In vogue: North American and British representations of women smokers in Vogue, 1920s-1960s
Warsh, Cheryl Krasnick
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The image of a cigarette in a woman’s hand symbolizes independence, non-conformity and personal power, despite widespread awareness that smoking has serious health risks. Through a content analysis of North American and British editions of Vogue, we trace the representation of women smokers from the 1920s-1960s. Vogue located the cigarette within the culture of the feminine elite. We explore the place of cigarette smoking within the constellation of behaviours and appearances presented as desirable characteristics of elitism, through the themes of lifestyle, “the look,” and feminine confidence. We chart these themes’ transformations over time and national contexts.