Hosten’s book is not good. It is written in the quasi-royal style of a press release put out by a semi-fictional great lady; but it is fascinating if you don’t know any successful beauty queens. I do — and the best ones I’ve met are like Hosten. Perhaps as a protective measure (you cannot be this lovely and still safe unless your words and behaviour summon an invisible burka around you), they are intensely poised: they exude sexlessness, and resemble tiny icons to be worshipped rather than women. They are very charming, but they are waxy and remote, engaged in a competitive purity contest that feels like a circus of denial. I long to watch them cut loose.