Indiaâ€™s beauty queens did a hat trick in 2000, winning the titles of Miss World, Miss Universe and Miss Asia-Pacific. Earlier winners like Aishwarya Rai had by then become household names. Coincident was the leap in the cosmetics industry, from Rs 2,311 crore (1990) to Rs 18,950 crore (2000). Beauty was big business outside the metros too. Looking good had not only become desirable but respectable. How did all this affect the middle-class city woman? Was a new, more global image of beauty being created and promoted by the industry and media? Were they demeaning, exploiting or even objectifying woman? Or was she being liberated and empowered by the choices they offered? In this book, journalist Anita Anand seeks answers by drawing on her interviews with a host of beauty providers as well as a cross-section of women consumers, and includes a multi-town survey on womenâ€™s beauty preferences. There is, for instance, Shanti, the municipal sweeper, proud about the nail polish, face powder and bindis she can buy occasionally for her familyâ€™s women, and there is Charu, the college student, who thinks â€˜looking good is part of any career as it boosts confidence,â€™ though aware â€˜that beauty fades away, while intelligence stays till you dieâ€™. While advertising and marketing may help women to select from the products on offer, actually it is the ability to buy and use them that appears to boost womenâ€™s self-esteem, self-confidence and well being. Forceful, informative and witty, The Beauty Game goes beyond Naomi Wolfâ€™s classic critique of how women face the beauty industry. Exploring the middle ground, it brings out the complex link between beauty and women in India.