[Ads-l] more from chatting w/ costume historians re: "teddy" the undergarment

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jan 27 23:26:03 UTC 2016


> And one responded, "Definitely infantization [sic: JL] of women in the
'teens [sic: JL] --look at the artwork--so much baby [sic: JL] sexualization
 starting, while
losing the hourglass figure and childbearing hips...."

Women were also being masculinized in the late teens, as in Howard Chandler
Christy's recruiting posters of  women in USMC and USN uniform ("Gee! I
Wish I Were a Man!"), bobbed hair, the far-out "flapper"look (ideally with
small breasts), the rising tide of female smoking, the appearance of women
as "pals" in pulp fiction, especially Westerns,  the employment of women in
defense plants, the admission of some 13,000 women into active duty in the
Navy (other than nurses, IIRC), etc.  (OK, I can't think offhand of any
particular "etc.")

Most of these trends became more prominent in the '20s, but they were
already present in the previous decade.

JL

On Wed, Jan 27, 2016 at 11:29 AM, Amy West <medievalist at w-sts.com> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Amy West <medievalist at W-STS.COM>
> Subject:      more from chatting w/ costume historians re: "teddy" the
>               undergarment
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> So, I've asked the costume historians I know about why there might be
> the appearance of the term "teddy bear combination" as opposed to just
> "combination," since that term had been around for a while.
>
> Some said just fad/marketing, trying to ride the wave of teddy bear
> popularity.
>
> I asked, "Could there also be a hint of intimacy by adding in 'teddy
> bear'? Could there be infantilization of women by its use? Equating
> women with the toy? (That's really the realm of semantics, pragmatics,
> and sociolinguistics rather than etymoloy, though. . . .)"
>
> And one responded, "Definitely infantization of women in the
> 'teens--look at the artwork--so much baby sexualization starting, while
> losing the hourglass figure and childbearing hips...."
>
> I also asked, "What, if anything, was different about these combinations?"
>
> And another responded, "Some differences between combinations and
> teddies: Combinations were generally made of cotton. They were
>   sleeveless with knee length legs. Teddies, on the other hand, begin to
> be made more often out of lighter, thinner materials including silk.
> While still sleeveless, the legs shorten to be mid to high thigh length."
>
> ---Amy West
>
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> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



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