Monday, December 06, 2010

Book Arts: Preparing For Womanhood

In one of my many forays into the underbelly of thrift storeing I was incredibly fortunate enough to find a book that was named A Pictorial Medical Guide but in fact was a strange, strange look into the nuclear family - more specifically the life and role of womankind. The name of my book, 'Preparing for Womanhood' was actually the title of the first chapter. I had a fascinating romp through text that was the size of a telephone book and marveled at Life Back Then. Mostly I just felt pity for any poor fool who actually believed what they read. From 'any menstruating woman should not do sports or any agitated activity' to 'wearing high heels during pregnency is perfectly acceptable' it was a portal into a past in which I'm glad I was not part of.
I made this book with excerpts from that fantastic book along with photographs from a 1954 Good Housekeeping magazine. There is an obvious feminist angle but what I was more interested in was flouting 'good' societies rules. What was written in that book was absolute; this is how 'good' woman lived even if it defined them in such narrow terms it squeezed the life out of them. I used traditionally feminine objects in this book: ribbon, tracing paper from clothing patterns, images from a women's magazine, card stock used to display buttons and rick rack. I am by no means done with this subject, there is so much in that book that could be used I'll probably need to do a whole series. Get ready for more!

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