Hope in A Jar

The Making of America's Beauty Culture

Peiss, Kathy Lee

Book - 2011
Average Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5.
Hope in A Jar
How did powder and paint, once scorned as immoral, become indispensable to millions of respectable women? How did a "kitchen physic," as homemade cosmetics were once called, become a multibillion-dollar industry? And how did men finally take over that rarest of institutions, a woman's business? In Hope in a Jar , historian Kathy Peiss gives us the first full-scale social history of America's beauty culture, from the buttermilk and rice powder recommended by Victorian recipe books to the mass-produced products of our contemporary consumer age. She shows how women, far from being pawns and victims, used makeup to declare their freedom, identity, and sexual allure as they flocked to enter public life. And she highlights the leading role of white and black women--Helena Rubenstein and Annie Turnbo Malone, Elizabeth Arden and Madame C. J. Walker--in shaping a unique industry that relied less on advertising than on women's customs of visiting and conversation. Replete with the voices and experiences of ordinary women, Hope in a Jar is a richly textured account of the ways women created the cosmetics industry and cosmetics created the modern woman.

Publisher: Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011
Edition: 1st Univeristy of Pennsylvania Press ed
ISBN: 0812221672
Branch Call Number: 391.630973 P379h 2011
Characteristics: xii, 334 p. :,ill. ;,23 cm


From Library Staff

A fascinating account of the cosmetic industry and how a little make-up went from being considered immoral to necessary.

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