Monday, March 12, 2012

The Inconstancy of Beauty

Amid all the discussions that have cropped up on the blogosphere in the past few months about the relationship between beauty, society, media, and self-image, I thought this would be timely to share an article from a late 1930's Vogue that briefly address some of these things. I found it rather interesting to see a source from a past era talking about the fast changing trends, witnessing their own part in the constant evolution of style and culture.

Though by no means a perfect or completely even-handed look at their own time and approach to Beauty (though how possible is that ever going to be - evaluating our own era?), I think this article is pretty wonderful - granted, the 1930s is my favorite aesthetic era, and I do find it to be superior in terms of Beauty and attainability for the average woman (in that a relatively wide range of body types were popular, and focus did seem to be more on proportions rather than one particular size, particularly in the later 1930s when it became less popular to focus on slenderizing the hips), but even if the 30s aren't your favorite, it's still wonderful for the glimpse it gives into a society (or at least Vogue, which represented high society, but societies have always tended to be evaluated by the upper classes anyway) trying to evaluate its own self. 

I found this issue of Vogue (a late 30s issue - forgot to mark the date!) in my university's library - they have an amazing archive of magazines, including a whole section of women's interest: McCalls, Vogue, etc. There are some that go back to the 1880s in their collection! And its so great that it's all accessible to anyone, even undergraduate students who just wander in with their camera hoping to hole up with a few issues for an afternoon. ;)

Tell me what you think of this article - I'd love to hear some thoughts or other opinions on it!


1 comment:

  1. I love this article. Especially the last part about beauty being different and individual.