AYDAH Foundation

Advancing Health and Improving Youth self development

African Youth Development and Health Foundation,

a non-profit group, organized to

Establish, Prevent and Maintain a comprehensive and efficient healthcare delivery to the youth and underserved communities

Provide opportunities and inspire the Youth through Education, Employment and Empowerment 

Friday Fame: The Gibson Girl

American artist Charles Dana Gibson (1867-1944) created a pen-and-ink drawing of an idealized woman in the late nineteenth century, sparking a series of illustrated stories which would last two decades. His “Gibson Girl” is considered to have set the standard for fashion and femininity at the turn of the century, as well as perhaps laying the groundwork for countless pin-ups to come. The Gibson Girl was confident and serene with a soft, romantic style that is still mimicked today. You can see slight resemblances to today’s popular messy takes on chignons and various up-dos. There was no single inspiration for the Gibson Girl, to my knowledge, but one of the most popular models for his work, and considered the “quintessential” Gibson Girl, was Brazilian actress Camille Clifford:

I think the resemblance is rather fascinating, especially the way Camille carried herself with such straightforward confidence and grace. But let’s get back to the Gibson Girl. She was a staple in American society in the early 1900s; women all across the country wanted to be like her – and in more ways than simply appearance: the Gibson Girl’s solitary independence resonated with women at a very crucial time and, I think, inspired them. She embodied dignity, elegance and class in every illustration, and was most often depicted as being an equal to men in a time when that was not necessarily the case in society. As appearances go, however, she was also widely admired by both women and men. It’s my understanding - though I’m no Gibson scholar, to be sure - that with the Gibson Girl was born the fantastically curvy S-shape that would be popular with such women as Mae West and Marilyn Monroe later in the 20th century. I also think the success and popularity of the Gibson Girl as a model for women was a big influence on the way society would few models and actresses on magazine covers and in movies in the future. It’s interesting to imagine what was sparked from one drawing!

If you’d like to read more about Charles Gibson and his Gibson Girl, I would suggest visiting www.Gibson-Girls.com. I hope you all enjoyed this little bit of fashion "history" as much as I did!