Turning the Century: Essays in Media and Cultural Studies

By Carol A. Stabile | Go to book overview

have been particularly divisive for feminists. 84 In the case of the Ladies' Home Journal, just as the promotion of cosmetics made women's bodies a site of control, it also afforded women greater direction over their bodies. Early on, it may have allowed some women to identify politically with a new, progressive woman who someday might take a more active role in the public sphere. Eventually, however, the new women became less associated with politics and more associated with consumption patterns. An understanding of the history and social structures that undergird contemporary practice enhances our understanding of the complex ways in which beauty interacts with cultural elements. Future conversations about beauty should continue to track historical antecedents and the ways in which they were influenced by cultural institutions and producers. And as we continue to look at the history of beauty standards and the forces involved in their creation, maybe one day we will be able to reassure Emma Walker that the girls weren't "coming to pieces" after all.


Notes

I would like to thank Carol Stabile for her support of this project. I also thank Anthony Morgan for his research assistance.

I would like to thank Carol Stabile for her support of thisproject. I also thank Anthony Morgan for his research assistance.

1
Walker 1905, 33.
4
Cohn 1940, 387.
5
The word makeup had nopositive, nontheatrical connotations in Emma Walker's time, when it was used mostly in reference to theatrical appearanceenhancers. It was not until 1916 that Max Factor reintroduced the word into the Americanvernacular with fresh connotations. In 1916, Factor introduced his line of societycosmetics, which he clubbed makeup rather than cosmetics. The new term resonated withconsumers, and other brands consequently also began to use the word makeup.
6
Seaton 1976.
7
Steinberg 1979, xvi.
8
Steinberg 1979, xv.
9
Burke 1969, 43.
10
Goldman 1992, 33.
11
Ohmann 1996.
12
Here I distinguish betweenmakeup (rouge and lipstick) and beauty enhancers like soap and powder, which were present in ads long before1910.
13
Panati 1987, 224.
15
Vinikas 1992, 57.
16
Basten et al. 1995,278.
17
Fabricant 1940,619.
18
Vinikas 1992, 56.
19
Vinikas 1992, 55.
20
Woloch 1984, 270.

-160-

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