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Table of Contents: Beauty In Modern Culture

NewElizabeth Arden, Inc. Announces Exclusive Beauty Licensing Agreement With Britney Spears Elizabeth Arden Inc. announced today that it has signed an exclusive global licensing agreement with Britney Spears, the internationally acclaimed music star, to develop and market her own line of fragrance, skincare, and color cosmetics products.

NewBeauty tames the toxic beast Wendy Therberge: "The beauty industry is an ugly business to work in. Hairstylists and estheticians are exposed to high levels of irritants, toxins and chemicals on a daily basis over the course of their careers. Working with hair dyes, bleaches, peroxides, wax solvents, permanent wave solutions and even shampoo takes its toll." This interesting article discusses how detrimental to the health of estheticians their work actually is and how one salon owner fought back using non-toxic products to the great delight of her staff and customers.

Beauty Therapy: Health Profession or Cultural Practice? Eloie James: As the obsession with beauty becomes a global phenomenon, beauty therapy is becoming a profession in increasing demand. What is beauty therapy? It seems to have elements both of a health profession and a cultural practice.

Rebel Poets, Hula Hoops and Elvis Margaret Manning: In 1954 a poor white boy from Tupelo gyrated onto the stage of American culture. With greased back hair and swivelling hips, Elvis Presley, the High Priest of Rock and Roll, was instrumental in the 1950s and 1960s rebellion against conservative Eisenhower era notions of beauty and attractiveness.

The Transformation of Beauty: Hair Styles in a Global Culture Michael Sones: Globalisation is leading to global beauty standards. Not much can be done about natural skin color but hair can be curled, kinked, straightened, dyed, and extended. A new beauty, no longer dominated by Western cultures, is emerging.

Body Beautiful/Body Perfect: Challenging the Status Quo: Where Do Women with Disabilities Fit In? Disability Cool: An interesting and thoughtful article about being a disabled woman within the beauty culture and how having a disability can impact on a woman's self-image and self-esteem.

The Skin We're In Tim Adams: An interesting article about the complexities of our relationship to our bodies in the age of the Human Genome Project. From The Observer

The Call of Beauty, Coming In Loud & Clear! Joel Garreau An interesting article about the resurgence of interest in beauty in culture after modernism. From The Washington Post.

Modifying the Body: Tattoos and Piercings Kasey West: Body modification in the form of tattooing and piercing is traditionally viewed with reserve in contemporary Western societies. Those with tattoos or piercings are seen as rebellious and defiant of social conventions. However, body adornment in other non-Western cultures plays an expressive role in the articulation of cultural and religious values.

Nappy Hair: A Marker of Identity and Difference Kasey West: Hair shapes both individual and cultural identities but if you are an Afro-American it also takes on a meaning within the historical context of slavery and the subsequent racism of American society.

Beauty and the 'Cult of Celebrity' Kasey West: There have always been celebrities but in the 20th and 21st centuries this has become something of a cult. Some interesting ideas here about why we are fascinated by celebrities, their beauty, and the products they use.

Beauty and Imitation: The Theory of Rene Girard Kasey West: Rene Girard's theory of mimetic desire offers some useful insights into the psychological power of beauty in culture.

Fashion Beauty Worlds: Fashion is a design art using cultural materials to transform the appearance of the natural body. It communicates things like social status and sex as well as enhancing attractiveness. Bodily decoration such as piercing, tattooing, scarification, teeth-filing, and footbinding are ways of fashioning the natural body-making it other than just natural and communicating information about that person.

Hairstyles Beauty Worlds: Well-groomed hair is beautiful and sexy. It can signify youth, health, and vitality. Many women don't feel right unless they feel that their hair looks good. If their hair looks good they feel great.

History of the Beehive Kathie Rothkop: Great towering structures kept in place by tons of hairspray that, in the urban myths of the time, became a home to all manner of strange creatures

History of the Blonde Kathie Rothkop: Jean Harlow, Marilyn Monroe, icon figures of cinema and our culture

Hair in the 1960s Beauty Worlds: This was the decade that transformed everything. And it began with four mop headed lads from Liverpool.

Hair in the 1970s Beauty Worlds: The decade began with the 'Greening of America' and ended with 'The Culture of Narcissism'. Something got lost along the way.

About Beauty Beauty Worlds: Images of beauty are everywhere. In the developed world the preoccupation with the body and with Beauty is intensifying and the Beauty Industry, despite nearly thirty years of feminism, is a multi-billion dollar a year business.

Marilyn Monroe, Beauty Worlds: one of the most famous women of the twentieth century, was born Norma Jean Mortenson in June, 1926. She was Marilyn. Her story, her legend, has touched the hearts of the generations.

John Galliano Beauty Worlds: As true fashion does, ever pushing the boundaries, Galliano's at times outrageous creative genius both reflects and transforms the spirit of the age.

Body Image, Bodybuilding and Cultural Ideals of Muscularity Ken Thompson: Changing cultural ideals of muscularity are impacting upon men's body image. From Think Muscle LLC

Jumping Through Hoops Stephanie Lynch: Well written overview of body image issues in modern America with annotated bibliography. From Stephanie Lynch.

Sexual Attractiveness and Physical Disabilities Ken Tittle: About beauty, attraction and disability. From Mariposa Ministry.

Fat Like Me Pauline Graham Binder.:"You still so fat, een?" That's the way I'm greeted by an elderly woman I've known since childhood. From

Rethinking Barbie Deb-Moore Henecke : Every young girl in America longs to own Barbie or play with her hair. From Images: A Journal of Film and Popular Culture

Bob Sylva: Her beauty secret? A satisfying career Mary dispenses a cosmetic palette, holds up a magical mirror, which reflects a lovelier acquaintance. From The Sacramento Bee

Are Beautiful Women More Difficult to Approach? Doc Love: Interesting article describing the anxieties of ordinary men in regard to approaching the exceptionally beautiful woman. From

How To Be a Better Man Elizabeth Blandford: Commentary on an article on plastic surgery for men in the November 2000 issue of Esquire. From Elizabeth Blandford

The Unfair Female Beauty Burden American women face unrealistic pressure Terry Duschinski: Better to be an ugly guy than an ugly girl in this culture. From Florida Fitness

How Seventeen Undermines Young Women Kimberly Phillips: Seventeen reinforces the cultural expectations that an adolescent woman should be more concerned with her appearance, other people and winning approval than with her own ideas or her expectations for herself.  From Fair

Satanic Beauty Crispin Sartwell: Beauty dissociated from nature in the age of the machine and technology. From The C.G. Jung Page


Betty GrableHistory of the Beauty Pageant Beauty Worlds: Paris of Troy had to choose which of three beauties was the most comely and the Trojan War was started. The controversy over beauty pageants continues to this day. Do beauty pageants exploit women or do they provide a useful function enabling women to develop useful career and personality enhancing skills?

Beauty Pageant News Regularly updated news headlines on this controversial topic.

Judging Aesthetic Value Read about the problems of the courts in judging aesthetic value when considering whether or not a parody of Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman" by 2 Live Crew infringed his copyright. recommends the following books from


forum has brand new forum and chat facilities. Find out what others around the globe think about beauty in cultures past and present here.


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Awakening BeautyAnthony Napoleon, the author of Awakening Beauty: An Illustrated Look at Mankind's Love and Hatred of Beauty, is a psychologist who has spent many years studying beauty and its impact upon both individuals and society. He has worked with both cosmetic surgery patients and beauty pageant contestants as well as conducting original research into the field. Awakening Beauty is an unprecedented exposé on the subject of beauty. It is both entertaining and thought provoking, a combination that is as unique as it is telling about the author's approach to the subject of this book. The reader is taken backstage into the worlds of beauty pageants, plastic surgery, trophy wives, murderous rage, wardrobe, makeup, Bill Clinton, the events of September Eleven and other provocative topics where beauty has had its effect. Awakening Beauty invites the reader into a world that is as interesting as it is frightening. Readers are transformed as the author shepherds them from their world into his unique perspective and expertise on beauty. Awakening Beauty includes over one hundred tantalizing photographs and illustrations. Awakening Beauty is a compendium of some of the most interesting facts in print. The subject matter of the book along with the author's unique approach to it makes this book a "must read." Get ready to re-think everything you thought you knew about beautiful women and physical attractiveness.

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