Raquel: Beyond The Cleavage (2010)
Raquel: Beyond the Cleavage (2010)
3.18 of 5 Votes: 3
1602860971 (ISBN13: 9781602860971)
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I became aware of Beyond the Cleavage while listening to Oprah on Sirius radio. As a baby boomer, I could relate to parts of the Oprah interview with the aging actress... and found the title intriguing. I got a copy from my local library along with Robin Given's Grace Will Lead Me home. (a very relatable memoir; even though I share very little in common with the author. While I applaud Welch for venturing to put "in her own voice" a book that chronicle her personal journey; I found myself skipping through much of it because while also a baby boomers her writing is redundant and of an ethnocentric view. For example: Raquel Welch is a Hollywood "sex symbol"/ I related more to the "flower power" group she often referenced. She was married 4 times and struggled with balancing career and motherhood especially during the children's formative years/I, on the other hand, with the blessing of my lover/"baby's daddy" worked from home while volunteering as a community activist. Welch, as an "olive" skin woman shared beauty tips mainly for European women/I as a dark skin beauty didn't relate to much of her beauty tips.However, I could relate to growing up with a demanding strict , abusive, Spanish speaking father and docile mother, I could relate to her morale message and I also related to her inferences that its never too late to strive to live the life you always wanted. This book is FANTASTIC!! Though not an auto-biography this delightfully intimate book does cover various parts of her life in-depth, her thoughts on motherhood, ageing, friendship, younger men, fitness, makeup, skincare, cosmetic surgery, dating, menopause and HONEST observations about how trashy the Paris Hilton/Madonna/pole dancing effect has negatively impacted women.Regarding some of the reviewers who express disappointment that some of her material is reprinted from "Raquel Welch: Total Beauty and Fitness" DO note that other authors also do this and that she DOES flesh out the material in greater detail here. I think it's a good call as the aforementioned book (A VERITABLE MASTERPIECE!) is out of print and unknown to many under 30's. Plus it is heartening to know that, unlike many other celebs who trend hop diets and exercise regimens, that the same tenets have worked for RW for so long and obviously so well.As for her astute cultural observations, Ms. Welch has many and did what Ari Levy failed to do in "Female Chauvinist Pigs" , which was expose the stupidity of raunchy culture. I'm a huge fan of Rocky Welch and have followed her career since I found a copy of Total Beauty and Fitness at Treehorn Books in Santa Rosa, when I was teen. I still remember my college roommate reading the poses to me out loud and doing an inadvertent somersault during "Standing A." I was given this new book, "Beyond the Cleavage" for my 32nd birthday yesterday. JOY OF JOYS!!! What a FABULOUS WRITER!! No surprise, she is a TRUE FEMINIST. Two kids by 21, going after her career as a single mother, never being financially supported by a man AND never acting vulgar or trashy to get press. I wish feminism had made less room for the "lipstick is oppression" credo and later the sleazy corporate vulgarity of Madonna and instead made more room for the multi-dimensional class acts like Raquel. Feminism has turned too many women (especially under 30) off by not allowing alternate versions of "being liberated" into the fold.I guess 2nd wavers just hated RW because she's beautiful as she sure was cast out without a second glance. And with all due respect, Camille Paglia one of the only 2nd wave voices to praise RW and get it right, herself wasted far too much time on the low life narcissistic antics of madonna to really do this great lady justice. RW proves that there is simply too much abject hypocrisy in second wave feminism. Feminists slammed sex bombs like Raquel Sophia Loren, and Erica Gavin, yet how much money did these same women pay their fellow sisters who were their nannies and maids watching the farm while they went to work? Did they ever fight tooth and nail to give them healthcare, unions or a living wage? Noooooooo...they fought to live like men, get the best deal on childcare and make money(see Leslie Bennetts...barf) not liberate women.Thankfully some third wavers like myself are now appreciating that a woman like Ms. Welch can be beautiful, sexy, classy and a trailblazer without fitting into a prescribed box AND without being exploitative and trashy. RW also succinctly points out what SO many dating and relationship columnists gravely overlook-that men/boys these days are looking for a meal ticket and a free ride off a woman's hard earned money-even men as young as their early 20's!She pulls no punches yet never comes off caustic and mean. She's self deprecating without self pity and just an all around entertaining writer. I, alongside millions of others, beg for her to write her memoirs! PLEASE!
It was OK. Nice read when you need a pick me up, but not one I would highly recommend.
Good book, good personal awareness and story
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