[I]n earlier days going steady had been more like the old-fashioned 'keeping steady company.' It was a step along the path to marriage, even if many steady couples parted company before they reached the altar.
By the early 1950s, going steady had acquired a totally different meaning.
Conversations about beauty are often conversations about the impacts these changing ideals have on the body images of women and girls.
Twenty years before Monroe stood over a subway grate in a billowing white halter dress, LIFE Magazine described the ideal figure American women hoped to attain.
The article went on to say that if, for some reason, you did not have a date on a particular night, you should keep the lights off in your dorm room so no one would know you were home.By the late 1940s and early 1950s demographic realities began to sink in: There was a shortage of men.After World War II, due in part to the fact that 250,000 men never came home, for the first time in the United States, women outnumbered men.Beth Bailey comments, "Popularity was clearly the key — and popularity defined in a very specific way.It was not earned directly through talent, looks, personality or importance and involvement in organizations, but by the way these attributes translated into the number and frequency of dates.His study of Penn State undergraduates detailed a "dating and rating" system based on very clear standards of popularity.