With the advent of inexpensive mass printing, specialized magazines, including those devoted to fashion, became commonplace. An example of such a magazine is Vogue, which has been in publication for 120 years and is produced today in 23 different countries and regions worldwide. Designed to disseminate high-end designer fashion, Vogue seeks to make these fashions, and the ideology embedded in them, accessible to a general public through the high quality styling in their fashion and editorial photography, and through their lifestyle articles. In this way fashion magazines are one of the cultural institutions that help women shape their definition of womanhood and the social roles appropriate to this definition. How has American Vogue represented and constructed women’s idealized roles and fashion through its photographs, advertisements, and articles? In this paper, I examine one issue per year of American Vogue between 1965-1974, alternating between March and September, accessed from the RIT Archive Collections and The Vogue Archive to analyze and interpret the representation and construction of women’s roles, as well as the portrayal of the Second Wave Feminist Movement. I examine textual and photographic contents using several categories: female form and silhouette, environment, interactions with other figures, signifiers of the counterculture, and feminist focus. I chose these categories due to their applicability to my research question and after careful observation. I also analyze the progression of my findings with checkpoints of 1965, 1970, and 1974. By assessing how objects, such as clothing and magazines, depict and construct historical narratives and societal values of a particular time, I have gained insight into past issues that are still prevalent in today’s society.
Museum Studies (BS)
Department, Program, or Center
Department of Performing Arts and Visual Culture (CLA)
Bossert, Jenna, "Voguing Gender: How American Vogue Represented and Constructed Women’s Roles from 1965-1974" (2016). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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