soapbox

political soap craft

Dating to about 1912 among women working in city’s red-light districts, the Baby Doll tradition both embraced and mocked stereotypes of women as “babies” or “dolls” in popular culture, especially in Ragtime hit songs like Pretty Baby (1912) and Oh, You Beautiful Doll (1911). Early groups paraded in scandalously short satin dresses, stockings with garters and frilly baby bonnets. The costumes and high-strutting dance steps survive today as the tradition has passed to a new generation of African-American women and become a cherished highlight of the New Orleans Carnival.

Dating to about 1912 among women working in city’s red-light districts, the Baby Doll tradition both embraced and mocked stereotypes of women as “babies” or “dolls” in popular culture, especially in Ragtime hit songs like Pretty Baby (1912) and Oh, You Beautiful Doll (1911). Early groups paraded in scandalously short satin dresses, stockings with garters and frilly baby bonnets. The costumes and high-strutting dance steps survive today as the tradition has passed to a new generation of African-American women and become a cherished highlight of the New Orleans Carnival.