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Bold New Tops for Topless Watchers

Conflicting representations of women (in advertisements, magazine articles, and protest publications) indicate the evolving role of women throughout the 1960s. Some media texts portrayed women as tantalizing sex objects served up for male consumption; in others, they are domestic ideals of sweet housewives tending to their husbands and children. In alternative publications, women portrayed themselves as angry, strong, and bound together by common goals. Through the women’s liberation movement, women fought against stifling social norms, unreasonable beauty expectations, and taken-for-granted gendered beliefs about their “natural” abilities. These various media representations reveal the ways in which the women's liberation movement was at war with mainstream culture’s versions of femininity and women’s roles.