Monday, March 19, 2012

Outline Revised

I am really frustrated with what direction to take my paper. I feel pulled in so many directions but I feel like keeping to what shifted in the 1920 is where I want to keep my focus instead of starting my research all over and researching information about Judy Chicago. The only thing I struggle with is if covering just the 1920 will be enough information to cover the required 30 or so pages of the research paper.

How do you determine if there is enough information out there to cover your topic?

Revised Outline:

Introduction: I want to talk about what caught my attention in the first pace with wanting to research this topic. I want to explain an overview of how throughout time, a voluptuous bodies type was the ideal and why. I feel like it would be important for the audience to have a background of this before diving into this shift occurred. The reader needs to know what it was like before the shift.

1920: Progressive Era: Why the shift?

  • Women Suffrage
  • Beginning of the diet industry for women

o women wanting to be more like the men

§ the diet industry was created first for men

o showing self control in eating habits=power

  • Changes after WWI

o Women needing to compete for the men that were homosexual while away in the war.

  • Prohibition
  • Men wanting to suppression women on the political stage through getting them to focus on perfection of the body
    • Naomi Wolff, Author of the Beauty Myth
  • Media Influences
  • Industrial Revolution
    • Development of big business
      • Sears Catalog, mass production of products

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Project Outline

I have decided to change the route of my paper. I'm not going to discuss the changes that occur ed in the ideal body after 1920. If I talk about each era I feel like the focus would change into more of a history of fashion. I want the focus to be on the before 1920 and after 1920. I feel like this is when the big change happened. This way I will also be able to put more of an emphasis on art, paintings not photography.

I think I might want to talk about what action people have taken in the later half of the 20th century to correct the pressure that is on women to have the ideal body. There were many feminist artists that were trying to correct the way our society views women. I will have to do more research to see if anything correlates with what I have already researched. I know I want to look in to the art of Judy Chicago, The Guerrilla Girls and other feminists.

I am questioning what type of a introduction to I need for this paper. Do I need to talk about what the purpose of art was; meaning why were women portrayed in a certain way. Why were women often the subject matter for artists?

Here is my new outline. Hopefully it is readable. It is a picture so if you click on it it should make it bigger.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Assignment # 3/4

I have been spending a lot of time this week researching about my topic. I have found a lot of good information about the transition that occurred at the turn of the century towards a thinner ideal of women.

Here is a beginning outline of what I want to talk about in may paper and also the subjects that I need to research more:

Pre 1890: voluminous

1890: Gilmore Girls Era- Charles Gibson (small waist, corsets)

1920: The Flapper/Progressive Era (thin, boy-like figure, bound breasts)

1940: Christian Dior, "The New Look" (thin, big breasts, girdle, change from post WWII)

1950: Marilyn Monroe Era (voluminous)

1960: Twiggy (thin models)

1970-90: progression of the thin ideal, the super model.

I have really started to question why it was in the 1900s that there was this first shift EVER in the ideal body. Some possibilities that I have been thinking that I need to research more about that may have caused this:

  • the industrial revolution, (the change in how goods are produced, movement to the cities)
  • women suffrage (equality with men)
  • free thinking by women (the need to oppress this)
  • the development of the media, (the ability to control/change the ideal easily)

Here are a bunch of articles that I have found for my research. These are the article that helped me come up with my beginning outline.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Rethinking my thesis

I have been doing some research on my subject to see what is out there on the subject. I purchased History of Beauty this past week. In reading parts of the book I have found that I don't want to talk much about ancient time, (Rome and Greece). The reason is because there isn't much written on this particular subject. I was thinking about just focusing my paper on comparing the 1800 to the 1900 and focusing on the change that occurs between the two decades.
As I have been thinking about this, I have decided that I am going to focus on the social standards of beauty and what was required of women during these times. I haven't looked much into what happened in the early 1900 that the ideal body changes so this week I am going to look into materials involving that.
I am not planning on mathematically comparing the bodies from each decade. I am more concerned with the why it occurred not the physically comparison.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Assignment #1

I am wanting to do my research and my paper on the portrayal of women's bodies and also women and their appearance in general in art throughout history. Since artist will portray their subjects in such a way that is compatible with what is going on in their culture during an era, I feel like I will be able to understand what the cultures feeling were about women by looking at how they are portrayed in art. Whether it is fashion trends, war, famine or political events, what affects the way the artist portrays women?

The reason I want to look into this more was brought about because of the obseveation I made between the women portrayed in art today verses other eras. What happened in the 20th century that significantly shifted the ideal body and beauty. Never in our human race has emaciated bodies been the ideal, It has always been curvaceous women.

Along with looking at trends in history, I want to define what beauty is for each time period. What do the people of these periods find appealing in women (body and facial). If I went through all of time and did this, it may take awhile so I will focus on a few time periods. Right now I am thinking that I will discuss, Greek/Roman era, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Romanticism, and Modern (the 20th century). By the change in definition of beauty will the women of the period be portrayed differently? Is it typical that the artist will portray the ideal of that time?

Another side area that I may be interested in exploring is if the women during each period in history felt pressure to look like the ideal. And if like today they would alter their appearances to achieve this.

I have already done some research for this. Mostly what I have found is books about ideal beauty. I am nervous that I won't be able to find out the "why" behind the ideal beauty, other the proportions and mathematics. I know that women aren't talked about much in history so it may be hard to find information about this. Because I don't know what is out there on the subject I don't know for sure if my subject is too broad but I feel like I will be able to get a better idea once I find sources. As of right now I feel like limiting the eras of art to only a few, it should be an appropriate topic that will not be too broad. If the topic is too broad I was thinking that I would just focus on the ideal beauty in each era and not have an emphasis in body types. Or maybe I will have too much information on beauty and focus only on the body.

Relating this subject to my two emphasises art history and history, this subject will integrate both a lot. I will be using art as my starting off point and then using what was going on in history to change what was being portrayed in art.

I am excited to see the change that will occur in each of these time periods and to find out what what going on during each period to make the ideal beauty change.