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Abstract

The paper examines the idea of the “ideal” body image that women strive to achieve, covering the time period of the 1920s – 1990s. The analysis is primarily of narrative texts that debate body types of women that have emerged over the time periods. My research question, Can women ever officially achieve the “ideal” body image? confirms that women cannot fully present distorted social readings of body image, but they can access resources and outlets to discover that there is more to women’s identity and value than her body alone. As this paper explains, this realization is structured by a complex web of cultural influences.