Join Date: July 2005
The return of '50s femininity
The recent article on this forum about the feminist-mandated destruction of a mermaid sculpture is just one more example of why so many women are rejecting feminist ideology and embracing traditional values of beauty and femininity.
Maureen linked a wonderful article
last year noting how many women are undertaking a kind of "time warp" to return to the nobler eras of the past, while the admin posted a thread
last month about a 1950s-theme TV commercial starring plus-size model Lindsey Todd.
Something is in the air. I think that feminism and the androgynous ideal may finally be losing its hold over women, while tradition is holding ever more appeal.
Here's another recent article that touches on this trend:
It's filled with mixed messages and bends over backward to promote leftist thinking as much as it criticizes it, but the core of the article demonstrates how much women prefer the more natural gender relations of the past (compared to the androgynous dystopia of today), and long for a return to those timeless values.
As headmistress at The Lindy Charm School for Girls, based on the Gold Coast, [Christine ] Keepence teaches women of all ages the art of wearing red lipstick, lacy garter belts and seamed stockings while perfecting a sexy-yet-modest 'wiggly walk'...
According to Keepence, "We lost something in the growth of the empowered feminist in our society. I stand tall as a strong and independent woman, but I'm also a woman who knows her limitations and values men enough to know that I prefer to work as a team...I love that my husband is the strong fix-it guy who brings home the bacon. As a gentleman, he still likes to pay for things when we go out, or walk roadside of me."
Her passion for the vintage era began with swing dancing and music, but has since become a complete lifestyle choice. Not only does she wear vintage outfits almost daily, she also fills her house with retro furniture and embraces the poise and etiquette of a '50s 'lady' at all times.
In Melbourne, Candice DeVille, 32, believes vintage culture enthusiasts are growing in number. The scene includes rockabillies, pin-up girls, kustom-kulture lovers and burlesque dancers. While most people are drawn to the fashion, music, cars and furniture of the '30s, '40s and '50s, others seem to be pining for a time when gender roles were simpler - when women were soft, innocent and feminine, and men weren't afraid to be men.
DeVille never leaves the house without looking like a starlet from Hollywood's golden age...
"I also think it's OK to be sexy for your husband and bake a cake, though I know a lot of women will hate me for saying it. You don't have to be standing at the front door in lingerie, but dressing up for him and making his favourite dinner is just another way of saying, 'I love you and I respect you.'"...
It's not difficult to see why some people romanticise the simplicity of life in the '50s.
For one thing, the clothes complemented the female form, unlike the androgynous fashion trends of today. Pia Andersen, from Sydney, has worn second-hand clothes since her 20th birthday more than a decade ago. It's not just the fashion she follows - even her mannerisms are guided by old-fashioned social etiquette. "I apply a '50s dress code to everyday life.
I have day dresses, afternoon dresses, ball gowns and evening coats," says Andersen, who'd never dream of throwing on a pair of jeans and a T-shirt for a trip to the supermarket.
With plump red lips, fluttering eyelashes, wavy blonde hair and voluptuous curves, Andersen is constantly stopped in the street and asked why she looks like she's stepped out of an old issue of Ladies' Home Journal.
"...I dress this way because it makes me feel like a lady," she says. "In the '50s, [women's] femininity was also celebrated."
Andersen enjoys dressing this way, partly because it encourages good manners.
"I love it when a guy opens the car door for me...It's a beautiful thing that shouldn't be frowned upon by society. Within the vintage and rockabilly scenes, there's a shared appreciation and understanding of chivalry between men and women, so you feel looked after, respected and safe."
She also thinks women have lost the ability to be poised and speak their mind without being aggressive or emotional. "There's something to be said for stoic '50s housewives."..
Melbourne-based photographer Helen McLean...reminds us that modern pop culture doesn't always put women in the best light.
"The contents of men's magazines leave little to the imagination, whereas there's an innocence attached to the '50s woman," she says. "Today's woman...still wants to look desirable and sexy. She wants to show she's proud of her curves, without being overtly sexually forward."
DeVille agrees that young women could use a little more modesty nowadays. "It breaks my heart to see that so many female role models have no decorum, no poise - and no underwear. They could have a lot more self-respect and graciousness," she says.
Meanwhile, Keepence points out that although women in the '50s wore [underwear] to accentuate their figures, that's nothing compared to more severe body alteration methods such as Botox, breast enlargements, liposuction and extreme dieting...
According to Keepence, males are just as confused as females when it comes to gender. "A lot of men love looking after women in little ways, but it's been beaten out of them to the point that they don't feel comfortable offering a woman a compliment for fear of being labelled sexist."
I note in particular the many references to fashion in the article, how clothing was more pro-curvy in the 1950s. Once again we see how the suppression of femininity in subsequent decades went hand-in-hand with the suppression of visible feminine curvaceousness, and the imposition of androgynous bodies. The more traditional a society's values, the more that full-figured womanly beauty is embraced and celebrated.
No wonder women want to gain back all that modern society has taken away from them, and recover what they have lost.