Over one-hundred forty years ago, women laced themselves into tight-fitting corsets and bustled their derrieres to achieve a curvaceous female form. Within decades, however, fashion designers replaced the voluptuous late Victorian hourglass with an androgynous female form. The new fashion figure was slender, long-limbed and flat-chested; the iconic flapper silhouette was born.
Every age has its own ideas about beauty and the fashion that adorns our bodies. Suffer for Beauty explores changing ideals of female beauty by looking at foundations of the female form, 1870-1970: undergarments and the accouterments that helped women in their effort to attain the elusive ideal of beauty—which in so many ways reflects the roles of women in the society of their time.
Suffer for Beauty is co-curated by Museum board member and History Professor at Green River College, Dr. Michelle Marshman and Museum Director Patricia Cosgrove. It is supported by 4Culture.