When defining Feminine beauty one must decide in which timeto define it. At certain times women have felt repressed by the term, usually due to the beauty business’influence; while at other times Women have found itliberatory: finding it their bonus as females but not theironly power. One will also find that a correlation existsbetween the women’s movement, or lack there of,and society’s feelings about woman and their aestheticappearance.
A woman’s beauty during the 1910s and early 1920’s was not anaspect of one’s life to be contemplated heavily.
Woman pre 19th amendment weremore concerned with gaining recognition of their equality then how theylooked. Woman felt beauty came from with in and was not a product one couldbuy. Attractiveness was being strong and powerful: In the late 1910’s andearly 1920’s female athletes began to ellipse movie starts as the nationsbeauty archetypes (Faludi 204)This seems due to the Women’s movement’s influence at the time. Yet whenthe late 1920s are analyzed one sees a different occurrence.
After womenachieved the vote in 1920 women, it seems, felt they were equal and were ableto be what ever they chose. If they wanted to make them selves up they could.
if they wanted to work, or stay home, or anything else they could.
Flapper Jane, the ideal figure of the 1920s, is the object ofconstant analysis. She is, for one thing a very pretty girl. Beauty is thefashion in 1925 (Flapper Jane, 65). When Reading Flapper Jane one gets asense that Jane felt that she was equal and her beauty was just somethingthat she did and not something that did her: Women still want to be loved,…
But they want it to be on a 50 / 50 basis which includes being admired for thequalities they possess (Flapper Jane, 67). In the case of the Flapper and the1920s beauty was not oppressive: In fact Jane says, That women today are shaking of their oldservitude… If they want to wear their heads shaven, as a symbol ofdefiance against the former fate which foe three millennia forced themto dress their heavy locks in according to male decrees, they will havetheir way…Hurrah! Hurrah! (Flapper Jane, 67)Post World War II1 saw women being oppressed by thebeauty industry. Women were subject to what societydetermined as beautiful. Exquisite movie stars who werecurvy and charming, with pale skin, frosted hair, and aseemingly grand lifestyle were the ideal.
Beauty publicists instructed women to inflatetheir breasts with padding or silicone, to frosttheir hair with carcinogenic dyes, to makethemselves look paler by whitening their face andlips with titanium-to emulate in short, that mostbleached medicalized glamour girl of them all,Marilyn Monroe (Faludi, 204)They were pressured to be beautiful at the sake of theirhealth. This is what we might call a backlash. The women’smovement it should be noted at this time was almost noneexistent. Betty Friedan’s Problem That Has No Namedescribes what women were feed as what should be done andhow to do it:Over and Over Women heard in voices oftradition and Freudian sophistication that theycould desire no greater destiny then to glory intheir own femininity. Experts told them how tocatch a man and keep him, … how to dress, look,and act more feminine and make marriage moreexcitingIn 1968 Woman protested the idea of themselves assex objects. In Atlantic City women demonstrated againstthe 1968 Miss America Pageant. It} was the first major action of the currentwoman’s movement .. we were affirming our mutualfeeling of outrage, hope, and readiness to conquerthe world. We also all felt, well grown up: we weredoing this one for ourselves, not for our men, and wewere consequently getting to do those things the mennever let us do, like talking to the press ordealing with the mayor’s office. (Morgan, 62) This whole event has been made out to be more antibeauty then it truly was. The women who protested the eventwere not against the women participating, in fact theprotesters proclaimed solidarity with the contestants. TheWomen’s Liberation Movement chose the Miss America Pageantbecause it represent to them all the things wrong withsociety and how it deals with women:The contestants epitomize the role all women had toplay in this society, one way or the other:apolitical, unoffending, passive delicate(butdrudgery-delighted) things (Morgan, 64) This pageant was the beginning of the bouncing back ofthe women’s movement and thus beauty being once againliberatory.
The women’s movement became a very prominent aspectof the 1970s. Woman no longer subjected themselves to thosehealth hazardous beauty regiments. in the 1970’s the beautyindustry felt that if they were going to make any profitsthey had to find away to celebrate this new feeling ofpower woman had.
In the winter of 1973 , Charles Revson called ahigh – level meeting of Revlon executives. He had arevolutionary concept he told them : a fragrance thatcelebrated woman’s liberation.
The fragrance now know as Charlie was the product ofseveral months of interviewing woman about what they wantedin a perfume.
Charlie symbolized that new lifestyle. Revlonexecutive vice president Lawrence Wechsler recalls, that said you can be anything you want to be , youcan do anything you want to do, with out anycriticism being directed at you. If you want to weara pantsuits at the office instead of a skirt, fine(Faludi 205)Immediately Following this period of resurgence againwe see a regression in the 1980’s. I don’t know why thiskeeps happening maybe it’s cyclical nature of time, butonce again women are repressed by beauty and sex appeal.
The 1980’s saw the start of a plastic surgery craze. Womenwere trying all sorts of measures to be the sexy,beautiful, thin , and presumably happy women they saw inadvertisements. Now you can be yourself you don’t have tobe a powerhouse. (Faludi 201), this is what a mannequindesigner Filoso believes is what life is about for woman,he considers this a big improvement over the ’70’s, whenwomen didn’t care about their appearance. Now they notonly care feel that they can be and look like anything oranyone they want: Today, woman can look at a beautifulmannequin in a store and say I want to look like her andthey can actually can! They can go to their doctor andsay,’ Doc, I want I want these cheek bones.’ ‘Doc I wantthese breasts.’ The question to me is do you actually wantto look like a mannequin or yourself.
By this point one should see how Feminine beauty issubjective to the time to which you are referring. I thinkthat the ’90s are part repressive, due to the need to feelbeautiful and thin at almost any cost,but are also interms of beauty. Women not only believe that they can doand be anything they know it. And the beauty industry hasseen the American women as a group of very differentindividuals. We, woman, as a whole are doing our thing andare in liberation we are sexy smart and in the end themakers of our ideal and not the subjects of one.
Cite this Feminine Beauty
Feminine Beauty. (2019, Mar 11). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/feminine-beauty/