The new icons appear to be all-powerful, but what is really going on? Can Princess Diana ever be anything but the Queen of Broken Hearts? Why are women urged to have children when they don't want them? Are single mothers to blame for truancy and teenage crime? What exactly was Linda Fiorentino up to in "The Last Seduction"? And why can't sex symbols like Madonna have sex? In a series of essays on female icons like the Princess of Wales and Naomi Campbell as well as ogres like Rosemary West, Smith demonstrates the extent to which our judgements are influenced by unconscious ideas about gender. In doing so, her book tackles an intriguing possibility: that the idea of difference is far more important than its reality.