

Documentary 2004 NR 56m. Explore the history and politics of breast obsession in America and discover its connection to breast cancer, breastfeeding and body image. The film blends personal stories with analysis, case histories and humor in a quest to demystify the breast.

The Perfect Vagina

Documentary. Women are undergoing surgery to create perfect genitalia. Cosmetic labial surgery is offered for a variety of reasons: some women complain that wearing tight clothes or riding a bike is uncomfortable, while others say they are embarrassed in front of a sexual partner. Labioplasty generally involves reducing the amount of tissue that protrudes from the lips which cover the vagina.

Orgasm Inc.

Documentary 2009 NR 78 minutes.  With humor and a wealth of research, director Liz Canner’s provocative documentary examines how drug companies promote and profit from the myth of female sexual dysfunction as they compete to produce the first FDA-approved “cure” for this condition. Discusses the fact that women are undergoing surgery to create perfect genitalia for beauty and possibly increased orgasms.


Documentary Frontline 1998. Despite the appeals of the multi-billion dollar diet and exercise industries, the United States is getting fatter. The media bombards us with images of thin models exuding the message that to be thin is to be beautiful. But for many of us, being thin is a difficult, if not impossible, achievement. Frontline examines how the diet industry is contributing to our frustration over unwanted pounds and asks if one can be healthy, fit, beautiful and fat.

Breast Implants on Trial

Documentary Frontline 1996. More than 400,000 women are part of a proposed global settlement against U.S. breast-implant manufacturers in the largest lawsuit in history. Many claim they have contracted a wide range of silicone-related diseases, but recent medical studies conducted by the nation’s premier researchers have failed to find any evidence that silicone breast implants are dangerous. As Congress actively examines the powers of the FDA and the possibilities of tort reform, Frontline looks at the enormous stakes involved in the clash between biomedical science and the nation’s most powerful litigators.

Daisy – Story of a Facelift

Documentary Frontline 1983. Daisy is 55 and terrified of growing old. She feels she needs a facelift. From the moment of her decision, Frontline follows her through all the procedures, but the heart of the story is an exploration of values, character, cosmetics, and the business of plastic surgery.


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