The alteration of the physical body in the name of beauty also has a long tradition-a tradition which has fluctuated in accordance with changing configurations of power. Although beauty practices are at present primarily the domain of women, this has not always been the case. Historically, both sexes went to great lengths to beautify and dec orate their bodies. The French historian Perrot (1984) provides an arresting account of shifting practices in the alteration of the body in Western Europe. For example, in the eighteenth century the cultiva tion of appearance was limited to the aristocracy. There was little difference between the wealthy Parisian lady and her male counterpart. Both sported heavily powdered faces, brightly painted lips, false hair and enormous whigs, and high heels. The French revolution abolished this accentuation of class difference through appearance. In the late eighteenth century, sexual difference became the central organizer of social asymmetries of power (Laqueur 1990). This was reflected in changes in appearance. Men began to dress soberly, paying little atten tion to their physical appearance, while women were increasingly concerned with altering and beautifying their bodies. The corset became the symbol of the nineteenth century-literally imprisoning women in their bodies (Kunzle 1982). Assembly line production of clothing and the department store made fashion available to the masses, the beauty salon was born, and the invention of the camera made it possible for images o f beauty to proliferate on a mass scale-from womens magazines to the movie industry (Lakoff and Schorr 1984; Wilson 1985; Bowlby 1987).