Body Image In The 1900s

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Introduction For a long period in the United States, the ideal woman was one who stayed at home to take care of her children and keep her home clean, while her husband went out to work. This has been the set role of women for centuries because they are historically considered inferior to men. Traditionally, women were considered weak and incapable of performing any work requiring a physical effort or intellectual capacity. Even during major events and wars, they were expected to assume roles that were merely supportive of men. However, despite all the boundaries that society set for them, women did not stand, watching the ongoing cycle of life from their windows; they fought and worked hard to achieve a reassessment of the traditional…show more content…
It witnessed a tremendous change in the ideal female body image, which also changed from one decade to another. In The twentieth century, women started gaining more rights and expressing themselves more, witnessing a rise in women’s movements and newly formed organizations, a new generation of female artists, photographers, and writers. Females were emerging out of the set boundaries that the society had set for them and joined the workforce, contributing a lot to society. This offset feminine freedom was reflected through the way women represented themselves. They started exposing more of their bodies, like their ankles and then their legs. Corsets were common among women. They were a type of body suit laced in the back, which was worn to enhance women’s hips and breasts, while making their waists seem as thin as possible. The use of corsets started in the 1800s and continued until the 1920s. (Cohen,1984). It was later attacked for its restrictiveness, both in breathing and movement. According to Featherstone (1982), the 1900s began to use cosmetics, fashion, Hollywood, and advertisements to represent the female body image. The popular look of the late 1800s continued until the early 1900s. This look was the "Gibson Girl," who was tall and thin, yet with ample bosom and hips and an exaggerated S-curve that she showed off by wearing a swan-bill corset. Swedish dancer, Lisa Fonssagrives, became the…show more content…
Overweight or average women were no longer in the picture, but instead underweight women became the ideal for actresses, dancers, and models. This era started when British model Twiggy, with a BMI of 15, started appearing on the screens and covers of magazines with her skinny body, flat chest, and boyish looks that made her shine between other models and become an international supermodel. In the 1960s being thin was main stream, and magazines started using thinner models. At that time, women were still highly objectified even in advertisements to appeal to male buyers; and sexuality was liberally expressed through the media. As the slim image started spreading, women became more concerned with their weight, trying to reach the measurements that were seen as "fit." Susan Ice MD, an expert in eating disorders and medical director of the Renfrew Center in Philadelphia, has lectured about the rise in eating disorders. She explains, "The incidence of eating disorders has doubled since the 1960s and is increasing in younger age groups, in children as young as seven. Forty percent of 9-year-old girls have dieted and even 5-year-olds are concerned about

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