The Invisible Woman

Jill Fields

in An Intimate Affair

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780520223691
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520941137 | DOI:
The Invisible Woman

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This chapter studies the images and readers of fifty years' worth of intimate apparel advertisements. It states that feminist film theorists have shown that female spectatorship can lead to a dual position for women as subjects and objects of a male gaze. This means that women wear dresses and adopt a “to-be-looked-at” manner in order to conform to conventional femininity. It introduces the “danger” of provoking homoeroticism through advertisements of intimate apparel, as well as the concept of the “invisible woman.” It then examines various related advertising themes, including narcissism and voyeurism, and the efforts to resolve the “pretty-or-practical” problem within fashion discourse.

Keywords: intimate apparel; advertising; female spectatorship; conventional femininity; invisible woman; fashion discourse

Chapter.  12323 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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