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Kim Jenkins

Fashion Studies (MA) / Kim Jenkins


"That Was My Veil": Sartorial and Cosmetic Constructions of Resilience in Divorced Women

Through a close look at personal stories, media representation and learned sociocultural norms, it is presumable that social conditions have existed over time that have made the reconstruction of a divorced woman’s appearance obligatory to encouraging a sense of resilience. Simply put, a woman’s psyche, when experiencing divorce, becomes tempered by belief systems developed within the culture that surrounds her. Consequently, this cultural context plays a key role in producing a dichotomy between how a woman presents herself publicly whilst managing her emotions privately in the wake of a divorce.

This paper narrows its focus on how the sartorial and cosmetic practices of a woman become significantly influenced through negotiating the management of her physical appearance and reputation both during and following the process of a divorce. This research hopes to galvanize similar investigations that explain how we cope with adversity through the transformation of our appearance, and how psychology and social expectations can directly influence our everyday dress practices more than we acknowledge.

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