Body experience and the Women's Liberation Movement

Body experience

Dieting, make-up, clothing, beauty regimes, menstruation, motherhood and ageing were all discussed by women’s liberation groups. Find out how feminists provided women and men with alternative ways of thinking about and behaving towards the body and its relation to gender.

Lynne Segal talks about ageing for women

Sue Lopez discusses girls and football

The Women’s Liberation Movement provided women and men with alternative ways of thinking about and behaving towards the body and its relation to gender. The movement suggested theoretical, practical and political ways in which women could examine and question oppressive practices that were everyday and ‘normal’ in the 1960s and ‘70s. Dieting, make-up, clothing, beauty regimes, menstruation, motherhood and ageing were all interrogated by women in groups and feminist magazines. Through its protests, campaigns, conferences, literature and consciousness-raising groups, the Women’s Liberation Movement provided alternative spaces for women to encounter the body and to explore different forms of physical liberation. One important strand of this was women’s discoveries in the world of sport.

Susie Orbach discusses women and dieting

Jo Robinson discusses Miss World contest

Jan McKenley talks about The Feelings Behind the Slogans

  • Sisterhood and After Research Team
  • This article was researched and written by the Sisterhood and After Research Team, who are experts in the history of contemporary feminism and narrative life methods. The team included Abi Barber, Dr Polly Russell, Dr Margaretta Jolly, Dr Rachel Cohen, Dr Freya Johnson-Ross and Dr Lucy Delap. Further information about the team and project is available in the About the project section.

The text in this article is available under the Creative Commons License.