Underneath It All
A History of Women's Underwear
For most of human history, the garments women wore under their clothes were hidden. The earliest underwear provided warmth and protection. But eventually, women’s undergarments became complex structures designed to shape their bodies to fit the fashion ideals of the time.
In the modern era, undergarments are out in the open, from the designer corsets Madonna wore on stage to Beyoncé’s pregnancy announcement on Instagram. This feminist exploration of women’s underwear reveals the intimate role lingerie plays in defining women’s bodies, sexuality, gender identity, and body image. It is a story of control and restraint but also female empowerment and self-expression. You will never look at underwear the same way again.
|Interest Level||Grade 9 - Grade 12|
|Reading Level||Grade 9|
|Genre||Social Studies, Young Adult|
|Category||5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Traditional Nonfiction|
|Publisher||Lerner Publishing Group|
|Imprint||Twenty-First Century Books ™|
|Number of Pages||96|
Author: Amber J. Keyser
Evolutionary biologist-turned-author Amber J. Keyser has a MS in zoology and a PhD in genetics. She writes both fiction and non-fiction for tweens and teens. Her young adult novels include Pointe, Claw (Carolrhoda Lab, 2017), an explosive story about two girls claiming the territory of their own bodies, and The Way Back from Broken (Carolrhoda Lab, 2015), a heart-wrenching novel of loss and survival (and a finalist for the Oregon Book Award). She is the co-author with Kiersi Burkhart of the middle grade series Quartz Creek Ranch (Darby Creek, 2017). Her nonfiction titles include The V-Word (Beyond Words/SimonTeen, 2016), an anthology of personal essays by women about first-time sexual experiences (Rainbow List, Amelia Bloomer list, New York Public Library Best Book for Teens and Chicago Public Library Best Nonfiction for Teens) and Sneaker Century: A History of Athletic Shoes (Twenty-First Century Books, 2015), among numerous other titles. Her forthcoming books include Tying the Knot: A World History of Marriage (Twenty-First Century Books, 2018) and Underneath It All: The History of Women's Underwear (Twenty-First Century Books, 2018). More information at www.amberjkeyser.com. Connect with Amber on Twitter @amberjkeyser.
Lerner eSource™ offers free digital teaching and learning resources, including Common Core State Standards (CCSS) teaching guides. These guides, created by classroom teachers, offer short lessons and writing exercises that give students specific instruction and practice using Common Core skills and strategies. Lerner eSource also provides additional resources including online activities, downloadable/printable graphic organizers, and additional educational materials that would also support Common Core instruction. Download, share, pin, print, and save as many of these free resources as you like!
Underneath It All
For most of human history, the garments women wore under their clothes were hidden. The earliest underwear provided warmth and protection. But eventually, women’s undergarments became complex structures designed to shape their bodies to fit the fashion ideals of the time. View available downloads →
- Texas Topaz Reading List
“[A] natural subject with which to explore women’s self-image and the ways the male gaze has shaped it over the centuries.”—VOYA
“[A]n engaging read for anyone with an overflowing underwear drawer and a useful resource for teens . . .”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“[E]ndlessly fascinating, a great addition to nonfiction collections.”—School Library Journal
“This multidisciplinary, discussion-worthy text reshapes how we view history.”—Booklist
“A serviceable introduction to the history of women’s undergarments, with some nuggets of importance and insight.”—Kirkus Reviews