The American Beauty Industry Encyclopedia

Front Cover
ABC-CLIO, 2010 - Business & Economics - 338 pages
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The business of beauty is ubiquitous in American society. This multibillion-dollar industry stands at the intersection of culture, society, and commerce, reaching into our pocketbooks and our headlines. It affords women---and men, too---the opportunity to assert notions of desirability, race, gender, and sexuality, often as dictated by the industry itself.

The American Beauty Industry Encyclopedia is the first compilation to focus exclusively on this pervasive business, covering both its diverse origins and global reach. More than 100 entries were chosen specifically to illuminate the most iconic aspects of the industry's past and present, exploring the meaning of beauty practices and products, often while making analytical use of categories such as gender, race, sexuality, and stages of the lifecycle.

Focusing primarily on the late 19th-and 20th-century American beauty industry---an era of unprecedented expansion---the encyclopedia covers ancient practices and the latest trends and provides a historical examination of institutions, entrepreneurs, styles, and technological innovations. It covers, for example, the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, as well as how Asian women today are having muscle fiber removed from their calves to create a more "Western" look. Entries also explore how the industry reflects social movements and concerns that are inextricably bound to religion, feminism, the health and safety of consumers and workers, the treatment of animals, and environmental sustainability.

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The Encyclopedia
Percentage of US Beauty Industry Employees by Occupation Sex Race and Ethnicity 2007
Number of SalonType Establishments in the United States with Payroll Employees
Selected Bibliography
About the Editor and Contributors

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2010)

Julie Willett is associate professor of history at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX. She has published on the history of women's work and community in the nail and hairdressing industries, including Permanent Waves: The Making of the American Beauty Shop.

Bibliographic information