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An Intimate AffairWomen, Lingerie, and Sexuality$
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Jill Fields

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520223691

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520223691.001.0001

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The Invisible Woman

The Invisible Woman

Intimate Apparel Advertising

(p.174) 5 The Invisible Woman
An Intimate Affair

Jill Fields

University of California Press

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

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