• Experts

    The Experts are leaders in influential fields who inform our insights.

  • Data

    A collection of stories told through statistics that say something powerful about consumer culture.

  • Films

    Curve Films use documentary storytelling techniques to convey trends in consumer culture.

  • News

    Breaking stories and new information that you need to know.


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  • Volume 2
  • Gen X And Gen Y
  • Volume 1
  • Volume 3
  • Apps
  • Mobile
  • Technology
  • Media & Entertainment
  • Video Super 8
  • Video

Gather research from

  • The Gen Y Report
  • The Digital Edition
  • The Reinvention Issue
  • Video's Super 8
  • Volume 4.1: American Man
  • Volume 4.2: American Woman
  • Curve Volume 5: America Now
  • Curve Volume 6: CultureFirst™

The Reintroduction of the American Woman

What's New This Issue

Lady Luck

Mother, May I?

Animal House

American Woman

American Woman Profile: Mix Master

American Woman Profile: The Indie Woman

American Woman Profile: American Hustle

Pageants, Politics & Unplugging

What’s in Lady Liberty’s Bag

71% of Gen X and Y women feel it’s more relevant to “have tried it all” than to “have it all.”


The Curve: American Trilogy

For this edition of The Curve, we had a singular mission: to capture the pulse of America. To accomplish this, we embarked on a research road trip, conducted a nationally representative survey, and had countless conversations with entrepreneurs, experts, Generation Xers, and Ys. The result is The Curve Americana Trilogy—a report divided into three parts: American Man, American Woman, and Young Americans. After our first issue, dedicated to decoding American men, we now turn our attention to understanding the modern American woman.

American Woman

American girls were raised on promises, or more precisely, just one promise—that they could
 (and should!) have it all. This promise is a common denominator of who they are today. Whether they embraced, redefined, or rejected the have-it-all ideal, it has been the “great expectation” against which two generations of women have been consciously or subconsciously measured by themselves, their peers, and society.

Recently, the pressure—and debate—around achieving career-wife-mother status has become palpable, and we were curious to talk with women across the country to hear how they are faring.
  On the one hand, women are in the thick of it all, struggling with the philosophical question of to-be-or-not-to-be
 a mom (see Mother, May I?) and facing fever-pitch pressures at school, at work, and online (see Animal House); on the other hand, they are finding peace in stepping away from it all, rolling the dice on major life decisions, and believing that fate (and more than a few hard-won credentials) will steer them in the right direction (see Lady Luck). Contrary to many reports about the rise 
of women, which often paint a glossy picture of women’s steady climb to greatness, based
 on our research, women’s evolution is simultaneously uneven, complicated, profound, and inspiring— incidentally, not so different from women themselves.

At the forefront of women’s journey today are Gen Ys, or millennials. Gen X women have been navigating the have-it-all quandary for years
 and, true to their rebellious spirit, have forged extreme paths. They either pursue the promise at all costs or reject it altogether in the name of independence, creating a powerful new demographic of indie women (not married, no
kids, and living alone). Millennial women, however, are taking a more measured approach – they seem more open to a continuum of life paths. We spoke with modern traditionals who blend the best of the past and the present (see Pageants, Politics, and Unplugging); young independents who are happily single yet open to finding a better half (see Lady Liberty); and three women who embody the best of what it means to be a millennial today (see American Woman).

We partnered with Oxygen on this issue of The Curve to explore the new dimensions defining modern women and most of all to provide a “very real” look at what it means to be an American woman today. We look forward to your feedback and to partnering with you now and in the future.


This issue of THE CURVE collects data, insights, and trends from the following sources: an online survey distributed among 2,000 18- to 49-year-olds in the summer and fall of 2014; qualitative investigation, including a research road trip covering 20 markets with pit stops for 10 in-depth focus groups, and on-going online and in-person conversations with members of our FreeThink panel, a group of hand-selected, leading-edge, and diverse consumers; expert interviews with individuals in a variety of fields; and a continual scan of influential blogs, trend sites, and key industry events, from SXSW to Fortune’s Brainstorm TECH.

About The Curve

THE CURVE is a semiannual book about what’s ahead in consumer culture. It’s a curated synthesis of social shifts, industry trends, and quantitative and qualitative research that tells a story of what’s influencing consumers today, what’s shaping culture next, and the actionable insights and opportunities for marketers and brands.

CURVE FILMS is the production studio that brings to life insights from The Curve. With semiannual productions in a variety of formats—from documentary-style films to animated shorts—Curve Films strives to creatively showcase key content from The Curve in a way that is as entertaining as it is informative.

The Curve and Curve Films are produced by the NBCUNIVERSAL CONTENT INNOVATION AGENCY, a division that works across the NBCU portfolio to create innovative, insight-driven marketing campaigns that enable brands to reach and engage their audiences.

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