Parsons School of Design

BFA Communication Design

Thesis 2013

Britt Tapsall
The Evolution of the Femme Fatale
Britt Tapsall
The Evolution of the Femme Fatale

I aim to identify the Femme Fatale as a role model for women, with specific regard to the fi lm industry. She was initially created in response to housewives’ rejection of the traditional nuclear family. She was the villain: femme fatale’s direct translation is ‘deadly woman.’ Over time, the femme fatale came to be understood instead as a strong feminine role model. She fi ghts for herself, and does not let those who harm her, oppress her, or get in her way. The Evolution of the Femme Fatale is a project that was inspired by this difference in perception of the Femme Fatale archetype. The representation of the Femme Fatale has changed from one that is misogynistic to one that is empowering, a change that correlates directly with the struggles of women, and the feminist movement, in the United States. This project shows these correlations through visual references and information about the evolution of the Femme Fatale within the historical context that molded her.


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Hazel’s Story
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Sex Opposite