Originally Posted by HSG
And in the faces of Victorian beauties, one does not see the stressed-out, wearied, haggard look that is emblematic of women's life in the modern world, which pulls them in many different directions at once. Rather, one sees contentment. One sees women who never denied themselves any pleasures, who enjoyed food, fashion, and life.
When I look at that Lillian Russell image, that's exactly what I see in her expression: pleasure, delight, satisfaction.
It's SO different from the STRESS that today's women's magazines are always writing about.
I think a lot of women have been deceived about past vs. present. When that article says that "women were expected to marry and raise children" in Victorian times, maybe that wasn't all bad. I just read a great article about the fact that a lot of women today are getting sick of slaving in the workforce, and are leaving their jobs, and increasingly choosing home life:
Some of the passages really spoke to me:
'There's a general rejection of the Eighties and Nineties work ethic, the whole Nicola Horlick phenomenon and the consumerist agenda that went with it. This has made women more confident about valuing home and family life and deciding that they want to fit their work around it, rather than fit their home life around work. All the data show us that this is not what women want to do any more. They have tried it and found it difficult, stressful and ultimately unsatisfying. These women have no difficulty in regarding themselves as equal with men, they simply have different goals and do not feel they have to prove themselves through work any more.'
It quotes a lot of women as saying how much prefer their freedom from the workforce:
'Doing well at work is some people's definition of success,' she says. 'But not mine. Not any more.'
'I used to be really bad-tempered when I got home. I was tired and I would be vile. Now the children and I are in sync with each other and it's much better.
'All my brain time used to be taken up with work...Now I have got thinking time for myself.'
I have to agree with the article that M. Lopez posted- there are
a lot of Victorian "aesthetics and sentiments" that are more positive than modern ones. It would be nice if we could bring back some of that beauty and harmony and contentment to today's world.