Title of Abstract

Perceptions of Femininity and Body Image in French Culture

Session Title

Culture

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of World Languages and Cultures

Abstract

For decades, French fashion and beauty have been idealized by women around the world– particularly Americans– as an emblem of femininity. Countless magazine articles and books attempt to provide detailed instructions on how to achieve that seemingly effortless, feminine French look. But how much effort goes into achieving such a look? And what happens when French women don’t adhere to these strict yet unspoken cultural standards of beauty? Reconciling the gap between feminism and femininity, particularly in a culture riddled with stereotypes dictating how women should look and behave, is a daunting task. This research discusses cultural differences in the definition and expression of beauty in French and American culture. It explores influential factors in the development of culturally constructed female body image ideals, as well as differences in individuals' perceptions of body image with regard to fashion, the media, and socially perpetuated body standards in French culture.

Honors Thesis Committee

Anna Igou, Ph.D.; Scott Shinabargar Ph.D.; and Donald Friedman Ph.D.

Start Date

24-4-2020 12:00 AM

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Apr 24th, 12:00 AM

Perceptions of Femininity and Body Image in French Culture

For decades, French fashion and beauty have been idealized by women around the world– particularly Americans– as an emblem of femininity. Countless magazine articles and books attempt to provide detailed instructions on how to achieve that seemingly effortless, feminine French look. But how much effort goes into achieving such a look? And what happens when French women don’t adhere to these strict yet unspoken cultural standards of beauty? Reconciling the gap between feminism and femininity, particularly in a culture riddled with stereotypes dictating how women should look and behave, is a daunting task. This research discusses cultural differences in the definition and expression of beauty in French and American culture. It explores influential factors in the development of culturally constructed female body image ideals, as well as differences in individuals' perceptions of body image with regard to fashion, the media, and socially perpetuated body standards in French culture.