By Ageeth Sluis
In the turbulent many years following the Mexican Revolution, Mexico urban observed a drastic inflow of girl migrants looking get away and security from the ravages of struggle within the geographical region. whereas a few settled in slums and tenements, the place the casual financial system usually supplied the single technique of survival, the revolution, within the absence of guys, additionally brought on girls to soak up generally male roles, created new jobs within the public sphere open to ladies, and carved out new social areas during which girls may perhaps workout agency.
In Deco physique, Deco City, Ageeth Sluis explores the consequences of fixing gender norms at the formation of city area in Mexico urban via linking aesthetic and architectural discourses to political and social advancements. via an research of the connection among lady migration to town and gender performances off and on the level, the ebook indicates how a brand new transnational excellent woman body trained the actual form of the town. through bridging the space between indigenismo (pride in Mexico’s indigenous background) and mestizaje (privileging the best of race mixing), this new woman deco physique prepared the ground for mestizo modernity. This cultural historical past enriches our knowing of Mexico’s postrevolutionary a long time and brings jointly social, gender, theater, and architectural historical past to illustrate how altering gender norms shaped the foundation of a brand new city modernity.
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Extra resources for Deco Body, Deco City: Female Spectacle and Modernity in Mexico City, 1900-1939
57 Revistas generally offered a showcase of events taking place in a big city from the perspective of a pedestrian or a tourist. 58 Revistas used national authors, actors, and actresses in regional costumes and played typical music to introduce urban audiences to regional Mexico: zandugas from Oaxaca, sarapes from Saltillo, china poblanas from Puebla, and jarabe tapías from Jalisco. 59 Idealized types, such as the tehuana (a woman from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in the state of Oaxaca; also known for her distinctive dress), effectively solidiﬁed the notion of rural, indígena women as symbols of mexicanidad, while the debased (and usually male) pelado became the archetype of the impoverished and degenerate rural migrant in the city.
And European cultural inﬂuence altered not only the dress and demeanor of its inhabitants but also the built environment, especially because of the conceptualization of women’s appearance and modern architecture as mutually constitutive. 5² A new understanding of female beauty articulated by Deco bodies onstage, whether in the theater or the shop window, called for new deﬁnitions of beauty, race, and embodiment. Ideas about female space in the capital city also hinged on historical in troduction 17 and ideological formulations of rural Mexico.
For Gutiérrez Nájera, positioning himself as an upper- class gentleman of taste who was able to gracefully capitulate to female spectacle, it was not so much actual female nudity that led to perversion but the perception of female bodies on the part of the male viewer: “For an artist, a nude woman is always dressed with the shame of marble. ”5¹ Consequently, as the género chico became infused with lower- class tastes and incorporated elements from street performances, it grew in popularity with larger segments of the city’s population, traversing class boundaries and invading middle- and upper- class spaces.
Deco Body, Deco City: Female Spectacle and Modernity in Mexico City, 1900-1939 by Ageeth Sluis