The Gibson Girl

9 Aug

Accompanying the fashion models as portrayed in the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine and Vogue, in the last decade of the nineteenth century American Life magazine introduced the wasp-waisted Gibson Girl who was ‘the first universal pin-up—adored by men, imitated by women, an influence on customs and fashion of her time, 1890-1914’.  Created by Charles Dana Gibson in 1887, the girl was a purely masculine invention, a fantasy brought into being by a phallic pen and reproduced by women who longed to aspire to this patriarchal ideal. The Gibson Girl became a form of economic exploitation of the female figure when the Victorian woman was provided with the means to imitate her look since ‘[s]hop windows, counters, and advertisements were filled with Gibson Girl corsets, shirtwaists, skirts, shoes, [and] hats.’

 

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