This controversial work traces the evolution of women's attitudes about their appearance, their sexuality and their conflicting feelings about themselves and others. Using her own life story and varied social commentary, Friday offers liberation from the power of beauty.
In Renaissance art, Nancy Friday was struck by what she perceived as a beam of light between the eyes of Madonna and child, which is called "the gaze" in contemporary child psychology. Friday contends that if a person did not receive the gaze from mother and father, they will seek it for the rest of their life. The theme of this book is that we must come to terms with what we did not get from the gaze in order to make sure our children get it, thus creating healthy self-esteem and sexuality. In the post-feminist age, women have turned from the bra-less, shaven "beauty is a sell-out" stance to a new definition of comforted beauty. Friday traces the evolution of women's attitudes about their appearance, their sexuality, and their conflicting feelings about themselves and others. Through her own life story, and social commentary on subjects ranging from her grandfather's closet to the runaways of Paris, from feminist male-bashing to the emergence of a male sexual object, Friday once again offers a controversial work.
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