Self view of women’s bodies and characteristics in early glamour website models

Self view of women’s bodies and characteristics in early glamour website models


  • Julián Mónge-Najera
  • Karla Vega Corrales



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.


Black, P. 2004. The Beauty Industry: Gender, Culture, Pleasure. Routledge, New York, USA.

Bordo, S. 1993. Unbearable Weight. Feminism, Western Culture, and The Body. University of California, Berkeley, California, USA.

Brown, J. A. 2005. Class and Feminine Excess: The Strange Case of Anna Nicole Smith. Feminist Review Bodily Interventions 81:74-94 (; accessed June 11, 2010).

Cao, M. & Pérez, C. 1996. La publicidad como reclamo: valores y antivalores sociales. Arte, Individuo y Sociedad 8: 65-83

Confer, J., C. Perillou & D. Buss. 2010. More than just a pretty face: Men’s priority shifts toward bodily attractiveness in short-term versus long-term mating contexts. Evolution and Human Behavior 31: 348-353.

Córdoba, M. 2006. Reseña de “Antropología del cuerpo. Género, intinerarios corporales, identidad y cambio” de Mari Luz Esteban. Revista de Antropología Social 15: 493-496

Davis, K. 2002. “A Dubious Equality: Men, Women and Cosmetic Surgery,” Body and Society 8: 49-65.

Esteban, M. 2004. Antropología encarnada. Antropología desde una misma. Papeles del CEIC 12: 4-19

Frost, L. 2001. Young Women and the Body: A Feminist Sociology. Palgrave, New York, USA.

Gimlin, D. 2002. Body Work: Beauty and Self-Image in American Culture. University of California, Berkeley, California, USA.

Jeffreys, S. 2005. Beauty and Misogyny: Harmful Cultural Practices in the West. Routledge, New York, USA.

Lucal, B. 1999. “What it Means to be Gendered Me: Life on the Boundaries of a Dichotomous Gender System.” Gender and Society 13: 781-797.

Mears, A. 2010. “Size zero high-end ethnic: Cultural production and the reproduction of culture in fashion modeling.” Poetics 38: 21-46.

Schiebinger, L. 1993. Nature’s Body: Gender in the Making of Modern Science. Beacon, Massachussetts, USA.

Soley-Beltran, P. 2004. Modeling Femininity. European Journal of Women’s Studies 11: 309-326.

Wissinger, E. 2007. Always on Display: Affective Production in the Modeling Industry. In P. T. Clough (ed.). The Affective Turn: Theorizing the Social. Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA.



How to Cite

Mónge-Najera, J., & Vega Corrales, K. (2011). Self view of women’s bodies and characteristics in early glamour website models. UNED Research Journal, 3(1), 45–51.