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|edHelper's suggested reading level:||grades 5 to 7|
|Flesch-Kincaid grade level:||7.06|
Amelia Jenks Bloomer: Fashion Trend Setter
By Joyce Furstenau
1 "Hey! You forgot your skirt!" someone shouted at Libby Miller.
2 "Dresses are silly," she replied.
3 All women wore dresses during the Victorian era. They wore big, uncomfortable dresses. Underneath these big, uncomfortable dresses women also wore corsets. Corsets were close-fitting, tight undergarments for women. They were stiffened with whalebone and were made tight by pulling on the lacing. Sometimes they were pulled so tight that women fainted. As uncomfortable as those dresses were, a proper Victorian woman needed to wear a dress. But who wanted to be proper? Not Amelia Bloomer. Not her friend, Libby Miller. They thought proper ladies were silly.
4 Amelia Jenks was born in Homer, New York, on May 27, 1818. She received only a few years of formal schooling. When she was twenty-two, she married an attorney named Dexter Bloomer. He owned a New York newspaper in Seneca Falls, New York. It was called the Seneca Falls County Courier. Dexter encouraged Amelia to write for the paper. Amelia wrote articles for the paper over the next few years. Many of her articles were about women's rights.
5 Amelia was an independent woman. She was in favor of women's rights. She thought the big frilly dresses that proper women wore were silly. Amelia attended the Woman's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls in 1848. She met Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton at the convention. They encouraged her to pursue her own interests.
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