This innovative book explores the construction of femininity in Western society. Drawing on a range of theory, empirical sources and original research, Efrat Tse[um]elon examines the role of the visual - of fashion, the body and personal appearance - in defining the female self. Tse[um]elon's argument develops concepts in understanding the meaning of female presence: modesty, duplicity, beauty, seduction and death. Femininity is analyzed in relation to these themes, using insights from sociological, psychological, historical and literary frameworks. The book demonstrates how normative conceptions of feminine essence, which have persevered from Eve to Madonna, become the requirements of appearance for women. Referring to the theories of scholars from Elias, Freud, Lacan, Goffman, Ari[gr]es and Baudrillard, Tse[um]elon highlights the paradoxical nature of those expectations which ground the contemporary feminine experience in the West.
Contains handwritten notes