DiscoverBurnt Toast by Virginia Sole-SmithWhen Beauty Work is a Rational Survival Strategy
When Beauty Work is a Rational Survival Strategy

When Beauty Work is a Rational Survival Strategy

Update: 2023-06-01


Today Virginia is chatting with Elise Hu, the author of the brand new book Flawless: Lessons in Looks and Culture from the K-Beauty Capital, which explores the intersections of beauty culture and diet culture in South Korea. If you have ever purchased a sheet mask or a babyfoot peel or any other K beauty products or if you’ve just been aware of the absolute phenomenon of Korean beauty culture, you need to read Flawless.

Remember, if you order Elise's book (or any books we mention on the pod!) from the Burnt Toast Bookshop, you can get 10 percent off that purchase if you also order (or have already ordered!) Fat Talk! (Just use the code FATTALK at checkout.)

If you want more conversations like this one, please rate and review us in your podcast player! And become a paid Burnt Toast subscriber to get all of Virginia's reporting and bonus subscriber-only episodes. 

Disclaimer: Virginia is a journalist and human with a lot of informed opinions. Virginia is not a nutritionist, therapist, doctor, or any kind of health care provider. The conversation you're about to hear and all of the advice and opinions she gives are just for entertainment, information, and education purposes only. None of this is a substitute for individual medical or mental health advice.


TED Talks Daily

babyfoot peel

mothers get held responsible for their children’s weight

but what if I just want to lose weight?

Heather Widdows

Escape the Corset 

the squiggly noodles from Trader Joe’s

 new spring Birkenstocks.

FAT TALK is out! Order your signed copy from Virginia's favorite independent bookstore, Split Rock Books (they ship anywhere in the US!). Or order it from your independent bookstore, or from Barnes & NobleAmazonTarget, or Kobo or anywhere else you like to buy books. You can also order the audio book from or Audible.


The Burnt Toast Podcast is produced and hosted by Virginia Sole-Smith. Follow Virginia on Instagram or Twitter.Burnt Toast transcripts and essays are edited and formatted by Corinne Fay, who runs @SellTradePlus, an Instagram account where you can buy and sell plus size clothing.The Burnt Toast logo is by Deanna Lowe.Our theme music is by Jeff Bailey and Chris Maxwell.Tommy Harron is our audio engineer.Thanks for listening and for supporting anti-diet, body liberation journalism. 

This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit








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When Beauty Work is a Rational Survival Strategy

When Beauty Work is a Rational Survival Strategy

Virginia Sole-Smith