Lingerie and Sexuality: Cultural Influences on the 1920s Woman
This paper looks at the relationship between shifting moral codes and changing undergarments for American women in the 1920s. While existing work in dress and social history focuses on the length of hemlines, bobbed hair, contraception, and women gaining the right to vote, little attention has been given to women's lingerie and the messages about sexuality women received throughout their day. Drawing on historical and gender studies perspectives and methods, this study examines representations of women's undergarments in popular magazines and other media from the period. The discussion explores the symbolism of early lingerie in discourse surrounding women's sexuality in the 20s, and how messages about lingerie and sexuality were crucial to the shaping of the 1920s woman.