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Looking Good: College Women and Body Image, 1875-1930

Margaret A. Lowe

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ISBN 10: 0801882745 / ISBN 13: 9780801882746
Published by Johns Hopkins University Press
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Paperback. 222 pages. Toward the end of the nineteenth century, as young women began entering college in greater numbers than ever before, physicians and social critics charged that campus life posed grave hazards to the female constitution and womens reproductive health. A girl could study and learn, Dr. Edward Clarke warned in his widely read 1873 book Sex in Education, but she could not do all this and retain uninjured health, and a future secure from neuralgia, uterine disease, hysteria, and other derangements of the nervous system. For half a century, ideas such as Dr. Clarkes framed the debate over a womans place in higher education almost exclusively in terms of her body and her health. For historian Margaret A. Lowe, this obsession offers one of the clearest expressions of the social and cultural meanings given to the female body between 1875 and 1930. At the same time, the college girl was a novelty that tested new ideas about feminine beauty, sexuality, and athleticism. In Looking Good, Lowe examines the ways in which college women at three quite different institutionsCornell University, Smith College, and Spelman Collegeregarded their own bodies in this period. Contrasting white and black students, single-sex and coeducational schools, secular and religious environments, and Northern and Southern attitudes, Lowe draws on student diaries, letters, and publications; institutional records; and accounts in the popular press to examine the process by which new, twentieth-century ideals of the female body took hold in America. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Bookseller Inventory # 9780801882746

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Looking Good: College Women and Body Image, ...

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:New

Book Type: Paperback

About this title

Synopsis:

Toward the end of the nineteenth century, as young women began entering college in greater numbers than ever before, physicians and social critics charged that campus life posed grave hazards to the female constitution and women's reproductive health. "A girl could study and learn," Dr. Edward Clarke warned in his widely read 1873 book Sex in Education, "but she could not do all this and retain uninjured health, and a future secure from neuralgia, uterine disease, hysteria, and other derangements of the nervous system." For half a century, ideas such as Dr. Clarke's framed the debate over a woman's place in higher education almost exclusively in terms of her body and her health.

For historian Margaret A. Lowe, this obsession offers one of the clearest expressions of the social and cultural meanings given to the female body between 1875 and 1930. At the same time, the "college girl" was a novelty that tested new ideas about feminine beauty, sexuality, and athleticism. In Looking Good, Lowe examines the ways in which college women at three quite different institutions―Cornell University, Smith College, and Spelman College―regarded their own bodies in this period. Contrasting white and black students, single-sex and coeducational schools, secular and religious environments, and Northern and Southern attitudes, Lowe draws on student diaries, letters, and publications; institutional records; and accounts in the popular press to examine the process by which new, twentieth-century ideals of the female body took hold in America.

About the Author:

Margaret A. Lowe is an associate professor of history and Project Director of the Teaching American History Grant at Bridgewater State College.

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