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WST 383 Womens Studies Themed Class: The Female Body Presentation Credit: Meghan Somers.

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Presentation on theme: "WST 383 Womens Studies Themed Class: The Female Body Presentation Credit: Meghan Somers."— Presentation transcript:

1 WST 383 Womens Studies Themed Class: The Female Body Presentation Credit: Meghan Somers

2 American women feel more negatively about their bodies than their counterparts in any other culture, notes Margo Maine, author of Body Wars: Making Peace with Womens Bodies. Info from Backlash: The Undeclaired War Against Women, by S. Faludi (1991), New York: Doubleday

3 A timeline of female body image

4 Early Civilization

5 The Venus of Willendorf is a tribute to women and fertility. Womens forms were celebrated and it is believed that standard of beauty was a woman with larger breasts and hips, ensuring fertility. Feminine features, including stomachs and buttocks were exaggerated in art forms.

6 Victorian Era

7 During the Victorian era, the ideal body type for women was plump, fleshy, and full-figured. They wore restrictive corsets, which made waists artificially tiny while accentuating the hips and buttocks. These corsets also caused a variety of health problems with breathing and digestion. 1840s

8 Actress Lillian Russell weighed around 200 pounds in the peak of her fame. 1890s

9 During the Victorian era the role of women was defined largely on the basis of their appearance, and not on intellectual or occupational grounds. The ideal Victorian woman was expected to be childlike, pale and indeterminate, passive, submissive, mindless, genteel and nice.

10 The 20 th Century

11 1910s As feminism spreads, women are portrayed as big and powerful. The images on magazines covers show little men against larger, stronger females.

12 The 19th Amendment to the Constitution granting women the right to vote, is signed into law. Tobacco companies begin to target women by claiming that smoking can help control weight. 1920

13 By the 1920s, the Victorian hourglass gave way to the thin flapper who bound her breasts to achieve a washboard profile. After World War I, active lifestyles added another dimension. Energy and vitality became central and body fat was perceived to contribute to inefficiency and was seen as a sign of self-indulgence.

14 Flappers helped to revolutionize the way women act and think by defying the traditional views of women.

15 Modesty returns. Cleavage is viewed as obscene. 1930s

16 At 52 and average weight, Bette Davis is an American Icon. 1930s

17 Beauty standards focus on large breasts and pin-up girls. 1950s

18 1950s, a thin woman with a large bust line was considered most attractive. The voluptuous (size 14- 16) Marilyn Monroe set a new standard for women who now needed to rebuild the curves they had previously tried to bind and restrain.

19 Competitive athletics considered to be dangerous for women.

20 Dieting becomes popular and skirt hems get shorter. 1960s

21 Slenderness became the most important indicator of physical attractiveness following the arrival of model Twiggy. Twiggy was 57, weighed 91 pounds, and had the figure of a prepubescent boy. 1960s Twiggy

22 Women protest the Miss America Pageant citing that it is demeaning toward women. 1960s

23 The FDA approves Fenfluarmine an appetite suppressant. 1970s

24 In 1975 top models and beauty queens weighed only 8% less than the average woman. (Today they weigh 23% less, a size achievable by less than 5% of today's female population.) The 1970s

25 Beginning in the 1970s, there was an overall increased emphasis on weight loss and body shape in the content of popular womens magazines.

26 Karen Carpenter, a famous singer, dies of heart failure caused by anorexia. 1980s

27 The 1980s beauty ideal remained slim but required a more toned and fit look. Women could no longer just 'diet' into the correct size; there was a new pressure to add exercise to achieve the toned look.

28 The FDA takes Fenfluarmine (a diet drug) off the market because it is linked to heart disorders. 1990s

29 Young Cindy Crawford considered the new voluptuous model.

30 The 1990s body ideal was very slim and large breasted, think Pamela 'Baywatch' Anderson, an almost impossible combination.

31 In the 1990s FIVE MILLION American women suffer from eating disorders.

32 In the 2000s, that number doubles to over 10 MILLION

33 The 21 st Century

34 Rubens 1600s 2000s

35 Models get much taller and impossibly thin


37 The Holocaust Look gets trendy.

38 2006 Spain outlaws models with BMI <18

39 2000s In an interview with 48 Hours, Mary-Kate Olsen compared her looks to her sister's saying, I - are you kidding me? I look in the mirror and I'm like why do you look pretty and I look ugly?" Mary-Kate Olsen begins receiving treatment for an eating disorder.

40 Food for Thought

41 When a man gets up to speak, people listen, then look. When a woman gets up, people look; then, if they like what they see, they listen. Pauline Frederick

42 Early 2000s

43 I see my body as an instrument, rather than an ornament. ~Alanis Morissette

44 2000s-2010s

45 You're damned if you're too thin, and you're damned if you're too heavy. According to the press I've been both. It's impossible to satisfy everyone and I suggest we all stop trying. --Jennifer Aniston



48 In a recent survey conducted by People magazine, 80% of women stated that advertising and fashion magazines made them feel insecure about their looks.

49 A Glamour Magazine survey found that 97% of women had hateful thoughts about their bodes every dayon average 13 times per day.

50 We have to have faith in ourselves. I have never met a woman who, deep down in her core, really believes she has great legs. And if she suspects that she might have great legs, then she's convinced that she has a shrill voice and no neck. ~Cynthia Heimel

51 Black women don't have the same body image problems as white women. They are proud of their bodies. Black men love big butts. -Tyra Banks


53 Adele beats the odds.

54 Nobody objects to a woman being a good writer or sculptor or geneticist if at the same time she manages to be a good wife, a good mother, good-looking, good-tempered, well-dressed, well-groomed, and unaggressive. ~Marya Mannes

55 Mauritania's 'wife-fattening' farm'wife-fattening' farm

56 Prestige & Early Puberty

57 "We dont need Afghan-style burquas to disappear as women. We disappear in reverseby revamping and revealing our bodies to meet externally imposed visions of female beauty." Robin Gerber

58 Outside show is a poor substitute for inner worth. -- Aesop

59 Whose body is it, anyway?

60 Created by Meghan Somers Updated by Juliet Davis Sources bodyimageandselfesteem/bodyimagetimeline bodyimageandselfesteem/bodyimagetimeline m m eisure/celebspot/main625389.shtml eisure/celebspot/main625389.shtml do-women-hate-their-bodies/ do-women-hate-their-bodies/ fitness/2011/02/shocking-body-image-news-97-percent- of-women-will-be-cruel-to-their-bodies-today fitness/2011/02/shocking-body-image-news-97-percent- of-women-will-be-cruel-to-their-bodies-today Music by Natalie Merchant, Break your Heart from Opehlia.

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