That Was My Veil: Sartorial and Cosmetic Constructions of Resilience in Divorced Women

A research exploration of fashion and resilience by MA Fashion Studies graduate Kim Jenkins


That Was My Veil: Sartorial and Cosmetic Constructions of Resilience in Divorced Women is my thesis argument that social conditions over time have existed to make the re-construction of the woman’s appearance obligatory to encouraging a sense of resilience within both the psyche of the woman experiencing divorce as well as the society which surrounds her.

I’ve created this blog to offer a creative way for me to sort out my research during this ongoing project. Commentary may also include the discussion of fashion and identity transformation under other relationship circumstances (non-marital splits, widows and widowers), as well as my interest in resilience psychologically, as mediated through self-image and performance.

Kim Jenkins, MA Fashion Studies graduate (2013) at Parsons The New School for Design.


2 comments on “About

  1. Ekene
    June 21, 2014

    Hi Kim,

    I just stumbled upon this and I found your thesis topic fascinating and would love to hear more about your research and conclusions.

    Are you based in NYC?


    • kimberlyjenkins
      August 18, 2014

      Hi Ekene, thank you for reaching out and checking out my work.

      I’m based in NYC. My research began in the context of an emotional trial such as divorce, but discovered that once we consider how we dress and perform our identity, a theme of “resilience” is fundamental in the United States in particular, and spills over into supporting our mindset in other emotional/physical trials as well. Coming from a research background in anthropology, my general interest is in human performance and survival, and resilience is just one aspect of how survival is secured. So once we move beyond the primary interest of survival, it’s fascinating how we survive. In this case, fashion, cosmetics and manipulation of the body (i.e. plastic surgery, weight loss, etc.) is employed in certain cases for us to appear well. I also explored how, during an emotional trial, those in our social network express concern about our wellbeing when we don’t appear well (i.e. sudden weight gain, a disheveled appearance, etc.). This is all part of my initial research, and my thesis was merely used to whet my appetite for exploring the connection between fashion and psychology more deeply in the form of a dissertation (fingers crossed!). So I have not yet come to a conclusion- the research has just begun! 😉

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