Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Advertising and the Female Form

A/N: This was my themes and sources long essay from second year. I was doing 'The Body' option and also did a presentation on why the dead body became problematic in the eighteenth century. I was supervised by Dr. D. Thom at Robinson and got an average, but respectable, 2:1 for it. 

Advertising and the Female Form

Section B: Topic 12 (Advertisements) - 

‘Have advertisements shaped or merely documented society’s changing perceptions of the ideal female body?’

In recent years there has been a growing awareness about the impact of advertisements on the formation of society’s perception of the ideal body; the ‘body’ here referring to the physical human shape, and by association, its adornment. In 2000 the British Medical Association drew attention to the links between the unnaturally thin media portrayals of women, including the retouched perfection of glossy magazines, with eating disorders such as anorexia.(1) This is a link that has long been recognised by commentators such as Jean Kilbourne. If true it is perhaps unsurprising; Advertising campaigns have the power to ingrain themselves deeply into the national psyche. Slogans such as ‘go to work on an egg’, and ‘Beanz Meanz Heinz’ can, and have, become part of a shared cultural heritage. Advertisements then are indisputably powerful media forms, but that is no guarantee that the polished images they present are purely the creations of marketing executives. Erving Goffman and indeed, the very theory of natural economics, suggest that it is in an advertiser’s best interests to simply present an exaggerated version of the ideals already prevalent within society.(2) This would seem to support the idea that advertisements have ‘merely documented’ the ideal body. If changing perceptions of the ideal female body cannot be blamed on advertisements, what has been the driving force behind the change? Always assuming, of course, that such a visible and appreciable change has even taken place. This essay shall seek to discover, which if either, interpretation is most valid in relation to Britain in the period roughly stretching from 1959 to 1969, an era considered to have seen a particularly radical change in ideal female body image.

Changing Body Shape

Before considering the question in any more depth it is first necessary to tackle the major underlying assumption of the question. That is, that the ideal female body was substantially changed between 1959 and 1969. The era has gone down in history as containing one of the biggest changes the ideal female form has undergone. A simple comparison of one of the best known women in Britain in 1959, Sabrina, with the face of 1966, Lesley Lawson (nee Hornby), reveals a marked difference in media ideals. Lawson, better known as Twiggy, was noticeably younger looking, thinner; more a pre-teen than a woman.(3) Twiggy’s measurements were 31-22-32; Sabrina’s had been 41-17-36.(4) Twiggy exemplifies the trend away from, proportionally, very small waists to a more tubular body shape. This newly fashionable, adolescent ‘dollybird’ look was further emphasised with androgynous hair styles, shift dresses and wide, heavily painted doe eyes, helped along by extensive use of false eyelashes. The mini-skirt hit the high street in 1964, followed by the micro-mini which was reaching up to eight inches above the knee by 1968.(5) Its popularity showcases another way in which the focal point of women’s bodies was moved away from the traditionally eroticised areas of the bust and hips. A measure of how popular these new fashions were can be seen in the losses suffered by the traditional hosiery industry during the decade. It was difficult to wear stockings with skirts that were so short, stocking tops and suspender belts were all too visible. As a result, tights had overtaken stockings in popularity amongst women by 1969.(6) Later, as fashions changed from the ‘mod’ look to the long flowing hippy look, the ideal body shape remained ultra thin; the change to the perceived ideal female body had not been superficial.

Yet it would be a mistake to think this change was an overnight and all encompassing phenomena. The 1950s had not been entirely dependent on the ‘hourglass’ figure; movie stars such as Audrey Hepburn championed the ‘beatnik’ look. Beatnik girls wore close fitting, streamline clothes; they wore heavy eye make-up and pale lips, and had straight hair. This is not to say the look was widely emulated; Sheila Rowbotham of Yorkshire recalled in 1985 that those around her thought her ‘barmy’ for dressing in such a style in the late 1950s.(7) However the point to stress is that alternative looks were available to women. This continued to be the case and even as mainstream fashion changed, individuals resisted. Many older women for example continued to dress in the fashions they were accustomed to, perhaps because of familiarity or even for fear of derision. In the contemporary sitcom, On the Buses, the character of ‘Mum’ would not look overly out of place in mid-1940s Britain. However in the episode ‘Mum’s Last Fling’, which first aired in February 1970, Mum starts to wear ‘trendy’ clothes to please her new boyfriend.(8) Her daughter, Olive, snipes, ‘Fancy, taking all that trouble at your age.’ Son, Stan, upon seeing her in a mini-skirt, declares in horror, ‘what have you got on there?! Cor blimey, it’s so short I can see your vest!’ Skirts of that length are regularly worn by his female colleagues; it his mother’s age and relationship to him, rather than the skirt’s length, which he finds so distressing. Naturally by the end of the episode Mum is forced to come to her senses and resume her role as dowdy housewife and mother, in line with her grown children’s wishes. Clearly the new look portrayed by the likes of Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton was not intended for universal consumption.

Control by family members over women’s bodies can also be seen in relation to religious beliefs and strict parents. Mandy Griffin recalls that in the mid-1960s she was forced to climb through her bedroom window in order to go out wearing her new mini-dress; her old-fashioned grandmother refused to believe the garment was not a slip.(9) The local community could also define what acceptable clothing was for women. The new ‘mod’ fashions were more acceptable in the big cities; in London miniskirts were reaching eight inches above the knee by 1968, but in rural areas, girls would be lucky to get away with a far more conservative four inches. This regional difference is highlighted by Mary Turner in ‘The Woman’s Century’; a photograph of the winners of the 1968 Yorkshire Coal Queen beauty contest shows that two of the three girls are almost completely untouched by changing fashions.(10) They have the heavily defined eyebrows, red lips and the curled hairstyles in vogue in the late 1950s. They wear calf length dresses and round toed high heels. The third girl sports long straight hair and a miniskirt: she looks almost completely alien on the podium. Such evidence would suggest that, in Yorkshire at least, men’s ideals of female beauty had yet to fully catch up with the fashionable press; the women having dressed for the competition to impress the male judges. This was two years after Twiggy burst on to the scene, four years since the introduction of the miniskirt. Accepted ideals of feminine beauty were facing tough competition, but it was by no means a total victory for this new ‘ideal’ by 1969.

Whilst some men were taking issue with the new revealing fashions and changing preferred female body shape, male consumption was simultaneously encouraging and reinforcing the new ideals. The launch of publications like Penthouse in 1965 saw harder pornography become available to a large section of society. Traditionally such media had used ‘cheesecake’ pin-up images where, in general, only topless nudity was acceptable.(11) As full frontal nudity became the norm throughout the genre, the typical focus on the breasts may have became less important and helped lead to the depiction of the thin, less well endowed models gracing the pages of late 1960s and early 1970s top-shelf publications. A 1980 study conducted by Garner, et al found the average weights of American Playboy centrefold models were falling during this period. Particularly interesting is the finding that waists were getting proportionally larger whilst hip and bust measurements decreased.(12) Such findings further back up the visual impression that the 1950s focus on a proportionally small waist was being eroded. Men’s magazines, created expectations of the female form, putting women under increased pressure to conform to the new ideal; without the traditional use of foundation garments this almost invariably meant dieting. The growth in advertisements for diet pills and ‘light’ food options would suggest that the ideal woman as presented in the media was not the norm, but rather ‘commercial realism’, the aspiration of British women in this period.

So there continued to be some who looked to the past for their fashion inspiration, or were restricted by the wishes of family and those within their local community. Substantial change to society’s perception of the ideal female form was however an indisputable fact by 1969. ‘Trendy’ fashion, cosmetics, hairstyles and even body shape by 1969 was markedly different from the fashionable look of 1955; and media representations of women had changed accordingly. The question then is why had this change taken place? Were the media and advertisers leading the way, enforcing a new ideal on society from the top down? Or were advertisers merely reflecting a change that had been pushed through by other factors. To answer that question these other factors must first be investigated in more detail.

Reasons for a changing perception of the ideal female body

To say now that the young, mini-skirted women of ‘swinging London’ were liberated feminists might seem somewhat absurd; it appears all too clear that by rejecting the beauty ideals of their mother’s generation they succeeded only in objectifying themselves more completely. They made themselves as disposable to men as the paper dresses and glossy magazines like Honey, launched ‘for the teens and twenties’ in 1960, were to themselves. Yet, in control of their own careers, finances and bodies, to contemporaries these women were pioneers; independent individuals who were making choices for themselves. The legendary mass bra burning at the 1968 Miss America pageant may have been a media fabrication, but for more and more women the old fashions, which required girdles, suspenders, and restless nights with a head full of curlers, were increasingly seen as symbols of female subordination.(13) Traditionally married women did not go out to work if at all possible; in 1951 only twenty-six per cent of married women worked. In 1961 the figure was thirty-five per cent, rising to almost half by 1972.(14) So as second wave feminism took off, with its highly vocal demands for increased childcare, more and more women began to see at least part-time work as an acceptable activity, even whilst they had dependant children. In 1961 twenty-four per cent of women with dependant children were employed, just ten years later that figure had risen to thirty nine per cent.(15) As women had increasing demands on their time, the shift in media portrayals of women as younger and thinner could be said to merely reflect those who had the most power in the newly important world of work, and their ideal ‘young, free and single’ lifestyles.

This influx of women into the workplace coincided with a wider relaxation of conservative moral standards. The ‘swinging sixties’, are remembered in popular culture as the ‘permissive society’, a time when drugs and sex were freely available. In 1961 the oral contraceptive pill became available, giving those women who could obtain it the same power over their bodies as men had. They were free to go out and sleep with whomever they chose and not have to worry about the consequences; feared STDs like syphilis were widely believed to be near eradication (new cases per annum were around 2,000 in the 1960s, compared to over 20,000 during world war two) and the advent of AIDS was still in the future.(16) The legalisation of abortion in 1967 was another landmark for women’s rights. Before its legalisation many women had been driven to extreme measures to obtain a termination; it is estimated that around 100,000 women underwent backstreet abortion or self-induced miscarriage every year.(17) Other forward looking legislation such as the decriminalisation of some homosexual activities in 1967 and the Equal Pay Act of 1970 helped to create a mood of change. As the boundaries of acceptable behaviour were broken and reconstructed it would seem to stand to reason that fashion, and physical ideals, would also be subject to change.

Both of these interpretations can be easily overstated however. Whilst true that more women were entering, or remaining, in the workplace this did not imply that Britain was becoming a true equal opportunity society. Most women in work were employed only part-time, and few sought to undertake ‘male’ work such as heavy industry or business. Women were secretaries, receptionists and cleaners in the office setting, not the chair of the board. So whilst it would seem that work demands could encourage a simplification of fashion this was not always the case. The popularity of the impractical miniskirt, for example, actually forced many offices to install ‘modesty boards’ to the front of women’s desks.(18) Pearl Jephcott et al stress too the fact that paid work remained subordinate to women’s roles as wives and mothers.(19) Such findings raise doubts over the extent to which paid work could really have impacted on women’s fashion between 1959 and 1969.

Similarly, whilst the 1960s are remembered for their permissiveness, this is almost certainly a case of nostalgic myth obscuring reality. Promiscuity, especially among women, continued to be held in contempt; a storyline centred on pre-marital sex resulted in considerable backlash from the millions of regular viewers of the popular ITV soap, Coronation Street, in 1968.(20) It is hardly surprising when faced with the findings of a 1969 study, which found that two thirds of women and a quarter of men were still virgins on their wedding day.(21) It was in 1965 that Mary Whitehouse created the National Viewers’ and Listeners’ Association, she went on to obtain a record 55,000 signatures for her ‘Clean Up TV’ campaign which sought to bring media output, particularly that of the BBC, in line with the dominant, conservative, moral outlook of British society.(22) Clearly, a triumphant overhaul of outdated moral values could not have been the prevailing factor in the creation of a new ideal of the female body.

If much of Britain was still so conservative why then was this new female ideal, an ideal that so idolised young, available, ‘swinging’ women, slowly, but surely, becoming the norm? Perhaps a stronger explanation is that it was a look favoured by the young. In the early 1960s over forty per cent of the British population, the equivalent of some 21,000,000 people, were under the age of twenty five.(23) This generation of teenagers and young adults were the beneficiaries of the 1944 Butler Education Act, meaning they were better educated than their predecessors. As a result the tertiary education sector expanded; fourteen new universities were founded in the 1960s, including those at Essex, Warwick, and Sussex, and others such as the University of Cambridge expanded.(24) Those who left school straight for the workplace found jobs relatively plentiful, with unemployment figures at around two per cent for much of the decade; as a result young people, often still living at home or in subsidised accommodation had a large disposable income.(25) Numerous magazines were launched aimed at the youth market during the decade, such as Date (1960), Jackie (1962), and Petticoat (1966), all advising their readers on how they should look and what they should buy. And they did buy; spending on clothes, shoes and cosmetics rose seventy-eight per cent between 1956 and 1965.(26) This rise in economic prosperity led many to believe that class differences were becoming a thing of the past. Combined with the development of new technologies, as exemplified by the ‘Space Race’ it appeared that the future would be very different to everything that had gone before. Young people wanted to look different as an outwards display of their rejection of the traditional world of their parents and grandparents. It stands to reason that, if the youth market was making up an increasingly profitable target audience for advertisers, an audience that was set to control an uncertain future, the media would seek to reflect the ideal female body as perceived by those in the under twenty-five age bracket.

Yet, as already discussed, young people were still under close supervision and opportunities to engage in activities or own goods that their parents did not approve of were limited. Even whilst away at university students behaviour was regulated. Female undergraduates in particular could be subject to curfews imposed by their halls of residence. For those living at home, as Mandy Griffin’s story highlights, conforming to parents’ wishes was expected and enforced. Nostalgia has painted an overly optimistic picture of the decade. In reality 1960s Britain was still a very conservative place. Even the futuristic ‘Space Race’ was in fact just the respectable front of the ‘Cold War’. If the tensions surrounding it were to boil over it threatened to destroy the planet, prompting continued support for the CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) into the late 1960s by the hippie movement. The idea, too, that the media ignored older generations needs to be tempered. They continued to represent a substantial section of the consumer population and few advertisers could afford to ignore them. Magazines aimed at older women, such as Woman, took on aspects of the new ideal, and thin, young models were used, but this was alongside articles that praised the old ideals. In the Woman issue of December 1969 for example, readers were told that seventy five per cent of men they had interviewed preferred their women to be a ‘little plumper’.(27) For many readers the look was not achievable, and the magazine had no desire to alienate its readership. The factors at play in creating a new ideal female body shape in the 1960s were complex, and closely interwoven; only together could they result in a substantial media presence and general acceptance for the new ideal.

Penny Summerfield’s observation that seemingly ‘superficial’ changes in fashion actually signalled ‘deeper alterations of life-style, attitudes, experience, and behaviour’ was correct.(28) There is no one factor that can explain away the changed perception of the ideal female body. Yet advertisements still played an important role in this process, not least by consolidating the changes into easily recognisable iconography.

The role of advertisements

What are advertisements? The American Heritage Dictionary definition of the word tells us an advertisement is: ‘A notice, such as a poster or a paid announcement in the print, broadcast, or electronic media, designed to attract public attention or patronage.’(29) This definition is useful for the way in which it draws attention to the heterogeneous nature of advertisements; they can be found in a variety of media, meaning they can have an impact on practically every individual in society. In the 1960s the primary ways in which adverts reached consumers were through printed publications, commercial television, radio, and shop posters, billboards and so on. Television advertising probably had one of the greatest impacts due to the immediacy of the visual and sound combination. In 1959 9,255 households had a television set; by 1969 that figure had jumped to over 15,700 households. The vast majority of the population was within the reach of television advertising by the end of the decade.(30) The advent of commercial television came to Britain in 1955, with the creation of ITV; by 1960 the channel was regularly attracting an audience share of up to seventy per cent.(31) In addition pirate radio stations, such as Radio Caroline, were attracting around fifteen million regular listeners by the end of 1965.(32) As a result whole new arenas became available to advertisers; could these changes have helped them to play a greater role in creating a new ideal for the female body?

The suggestion maintained throughout most of this essay is that advertisements have merely reflected contemporary ideals. The idea behind a lot of adverts was that women would want to emulate the women depicted in them. For this reason well known celebrities were popular choices for advertisers, just as they had been throughout history. Twiggy and other well known women such as Jean Shrimpton and the Jay twins who enjoyed huge fame briefly in 1966, were used to sell everything from clothes to dolls to cars. Another way to sell products that appealed especially to the youth market was by advertising with taglines like ‘the latest London fashions’, this was especially useful for the mail order sector which expanded during this period. Companies like Freemans and Littlewoods were able to make a lot of money in this way, providing up to the minute for fashions for those who lived in areas where the trendy boutiques of the cities were not economically viable. Biba, one of the most famous names in 1960s and 1970s fashion, was so successful in its original mail order format that it was able to expand into the retail sector proper in 1964.(33) Examples like this show the popularity, and profitability, of the mail order sector. By reflecting the trends current amongst the fashionable sets of the big cities advertisers were documenting the contemporary ideals, but not necessarily the ideals of the majority of the nation.

Marketing fashions that have only been proven popular with a small sector of society might seem a huge economic risk; if those outside of London remained unconvinced by the products, the money invested in advertising has been wasted. Initially, as might be expected, those advertisers who incorporated the new fashions were those whose target audience were those who were already part of it, readers of About Town magazine for example. Yet once the look started hitting the printed press, interest in it increased. The mini-skirt had been enjoying limited popularity as street fashion since the late 1950s, but when Andre Courreges’ 1964 collection was featured in Vogue the look began to take off, especially as Mary Quant was selling them at affordable prices from her London boutique.(34) Features in publications and newspapers aimed at the general public, often expressing shock at the new designs helped to disseminate the fashions and body ideal to a new audience. The more popularised and widespread the look became, the more the media were willing to incorporate it into their depictions of women. Once a look becomes established there is no risk to advertisers in using it, in fact they risk looking out of date if they ignore it. This can be seen in the shift in depictions of young women in television commercials. Take the late 1950s cartoon advertisement for Pepsodent toothpaste for example, an advert that was well known for its catchy jingle, it depicted what has become acknowledged as the ‘typical’ 1950s teenage girl; Suzi Q, the girl in question had a pony tail, full, dark lips, and a tiny waist in proportion to the rest of her body.(35) Popular advertisements of the late 1960s, such as those for Cadbury’s flake (1965) and ‘Fore’ aftershave (1969), promoted a very different image of the ideal woman.(36) Whilst still young the women in the latter advertisements had heavy eye make-up, pale lips and the more tubular body which had become fashionable. By 1969 advertisers had helped to normalise the new ideal to such a great extent that even government public information films, such as ‘Jobs For Young Girls’, were using it for their portrayals of women.(37)

Advertisers had been able to achieve this with the help of the factors outlined in the second part of this essay. Relative increased economic prosperity for example meant that for the first time it became feasible to buy new clothes when fashion changed. In the 1950s women were accustomed to making minor alterations to their clothes to keep them fashionable, by adding collars or lace cuffs for instance. Those who wished to make a bold statement were restricted by their incomes or sewing skills. One of the most widely recognised youth subculture of the 1950s, the ‘teddy boys’, relied heavily on their unusually long jackets and ‘brothel creepers’ to mark them out as a distinctive group. The problem was that their tailored suits and accessories were expensive; a full costume could take months, if not years, to assemble for the working class boys who aspired to them.(38) Late 1960s fashions, by comparison, were made of manufactured fibres and could be mass produced; the designs selling in the boutiques of the likes of Mary Quant and Biba were attractive to young people for precisely these reasons. They were the epitome of ‘cheap and cheerful’. Pat Harrison remembers that Biba in particular was very cheap, with dresses at around £3.00.(39) Advertisers made the most of this fact to encourage sales. Magazines aimed at older readers, like Woman, praised the simplicity of the patterns for home dress makers. June Blaxall for example recalls how her grandmother would crochet ‘Twiggy suits’ for the local wool shop.(40) Even those who could not, or did not want to buy the clothes could be part of the new trends. Tomorrow was not just a new day, it could be a whole new look.

Advertisers also sought to ensure that their physical depictions did not contradict contemporary cultural ideals. The launch of Sindy doll in 1963 provides an excellent case study of this phenomenon. Sindy was marketed as the ‘free, swinging girl that every little girl longs to be’. Updated three times a year Sindy’s fashionable wardrobe was designed to closely reflect changing fashion trends, no doubt helping her young owners to begin to appreciate the importance of being ‘hip’, a huge boon for contemporary advertisers. Her adolescent body and ‘baby’ face is regarded by doll collectors to merely reflect the conservative morals of British parents.(41) Sindy’s competitor, Barbie, was designed to resemble a mature adult woman and there were worries she would inspire immorality. Yet in truth Sindy was reflecting the contemporary British ideal of the female body far more closely than Barbie. 1960s Sindy was a true ‘mod’ girl with her trendy fashions and boyfriend Paul, introduced in 1965 and based on Paul McCartney, then one of the most popular teen pin-ups. But, just as Sindy’s marketers had their finger on the pulse of the fashion world, they also managed to impart current values and expectations to their target audience. Sindy might go out and wow the world with her sense of style but she was always home on time to cook Paul’s tea and iron his shirts with her Sindy branded range of household appliances.(42) In this way advertiser’s reaffirmed the contemporary ideals of womanhood in both a cultural and a physical sense, not only for the young girls who played with the doll, but also for the mothers and other adults who bought it.

In this way advertisers removed the threatening aspect of the new look. When the new fashions started to become popular in the early 1960s, they symbolised a new independence for women; a rebellion against the staid fashions of their parents. Exposure through advertisements and other media, popular television shows for example, removed these aspects. Advertisements like that for George Best’s ‘Fore’ aftershave objectified women, whilst simultaneously advertisements aimed at women encouraged them to turn themselves into commodities. Advertisements for diet pills and low fat foods implied that the ideal body could be ‘bought’, thereby increasing women’s own value. By portraying women in ways which made their sole purpose in life appear to be looking attractive or making themselves useful to men, advertisements provided the link between the cultural and physical ideals of women in contemporary society. They showed men how women’s new independence was beneficial to them; a girl on the pill was ‘available’ for casual sex. A great arrangement for men but Woman’s Own warned women in 1965, a man ‘will not take on the responsibilities of marriage of he can have its privileges for free’.(43) Similarly advertisements depicting working women reassured fathers; a daughter who worked could pay rent until she got married, rather than having to be ‘kept’. Advertisements might not have created the new ideal of the female body but they popularised it and made it acceptable to a wider audience.

In conclusion the ideal female body, as perceived by British society, did undergo a marked change between 1959 and 1969. By nature fashion is fickle and transient, but the more significant change was to body shape, particularly in relation to women’s weight. Even as fashion began to change to hippie styles and the ‘romantic’ look which took off in the 1970s thanks to designers like Laura Ashley, these developments remained. It would be going too far to credit advertisements with effecting this change, but neither is it true to claim that advertisements ‘merely’ documented change in this period. What the ‘trendy’ advertisers were doing was reflecting the look popular amongst the young, fashionable sets in London. By taking the trends in favour with the celebrities young people looked up to, advertisers had a ready made market, particularly if they could secure the celebrity in question to model it. In this way advertisements took the ideals of a small number of people and disseminated it to the rest of the country. As the look then grew in popularity, due to the variety of reasons outlined in this essay, including increased economic prosperity, growing female independence, and the power of the youth market, the media were ever more willing to incorporate the new ideals. By 1969 the British public was not only familiar with this new feminine ideal, it had become normalised. The change could not simply be undone or dismissed as a fad; advertisers had slowly ‘created’ a new standard for the whole nation through documenting the ideals of an originally small sector of society.

[1]‘Eating disorders, body image and the media’, British Medical Association, (2000), quoted in Helen Morant, BMA demands more responsible media attitude on body image, (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0999/is_7248_320/ai_62918826, accessed 08 January 2009).

[2]Erving Goffman, Gender Advertisements, (Harpercollins, 1979).

[3] Twiggy was the ‘face of 1966’ according to the London Daily Express, 23 February 1966. As quoted on Twiggy’s official website, http://www.twiggylawson.co.uk/fashion.html, (accessed 09 January 2009).

[4]Twiggy’s measurements taken at age 17, as quoted at Twiggy fansite, http://people.famouswhy.com/twiggy/, (accessed 09 January 2009). Sabrina’s measurements in her early 20s as quoted in Ian Beacham (ed.), Best of British, (Church Lane Publishing Ltd, August 2006), p. 14.

[5]James Laver et al, Costume and fashion: a concise history, (Thames and Hudson Ltd, 2002).

[6] Jonathan Brown, ‘A sales shock: a last glimpse of stockings’, The Independent, (Independent News and Media, 19 July 2007).

[7] Sheila Rowbotham, ‘Revolt in Roundhay’ in Heron, Liz (ed.), Truth, dare or promise: girls growing up in the fifties, (Virago Press Ltd, 1985), pp. 189-212.

[8]Stuart Allen (dir.), ‘Mum’s Last Fling’, On the Buses: series three, (London Weekend Television, 1970).

[9]Mandy Griffin, entry in ‘your 1960s fashion memories’, Victoria and AlbertMuseum website, (http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/fashion/features/1960s/memories/index.html, accessed 09 January 2009).

[10]Mary Turner, The women’s century: a celebration of changing roles, (The National Archives, new edition, 2006).

[11]Marcus Collins, ‘The pornography of permissiveness: men’s sexuality and women’s emancipation in mid twentieth-century Britain’, History Workshop Journal, No. 47, (Spring, 1999), pp. 99-120.

[12] D. M. Garner, P. E. Garfinkel, D. Schwartz, D., & M. Thompson, ‘Cultural expectations of thinness in women’. Psychological Reports, 47, (1980), 483-491; quoted in Laurie. M. Angood et al, The influence of fashion magazines on the body image satisfaction of college women: an exploratory analysis, (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2248/is_n127_v32/ai_20413253/pg_1?tag=artBody;col1, accessed 05 January 2009.)

[13] The bras were not burnt, just put into a ‘freedom trash bucket’. Beatrix Campbel, Anna Coote, Sweet Freedom: struggle for women’s liberation, (WileyBlackwell, 1982)

[14] Figures quoted in Jane Lewis, Women in Britain: women, family, work and the state since 1945, (Blackwell Publishers, 1992), p. 74.

[15] Lewis, Women in Britain: women, family, work and the state since 1945, p. 74.

[16] David Goldmeier, et al, ‘Syphilis: an update’, Clinical Medicine, Journal of the Royal College of Physicians, vol. 3, (Royal College of Physicians, May 2003).

[17] Estimate in Brierley, A. F. M; Cole, Martin, ‘Abortifacient Drugs’, The Journal of Sex Research, Vol. 4, No. 1, (February 1968), pp. 16-25.

[18] Miriam Akhtar, et al, The Fifties and Sixties: a lifestyle revolution, (Boxtree Ltd, 2002), p. 50.

[19] Pearl Jephcott et al, Married women working, (Allen and Unwin, 1962), quoted in Peter Catterall, James Obelkevich (eds.), Understanding post-war British society, (Routledge, 1994), p. 63.

[20]‘millions of regular viewers…’; Robert Opie claims the show regularly attracted viewers of up to eighteen million in the 1960s. Robert Opie, Remember when: a nostalgic trip through the consumer era, (Bounty Book, 2007), p. 162.

[21] Geoffrey Gorer, Sex and marriage in England today: a study of the views and experience of the under-45s, (1969); quoted in Lesley A. Hall, Sex, gender and social change in Britain since 1880, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2000), p. 173.

[22] Mary Turner, The women’s century: a celebration of changing roles, (The National Archives, new edition, 2006), p. 129.

[23] Figures quoted in Akhtar, et al, The Fifties and Sixties: a lifestyle revolution, p. 43.

[24]David Wardle, English popular education 1780-1975, (Cambridge University Press, 2nd edition, 1976).

[25]Akhtar, et al, The Fifties and Sixties: a lifestyle revolution, p. 43. Youth income doubled in real terms between 1958 and 1966.

[26]White, 1970. Quoted in Peter Catterall, James Obelkevich (eds.), Understanding post-war British society, (Routledge, 1994), p. 61.

[27] Woman, (week ending 27 December 1969), p. 39.

[28] Quote from Penny Summerfield, ‘Women in Britain since 1945: companionate marriage and the double burden’ in Peter Catterall, James Obelkevich, (eds.), Understanding post-war British society, (Routledge, 1994), p. 58.

[29] ‘Advertisement’, The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006), http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/advertisement, accessed 05 January 2009.

[30]‘UK television households’, Media Statistics, (Terra Media, http://www.terramedia.co.uk/reference/statistics/television/television_households.htm, accessed 09 January 2009).

[31]Akhtar, et al, The Fifties and Sixties: a lifestyle revolution, p. 141.

[32]Akhtar, et al, The Fifties and Sixties: a lifestyle revolution, p. 143.

[33]‘History of Biba’, Bibacollection website, (http://www.bibacollection.co.uk/history.htm, accessed 09 January 2009).

[34] Information on Andre Courreges from: Lubomir Stoykov, ‘Andre Courreges or the futurism in fashion’, Fashion Lifestyle Magazine, Issue. 12, (July 2008).

[35]‘Pepsodent Toothpaste’ Television Advertisement, (1957); http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=rx-HoaJtRwY, accessed 07 January 2009.

[36]‘Cadbury Flake’ Television Advertisement, (1965); http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=wEhfxGGCDzY&feature=PlayList&p=628570A4D5509248&playnext=1&index=24, accessed 07 January 2009. ‘Fore’ Telvision Advertisement, (1969); http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=MZ-NwZQAwt4, accessed 10 January 2009.

[37]‘Jobs for young girls’ Public Information Film, (1969); http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/films/1964to1979/filmpage_jobs.htm accessed 05 January 2009.

[38] Bob Spanswick, ‘Tales of a Teddy Boy’, in Ian Beacham (ed.), Best of British, (Church Lane Publishing Ltd, June 2008), p. 42. Spanswick recalls that a ‘ted’ outfit cost £20-£30; his wages were around £3 10s per week.

[39]Pat Harrison, ‘Your 1960s fashion memories’, Victoria and AlbertMuseum website, (http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/fashion/features/1960s/memories/index.html, accessed 09 January 2009).

[40] June Blaxall, ‘Your 1960s fashion memories’, Victoria and AlbertMuseum website, (http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/fashion/features/1960s/memories/index.html, accessed 09 January 2009).

[41] Marianne Macdonald, ‘Chronicles of Sindy, a dolly bird through the ages’, The Independent, (25 March 1995), read at http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_19950325/ai_n13973331/pg_1?tag=artBody;col1, accessed 01 January 2009.

[42] J Clarke, Sindy our pedigree girl, (http://sindyourpedigreegirlofthe60s.piczo.com, accessed 07 January 2009). By 1969 these included a sink unit, vacuum cleaner, iron, and oven.

[43] Woman’s Own, (1965); quoted in Mary Turner, The women’s century: a celebration of changing roles, (The National Archives, new edition, 2006), p. 135.

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