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A day in the life of a lady

A day in the life of a lady "...a husband who would wish to have sole possession of his wife would be regarded as a disturber of public happiness." --Montesquieu. **The lady awakes!. The lady’s bath.

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A day in the life of a lady

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  1. A day in the life of a lady "...a husband who would wish to have sole possession of his wife would be regarded as a disturber of public happiness."--Montesquieu

  2. **The lady awakes!

  3. The lady’s bath

  4. The Lady’s Toilette. “The court saw there, also, the toilette of the princess, which was much admired, both for its articles of gold and silver and for its embroidery and lace."

  5. The Promenade. After this might be a promenade in the park. Special days and hours were established for young ladies to display themselves as a public spectacle for any gentlemen who were present, sort of like speed dating, but slower. If a lady caught the eye of a gentleman, he would inquire about the name and status of the lady so he could make his move. If she were interested, she had fewer and more subtle options to show her interest, such as “accidentally” dropping her handkerchief in front of him, so he could pick it up and present it to her.

  6. The lady’s music lesson

  7. The art of conversation which was described as "a gay dialogue in which each listens but little, yet a rapid prompt & vivacious manner."

  8. The lady’s favorite card game, Whist

  9. Courtship, with mom hiding in the bushes

  10. "You must never tell your lover that you do not believe in God. As to your husband, it doesn't matter. But with a lover you must always keep a retreat open, and a religious scruple can end a love-affair at once.”--Unnamed Lady, 18th cent.

  11. Reading someone else’s love letter aloud for entertainment

  12. ***Madame de Pompadour, Louis XV’s primary mistress who largely ruled Louis and France for twenty years.

  13. Louis XV first met Madame de Pompadour at a costume ball cleverly disguised as a yew tree (Louis that is). When she died, it was said Louis shed exactly two tears.

  14. Poor woman with shortened gown and patched petticoat

  15. Since life then was so much more public then and given so many affairs due to arranged and empty marriages, a system of secret “texting” with fans evolved so lovers could communicate even in the middle of a crowd. Therefore, fans were a must as an accessory for the fashionable 18th century lady.

  16. 2 sides of a French Victorian fan Front Reverse

  17. THE LANGUAGE OF THE FAN To a large extent, the fan was the 18th century equivalent of the cell phone, “texting” messages across a ballroom floor to one’s secret boyfriend. 1) The fan placed near the heart: You have won my love. 2) closed fan touching the right eye: When may I see you? 3) The number of sticks shown answers: At what hour? 4) Threatening movements with a fan closed: Don't be so imprudent 5) Half-opened fan pressed to the lips: You may kiss me 6) Hands clasped together holding an open fan: Forgive me 7) Covering left ear with open fan: Do not betray our secret 8) Hiding the eyes behind an open fan: I love you 9) Shutting fully opened fan slowly: I promise to marry you 10) Drawing the fan across the eyes: I am sorry 11) Touching finger to tip of the fan: I wish to speak to you 12) Letting the fan rest on the right cheek: Yes 13) Letting the fan rest on the left cheek: No 14) Opening and closing the fan several times: You are cruel 15) Dropping the fan: We will be friends 16) Fanning slowly: I am married 17) Fanning quickly: I am engaged 18) Putting the fan handle to the lips:Kiss me 19) Opening a fan wide: Wait for me 20) Fan placed behind the head: Do not forget me 21) Fan placed behind the head with finger: Goodbye 22) Fan in right hand in front of face: Follow me 23) Fan in left hand in front of face: I am desirous of your acquaintance 24) Fan held over left ear: I wish to get rid of you 25) Fan drawn across forehead: You have changed 26) Twirling fan in left hand: We are being watched 27) Twirling the fan in the right hand: I love another 28) Open fan in the right hand: You are too willing 29) Open fan in the left hand: Come talk to me 30) Drawing the fan through the hand: I hate you! 31) Drawing the fan across the cheek: I love you 32) Presenting the fan shut: Do you love me?

  18. THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS Along those lines, various types and colors of flowers carried symbolic significance, as seen in paintings, although the meanings escape most of us today. - Yellow= disdainful love or infidelity - Red= passionate love or shame - Green= hope; blue= heaven - Purple= power or royalty - Primrose blooms suddenly & in unexpected places-> assoc. w/1st loves - Rose assoc. w/love, but also beauty, heartbreak, joy, humility, et. al. - Forget-me-nots assoc. w/true love from story of lover who bends over to pick some pretty blue flowers, falls in river, & as he is being swept away, called "Love me...never forget me!" - Crocus assoc. w/carefree youth; in ancient liter. assoc. w/passionate love - Narcissus assoc. w/self-satisfaction, egoism, conceit, & not being able to love others from Greek myth of Narcissus & Echo - Passionflower assoc. w/faith, relig. superstition, susceptibility, or token of remembrance since it resembles Christ's crown of thorns & nails

  19. Big hair is back!! Nothing seemed to define fashion more than Big Hair during the Enlightenment. In England, this was largely a reaction against the Puritan style of women keeping their hair covered during the repressive era of Cromwellian rule. Much of this goes back to medieval Europe when it was customary for women to keep their hair covered as a matter of modesty. Even now, the expression “let one’s hair down” implies cutting loose for normal modest standards of behavior. Similarly, the continued use of veils by some brides reflects our culture’s long-standing concern with protecting women’s virtue.

  20. During the Enlightenment, elaborate hairstyles were definitely in vogue, with women trying to outdo each other in magnificence. Some women’s hair would be piled so high that they refused to go out on ballroom floors out of fear it would get caught in the chandeliers and burn down. One German visitor remarked that a French woman’s face was halfway between her toes and the top of her hair. In addition, women would incorporate various objects, such as birdcages with live birds, into their hairdos. For a while a model warship to commemorate a French naval victory was a fashionable hair accessor.

  21. “The triumph of the ridiculous” Swans attacking a woman’s big hair

  22. In the later 1700s, the trend swung back to simpler styles to keep in step with the Enlightenment’s move to a more natural values as epitomized by Neo-classical and Romanticist art. Marie Antoinette (left) was actually an example of the hair being toned down right before the French Revolution.

  23. The portrait of Madame Bergeret by Boucher isan example of the later 18th century’s simpler and more natural ideal of feminine beauty.

  24. Boucher, Madame Bergeret (detail)

  25. Boucher, Madame Bergeret (detail)

  26. Interestingly, men’s fashions and standards of masculinity in the 1700s might seem somewhat effeminate to us today. Along with powdered wigs, brighter colors, and silk hose, it was considered perfectly appropriate for a man to cry or comment favorably on the legs of another man.

  27. The term “macaroni” was applied to Americans who wanted to follow the less than manly fashions of Europe.

  28. Breasts, Big Hair, along with various and sundry other spare partsorA Brief History of Women’s body image and beauty standards as defined by society

  29. There is evidence of a biological standard of beauty, defined primarily by the ability to bear and nourish healthy children, although that standard has much wider parameters and can largely be summarized by the maxim: useful is beautiful. Our earliest evidence of standards of beauty are prehistoric figurines found throughout the Mediterranean and Europe and commonly referred to as “Fat Venuses”. These small Paleolithic statuettes, such as the (above), probably don’t represent primitive man’s ideal of woman, but they suggest that more curvy or full-bodied women were preferred. For example, if the four-inch tall Venus of Willendorf (left) were to scale, her bust-waist-hips measurements would be 96”-89”-96”. Women having more body fat than men, typically could and often had to survive on less than men back when food was scarce, Ice Age winters were bitterly cold, and childbirth was dangerous. Presumably, women who survived & had children that survived were typically large-breasted; making large breasts evolutionary winners. However, beauty has always been as much a matter of cultural preference as biology, and those preferences have changed at a somewhat dizzying pace.

  30. Catherine de Medici, known as the fashion dictator of the 16th century, recommended an ideal waist size of 13 inches. By this time, she could demand such crazy ideals because corsets had become the rage. Between the 1500s and 1900s, women’s breasts went through radical mutations in fullness, flatness, position and cleavage. Eighteenth century Europe, in particular, switched breast vogues with wild abandon. However, women, armed with whalebone, iron and padding, tried their hardest to fulfill fad ideals.

  31. The early corset ended just below the bust, pushing breasts up. The added lift was not enough for some, however. Toward the end of the 1700s, an early version of the Miracle Bra pushed the bust high — sometimes near the chin. Later, corsets flattened breasts by squeezing the upper body. They were made of cloth, whalebone & metal. One was even made entirely of metal — the “coat-of-armor” corset. Right: Vivien Leigh, as Scarlet O’Hara in Gone With the Wind, gets her corset cinched up to a new level of beauty (and pain).

  32. For a brief time during the French Revolution and Napoleonic era (c.1789-1815), women got a reprieve from the corset, as the tighter more restrictive fashions of the Old Regime were replaced by the looser, simpler, and “revolutionary” neo-classical style much as older political and social conventions were replaced.

  33. Women during this period were also more politically active, some of them expecting more rights, as reflected in Mary Wollstonecraft’s “The Vindication of the Rights of Women.”

  34. A fleeting Parisian fad during the French Revolution even called for dresses to be cut below the bust. Although short-lived as a fashion statement, the bare-breasted look survived as the pure embodiment of liberty as in Delacroix’s painting below.

  35. However, the militaristic culture of the Napoleonic era and the conservative backlash against the Revolution after his fall led to a similar fashion backlash. More specifically, corsets made a comeback, along with bustles to accentuate the backside. Thus the nineteenth century was once again a period of difficult breathing for women as well as lower status. Another fashion of pre-twentieth century women was the bustle, which accentuated/exaggerated the back-side of women. Sir Mix-a-Lot would have approved.

  36. Young girls were sometimes forced to wear corsets, and those who complained were scolded. Besides, after a few weeks, pains (or all sensation) in the ribs and organs typically disappeared. Corsets eventually became controversial for health reasons, including fainting and muscle atrophy. Many women, however, defended corsets. “(If) the various organs are prevented from taking certain form or direction, they will accommodate themselves to any other with perfect ease,” said one woman in a letter to Queen, an 18th-century magazine.

  37. After centuries of constrictive fashion, however, women in the 20th century began to choose comfort over the agony of 13-inch waists and bust pinchers. The flappers of the 1920s shocked their mothers by showing their natural shapes. Coco Chanel introduced clothing that felt as good as it looked. For whatever reasons, along with the women’s vote came shorter hair styles and a preference for smaller busts, causing critics to complain of the increasingly blurred distinction between men and women.

  38. In the 1940s, the fuller figure came back into vogue, as seen in the pinup art popular with GI’s during World War II. Marilyn Monroe, the sex symbol of the 1950s, had curves that were a far cry from the “thin is in” fashion of the 1920s.

  39. The head secretary on the TV series, Mad Men, Joanie, typifies the ideal female figure for the 1950s and early 1960s. Below: For some reason or other, this is the most common camera angle shown of Joanie on the show.

  40. The current ultra-thin ideal can largely be traced to Twiggy, the first “super-model”, a classic example of the media catering to the youth culture of the 1960s. Since then, women have been starving themselves in pursuit of ideals that for most are impossible to attain.

  41. A FC.100A ENLIGHTENMENT, REVOLUTION, & WOMEN’S CHANGING ROLES Views by French philosophers on liberty and equality (FC. 100) Enl. View that women are closer to nature than men contradictory conclusions: Enl. Criticisms of slavery open way for women to advocate equal rt’s for themselves Many phil’s (eg., Montesquieu, Voltaire, & Diderot) concede women are rational beings like men Women are less rational than men Domestic. defined soc. role B/c nature compared to civ is good  Women are as good as men Overall a more positive view of women, despite views of Rousseau & Enl. Dr’s that women are distinctly inferior to men Louis XIV’s court at Versailles dominates Fr. socially & intellectually (FC. 95) 1600s: Women at ct. start holding intellectual salons that attract men of lower status than hostess Hostess controls agenda 1700s: Salons move from court’s infl. to more public venues, but still hosted by women which is compatible w/their perceived domest. roles French Rev. (FC. 105) French Rev. (FC. 105) Hostesses take active part in discussions & even get their own works published Opens way for other women (e.g., Elizabeth Vigee Lebrun) Rising involvement of women in Revolution & expectations of more rights reflected in: M. Wollstonecraft’s “Vindication of the Rights of Women” (1792) advocates equal rts for women Women’s restrictive corsets & huge powdered wigs replaced by more nat’l Neo-Class. styles Napoleon (FC. 106) Napoleon (FC. 106) Napoleon’s Milit. Cult.Women back in subservient status Greater diff’s b/w sexes as seen in Women: Return of corsets along w/bustles & hats to cover hair Men: Facial hair & drab colored clothes except neck ties Ind. Rev. (FC. 111) New factors that allow women to work for equal rights (FC. 114) Ind. Rev. (FC. 111)

  42. Madame de Geoffrin’s salon where the brightest minds of the age would gather to discuss and critique one another’s work


  44. FC.100.A ENLIGHTENMENT SALONS & THE CHANGING ROLE OF WOMEN A Views by French philosophers on liberty and equality (FC. 100)

  45. FC.100.A ENLIGHTENMENT SALONS & THE CHANGING ROLE OF WOMEN Enl. View that women are closer to nature than men contradictory conclusions: Women are less rational than men Domestic. defined soc. role Since nature is good compared to civ.  Women as good as men A Views by French philosophers on liberty and equality (FC. 100)

  46. FC.100.A ENLIGHTENMENT SALONS & THE CHANGING ROLE OF WOMEN Enl. View that women are closer to nature than men contradictory conclusions: Women are less rational than men Domestic. defined soc. role Since nature is good compared to civ.  Women as good as men A Views by French philosophers on liberty and equality (FC. 100)

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