AWE (A Woman’s Experience)


women's studies, fashion


In postwar America, women challenged tradition by continuing a trend started in the Second World War, asserting their presence in the workforce both physically and visually with the advent of Tina Leser’s designs. Leser’s designs reached the everyday woman, and Joel’s photographs reached the average American, bringing greater awareness to the ongoing question as to women’s role in society. Both Yale Joel’s photographs and Tina Leser’s designs take part in the changing definition of femininity. Yale Joel’s photographs for LIFE Magazine illustrate how women were encouraged to negotiate a more modern yet also traditional identity, demonstrating the nuances of this complex decade with regards to women’s lives in postwar America.


Emaline R. Maxfield graduated from Brigham Young University with bachelor degrees in Art History & Curatorial Studies and German. She loves all things to do with visual culture, particularly film photography and works from the Dutch Golden Age. Special thanks to professors Martha Peacock and James Swensen for their constant guidance and support for this paper.