Pictured Above: Chictopia or Fashionable Dystopia?
"If extreme height and exaggerated 'artistic' postures gave the modern woman of [early 20th century] ads a certain claim to elegance and prestige, still she gained stature only in comparison to other, non-fashionable women. In relation to men, as Erving Goffman has intriguingly suggested in Gender Advertisements, distortions of women's shapes and gestures often convey messages about social subordination. Women, Goffman argues, appear in poses that are more 'canted,' more exaggerated and grotesque, more off-balance and tenative than those assumed by men. These stances and gestures imply a sense of dependence...and a willingness to make oneself into an interesting 'object.'"
(From Roland Marchand's Advertising the American Dream, 1920-1940)
ADDENDUM: As a child, I recall feigning a slight pigeon-toe. I also recall crafting faux orthodontic retainers out of paper clips and plastic bracelets. Strange that even as young girls we know to desire so many symbols of youth and handicap.