Politik der Schönheit: Zur Konstruktion einer ›wissenschaftlichen‹ Bildästhetik schöner weiblicher Körper um 1900 am Beispiel des Gynäkologen Carl Heinrich Stratz
Autor: Birke Sturm
[erschienen in: IMAGE 28 Themenheft (Juli 2018)]
This paper focuses on the question how the German gynaecologist Carl Heinrich Stratz translated political, cultural and social boarders into images of beautiful and not-beautiful female bodies. First, there will be an insight into the entanglement of Stratz’s beauty ideal with values of the educated middle-classes in Germany around 1900. Then, different features will be discussed that are described by Stratz in order to connect indications of what he regarded not to be beautiful with values that contradict educated middle-class principles. Finally, his approach of combining an anthropometrical procedure with photography, a medium promising evidence, will be looked upon. All in all, it should be conveyed that Stratz constructs otherness with recourse to normalized conceptions of female beauty that cannot simply be grasped by beautiful and not-beautiful bodies on a superficial level. In fact, the othering of bodies, which are described as not beautiful, can be regarded as reinforcement of a heteronormative, bourgeois, Eurocentric and German-nationalist worldview.