Jane Fonda, Barbara Bush and other aging bodies

Femininity and the limits of resistance

Myra Dinnerstein, Rose Weitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article uses the self-representations of Jane Fonda and Barbara Bush to assess their two different approaches to aging and to explore the degree to which women are able to resist the prevailing cultural discourse which equates femininity with a youthful appearance. While Barbara Bush uses the rhetoric of "naturalness," implying that she makes little effort with her appearance, Fonda emphasizes the work she puts into maintaining a fit body. Both frame their self-descriptions as resistance to cultural standards, but an exploration of their efforts reveals serious limits to this resistance. The conclusions discuss the possibilities for women to resist or change cultural dictates regarding the aging female body. Data come from all articles on Fonda and Bush published in women's magazines since 1977.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-24
Number of pages22
JournalFeminist Issues
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1994

Fingerprint

femininity
women's press
cultural change
rhetoric
discourse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Gender Studies

Cite this

Jane Fonda, Barbara Bush and other aging bodies : Femininity and the limits of resistance. / Dinnerstein, Myra; Weitz, Rose.

In: Feminist Issues, Vol. 14, No. 2, 06.1994, p. 3-24.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{63af471a1691480d95ae346357b89ab5,
title = "Jane Fonda, Barbara Bush and other aging bodies: Femininity and the limits of resistance",
abstract = "This article uses the self-representations of Jane Fonda and Barbara Bush to assess their two different approaches to aging and to explore the degree to which women are able to resist the prevailing cultural discourse which equates femininity with a youthful appearance. While Barbara Bush uses the rhetoric of {"}naturalness,{"} implying that she makes little effort with her appearance, Fonda emphasizes the work she puts into maintaining a fit body. Both frame their self-descriptions as resistance to cultural standards, but an exploration of their efforts reveals serious limits to this resistance. The conclusions discuss the possibilities for women to resist or change cultural dictates regarding the aging female body. Data come from all articles on Fonda and Bush published in women's magazines since 1977.",
author = "Myra Dinnerstein and Rose Weitz",
year = "1994",
month = "6",
doi = "10.1007/BF02685654",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "14",
pages = "3--24",
journal = "Gender Issues",
issn = "1098-092X",
publisher = "Springer New York",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Jane Fonda, Barbara Bush and other aging bodies

T2 - Femininity and the limits of resistance

AU - Dinnerstein, Myra

AU - Weitz, Rose

PY - 1994/6

Y1 - 1994/6

N2 - This article uses the self-representations of Jane Fonda and Barbara Bush to assess their two different approaches to aging and to explore the degree to which women are able to resist the prevailing cultural discourse which equates femininity with a youthful appearance. While Barbara Bush uses the rhetoric of "naturalness," implying that she makes little effort with her appearance, Fonda emphasizes the work she puts into maintaining a fit body. Both frame their self-descriptions as resistance to cultural standards, but an exploration of their efforts reveals serious limits to this resistance. The conclusions discuss the possibilities for women to resist or change cultural dictates regarding the aging female body. Data come from all articles on Fonda and Bush published in women's magazines since 1977.

AB - This article uses the self-representations of Jane Fonda and Barbara Bush to assess their two different approaches to aging and to explore the degree to which women are able to resist the prevailing cultural discourse which equates femininity with a youthful appearance. While Barbara Bush uses the rhetoric of "naturalness," implying that she makes little effort with her appearance, Fonda emphasizes the work she puts into maintaining a fit body. Both frame their self-descriptions as resistance to cultural standards, but an exploration of their efforts reveals serious limits to this resistance. The conclusions discuss the possibilities for women to resist or change cultural dictates regarding the aging female body. Data come from all articles on Fonda and Bush published in women's magazines since 1977.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=51249169595&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=51249169595&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/BF02685654

DO - 10.1007/BF02685654

M3 - Article

VL - 14

SP - 3

EP - 24

JO - Gender Issues

JF - Gender Issues

SN - 1098-092X

IS - 2

ER -