Self view of women’s bodies and characteristics in early glamour website models
Keywords:Modeling, glamour, body, perception, roles.
At least at the public level, conservative societies try to prevent women from exposing their bodies, and women who work as glamour models can be seen as transgressors and can be accused of playing a passive role as “sex objects”. In contrast with those views, research shows that pre-Internet models were active participants who perceived their bodies as a way of obtaining resources and power. In order to examine if the same is true in the age of Internet modeling (i.e. if Internet models perceive themselves as passive or active), and if their career choice was affected by geographic origin (a measure of how conservative their society is), we recorded the origin and self-descriptions that models published during the early period of web glamour sites (2001). Our population was composed of all the American models in the international website Glamour Models, the main website for this type of modeling. Our data does not support the hypothesis that conservative states are under-represented: rather there were more models from states with larger populations. These models did not present themselves as passive: their self-descriptions stated that they are active and creative, and they openly expressed the limits on the type of work that they accepted. By presenting data from a decade ago, our work serves as a baseline for future studies of how self views of women’s bodies and characteristics may evolve in this field.
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