The Femme Fatale in Vogue: Femininity Ideologies in Fin-de-siècle America

Yuko Minowa, Pauline Maclaran, Lorna Stevens

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This article explores how marketing influences ideologies of femininity. Tracing the evolution of femme fatale images in Vogue magazine in 1890s America, we develop a typology around four archetypal forms of the femme fatale that prevailed during this period. In doing so we respond to calls for more critical historical analyses on femininity. While studies on masculinity ideologies proliferate, there is a paucity of research on dissonant representations of femininity in popular culture media. The femme fatale, often a self-determined seductress who causes anguish to the men who become involved with her, is an intriguing and enduring challenge to traditional notions of femininity. Thus, in studying the femme fatale in her historical context and revealing the multiplicity of feminine ideologies contained within this trope, we contribute to a deeper understanding of marketing’s role in both reflecting and reinforcing societal assumptions, attitudes and problematics around gender norms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-286
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Macromarketing
Issue number3
Early online date7 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019


  • femininity ideologies
  • femme fatale
  • macromarketing
  • popular culture
  • representations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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