The Beautiful Boy is a book, ISBN 0-8478-2586-8, by Germaine Greer, published in 2003. Its avowed intention was "to advance women's reclamation of their capacity for and right to visual pleasure". It is a study of the youthful male face and form, from antiquity to the present day, from paintings and drawings to statuary and photographs.
The book contains some 200 pictures of boys through the ages, and is a history of boys in art. Pictures and discussions range from Cupid to Elvis, Boy George, Kurt Cobain, and Jim Morrison.
The book generated some controversy because "society is not accustomed to seeing beauty in young males", Greer claims. Greer has described the book as "full of pictures of 'ravishing' pre-adult boys with hairless chests, wide-apart legs and slim waists". She goes on to say that, "I know that the only people who are supposed to like looking at pictures of boys are a subgroup of gay men," she wrote in London's Daily Telegraph. "Well, I'd like to reclaim for women the right to appreciate the short-lived beauty of boys, real boys, not simpering 30-year-olds with shaved chests."She was criticized for these comments with some writers labeling her a paedophile.