chapter  10
Western Cosmetics in the Gendered Development of Consumer Culture in China
ByBarbara E. Hopkins
Pages 20

Changes in the public display of gender are clear to anyone visiting China’s major cities. Propaganda images of women ‘‘holding up half the sky’’ have given way to images of business women dressed for success, Western models, and ‘‘Westernized’’ Chinese women displaying standards of beauty that are generally unattainable for most Chinese women.1 Fashion magazines are everywhere – in kiosks and small convenience stores – and cosmetics advertising dominates the faces of department stores and pharmacies. These are visible manifestations of a fundamental shift in the Chinese gender regime from an ideal of androgyny, under which the communists de-emphasized gender differences, to a new ideal that emphasizes gender differences and associates beauty with femininity.2