Leading historians explore how our ideas of what is attractive are influenced by a broad range of social and economic factors. They force us to reckon with the ways that beauty has been made, bought and sold in modern America.

chapter |16 pages

On Beauty … and the History of Business

ByKathy Peiss

part 1|118 pages

Images and Reforms

chapter 1|28 pages

“Any Desired Length”

Negotiating Gender Through Sports Clothing, 1870–1925
BySarah A. Gordon

chapter 2|35 pages

Questionable Beauty

The Dangers and Delights of the Cigarette in American Society, 1880–1930
ByNancy Bowman

chapter 3|22 pages

Collars and Consumers

Changing Images of American Manliness and Business
ByCarole Turbin

chapter 4|32 pages

“Fighting the Corsetless Evil”

Shaping Corsets and Culture, 1900–1930
ByJill Fields

part 2|111 pages

Business and Work

chapter 5|27 pages

A Depression-Proof Business Strategy

The California Perfume Company's Motivational Literature
ByKatina L. Manko

chapter 6|26 pages

“I Had My Own Business … So I Didn't Have to Worry”

Beauty Salons, Beauty Culturists, and the Politics of African-American Female Entrepreneurship
ByTiffany Melissa Gill

chapter 7|22 pages

“At the Curve Exchange”

Postwar Beauty Culture and Working Women at Maidenform
ByVicki Howard

chapter 8|35 pages

Estée Lauder

Self-Definition and the Modern Cosmetics Market
ByNancy Koehn

part 3|75 pages

Constructing Commodities

chapter 9|24 pages

Black is Profitable

The Commodification of the Afro, 1960–1975
BySusannah Walker

chapter 10|31 pages

“Loveliest Daughter of our Ancient Cathay!”

Representations of Ethnic and Gender Identity in the Miss Chinatown U.S.A. Beauty Pageant
ByJudy Tzu-Chun Wu

chapter 11|19 pages

Hiding the Scars

History of Breast Prostheses After Mastectomy Since 1945
ByKirsten E. Gardner