Toxic: Women, Fame, and the Tabloid 2000s

Books on Tape. Jan. 2024. 9:25 hrs. ISBN 9780593910726. $76. SOC SCI
Journalist Ditum makes her debut with this thought-provoking look at nine famous women whose exploits and exploitation shaped the Aughts. Ditum notes that in the early days of the internet, “the digital world was a kind of Wild West,” with few rules or regulations about what could or should be shared. Too often, the paparazzi and the public emerged unscathed while the objects of their obsession were left damaged, destitute, or, in some cases, dead. In the era known as the “upskirt decade,” these women were the victims of voyeuristic vultures who fed off their fame and their failures. From nip slips to sex tapes, they shocked and incensed millions, establishing the politics of privacy. Narrated by the author, this is a candid, compelling listen. The subject matter is well researched but presented in an accessible and absorbing manner.
VERDICT A good pick for listeners seeking stories of tragedy and triumph about a specific set of women celebrities who bore the brunt of the sexism for which society has only recently begun to atone. Recommended for fans of pop culture critique, such as Celebrity Nation by Landon Y. Jones.
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