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Beauty seems simple; we know it when we see it. But of course our ideas about what is attractive are influenced by a broad range of social and economic factors, and in Beauty and Business leading historians set out to provide this important ...
Beauty seems simple; we know it when we see it. But of course our ideas about what is attractive are influenced by a broad range of social and economic factors, and in Beauty and Business leading historians set out to provide this important cultural context. How have retailers shaped popular consciousness about beauty? And how, in turn, have cultural assumptions influenced the commodification of beauty? The contributors here look to particular examples in order to address these questions, turning their attention to topics ranging from the social role of the African American hair salon, and the sexual dynamics of bathing suits and shirtcollars, to the deeper meanings of corsets and what the Avon lady tells us about changing American values. As a whole, these essays force us to reckon with the ways that beauty has been made, bought, and sold in modern America.
|On Beauty ... and the History of Business||7|
|"Any Desired Length": Negotiating Gender through Sports Clothing, 1870-1925||24|
|Questionable Beauty: The Dangers and Delights of the Cigarette in American Society, 1880-1930||52|
|Collars and Consumers: Changing Images of American Manliness and Business||87|
|"Fighting the Corsetless Evil": Shaping Corsets and Culture, 1900-1930||109|
|A Depression-Proof Business Strategy: The California Perfume Company's Motivational Literature||142|
|"I Had My Own Business ... So I Didn't Have to Worry": Beauty Salons, Beauty Culturists, and the Politics of African-American Female Entrepreneurship||169|
|"At the Curve Exchange": Postwar Beauty Culture and Working Women at Maidenform||195|
|Estee Lauder: Self-Definition and the Modern Cosmetics Market||217|
|Black Is Profitable: The Commodification of the Afro, 1960-1975||254|
|"Loveliest Daughter of Our Ancient Cathay!": Representations of Ethnic and Gender Identity in the Miss Chinatown U.S.A. Beauty Pageant||278|
|Hiding the Scars: History of Breast Prostheses after Mastectomy Since 1945||309|
|Notes on the Contributors||329|