Berkeley : University of California Press, [1997]
x, 279 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm

Susan Bordo deciphers the hidden life of cultural images and the impact they have on our lives. She builds on the provocative themes introduced in her acclaimed work Unbearable Weight - which explores the social and political underpinnings of women's obsession with bodily image - to offer a singularly readable and perceptive interpretation of our image-saturated culture. As it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between appearance and reality, Bordo argues, we need to rehabilitate the notion that not all versions of reality are equally trustworthy. Looking to the body and bodily practices as an arena in which cultural fantasies and anxieties are played out, Bordo examines the mystique and the reality of empowerment through cosmetic surgery. Her incisive analysis of sexual harassment in the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill controversy, as well as in films such as Disclosure, challenges media-driven caricatures of sexuality. Bordo also sharply diagnoses the continuing marginalization of feminist thought, in particular the failure to read feminist work as cultural criticism. In a final powerful collaborative essay entitled "Missing Kitchens," Bordo and her sisters Binnie Klein and Marilyn Silverman explore notions of bodies, place, and space through a moving recreation of the topographies of their childhood.