Annals of Family Studies
Online ISSN : 2189-0935
Print ISSN : 0289-7415
ISSN-L : 0289-7415
The Norm Expected of Mother’s from Special Articles on Formal Fashion in Magazines for Mothers:
Is the Fashion of “Gal Mama” Deviating from the Norm?
Kanae Takahashi
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2019 Volume 44 Pages 43-60


    This paper clarifies that the behavior regarding their choice of clothes of “gal mamas”, so-called because they like gal fashion, can be regarded as normative but they are marginalized by mothers' groups. The increasing number of fashion magazines for mothers indicates that there is an open choice for mothers with regard to the clothes that they can wear. Nevertheless, “gal mama” fashion is often criticized. Why has the “gal mama” been marginalized because of the clothes she has chosen to wear? To complicate things, the norms for mothers' clothes and the aspect of the image those norms are supposed to project is by no means clear. From articles on formal fashion in magazines for mothers, it is found that mother's normative behavior regarding fashion is for self-expression within what are regarded as appropriate boundaries for a particular setting. However, while “gal mamas” intend to stand out through their individuality, “gal mamas” do differ in appearance from other mothers, and, as a result, their marginality is increased because they express their individuality through a strong appearance. From this finding, even though fashions are diversifying, it can be said that the expectations of mothers in the way they look are powerful at least in places where the emphasis is placed on being a mother. However, it is suggested that even if “gal mamas” do not reflect the appearance of a normative mother, they are not abandoning their duties as a mother. Because their appearance is different from the norms followed by other mothers, their carrying out of their role as mothers is more important for them, and it seems that such pressure is getting stronger. In other words, the pressure of being a mother in appearance and behavior is still powerful, and it is difficult to understand this mechanism, complicated as it is by an accompanying freedom of appearance, such as in clothes and fashion.

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© 2019 Japanese Council on Family Relations
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