We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.


On sale

26th October 2023

Price: £22

Select a format

Selected: ebook / ISBN-13: 9780349727127

Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.

‘Brilliant . . . really made me realise how no one has pulled back and given an overall story to the last 20 years . . . It’s clever because it makes me think about now’ ADAM CURTIS, FILMMAKER

Britney, Paris, Lindsay, Aaliyah, Janet, Amy, Kim, Chyna, Jen. Nine iconic women whose fame in the early internet years of the century came at a price. In Toxic: Women, Fame and The Noughties, journalist Sarah Ditum describes how each of the women changed ‘celebrity’ forever, despite often falling victim to it, during what we now view as one of the most hostile eras in which to be female.

Through Paris’ ambivalent relationship with her blogger namesake Perez Hilton; to Britney’s paternalistic governors; Jen’s attempts to control her career and image; and Janet’s betrayal at the Superbowl, these celebrities of The Noughties were presented with the riches of early social media and market opportunity, as long as they abided by the new rules of engagement. Some of these high-profile women were hypersexualised and ‘upskirted’ by the press; some were shamed by their advertising sponsors; others were contracted by shady management companies and industry figures such as Harvey Weinstein and R Kelly. Together they illuminate the culture of the early twenty-first century. Toxic: Women, Fame and The Noughties is a wild ride through the millennial years.

What's Inside

Read More Read Less


Caroline Criado Perez, author of Invisible Women
A necessary and incisive feminist reckoning with the noughties. Insightful, exhilarating - and horrifying. What were we thinking?
Sarah Gilmartin, Irish Times
Ditum gets the tone right: critically engaged, well-researched, colourful without seeming exploitative... a serious book of reportage.... For readers interested in real celebrity journalism... get off the internet and into a bookshop and ask for Toxic.
Adam Curtis, filmmaker
Brilliant . . . made me realise how no one has pulled back and given an overall story to the last twenty years . . . It's clever because it makes me think about now
Gaby Hinsliff, Observer, BOOK OF THE DAY
'Ditum's hotly anticipated book brilliantly captures the prevailing millennial mood of anti-nostalgia...a damn good thesis'
Helen Lewis, author of DIFFICULT WOMEN
Living through the 00s, I never realised how casually cruel they were - how cruel we were - to famous women. Toxic is an incendiary page-turner that will make you reconsider the price of fame . . . and your opinion of Kim Kardashian. It's a Molotov cocktail hurled at the feet of celebrity culture
Eithne Farry, Daily Express
'(a) pageturning exploration of a time when new technology and old misogyny collided and the concept of privacy collapsed.'
Caroline Sanderson, Bookseller Editor's Choice
A bracing feminist appraisal of the pre #MeToo Noughties . . . explores how the media created a new and brutal environment in which the rules of engagement between celebrities, the press and public were changed