2016/05/10

HISTORY OF THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY | GUEST POST BY SARAH


History of Beauty

Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it” Confucius.
“In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent 
in weird ways, and they're still beautiful.” Author Alice Walker.

So I thought for this guest post I would talk a bit about the history and importance of 
the beauty industry seeing as how we love it so much and spend up to 100K there 
throughout our lives!

So in case you didn't realise, the Ancient Egyptians were obsessed with cleanliness 
and beauty and the Romans liked to bathe and we have them to thank for the spas of 
today! Paleness was indicative of wealth and the first foundation was developed 
by applying whitening powder to the face to be as pale as possible. 
Quite the opposite to today!


Beauty Timeline:

1900 – Annie Turnbo sold hair lotions
1909 – Elizabeth Arden coined the term “makeover”
1913 – Maybelline invented mascaras
1920 – A more effective eyebrow pencil formula lent itself to creating thin eyebrows 
of Hollywood's heyday.
1930 – Coco Chanel accidentally got burnt and tanning oils were developed.
1939 – Hitler tried to ban cosmetics but German women returned simply refused to 
work. Cheaper packaging after the war saw the beauty industry's value to rise by 53%.
1950s – Colour film, men home from the war women became housewives and started 
to pamper themselves to look glamorous.
1970s – Women gave up make up as the second wave of feminism hit believing that 
make-up objectified women they threw out their cosmetics in favour of the natural look.
1990s – Cosmetic companies began to get adventurous. More competition led to new 
and innovative ideas. 90S saw innovative products promising to help women fight 
wrinkles and ageing.
2002 – Botox/lip implants/skin peels became popular.
2011 – Skincare became the fastest growing beauty industry since 2001!
2012 – Beauty industry alone is worth £15bn and is set to increase 8.5% by 2014!!


Back in the day, lethal substances such as lead, mercury and arsenic were used in 
beauty products. The Victorians used oat, honey, and egg to make face-masks, 
used castor oil on their eyelashes to help them grow and used rice powder on their 
nose to prevent shine! Perhaps we could learn a thing or two from them??

Religions denounced excessive grooming as narcissistic, immoral and irrelevant in the 
grander scheme of things. Common sense tell us that beauty IS important and we utilise 
appearance for our own social standing. It helps to increase the likelihood of attracting 
a suitable partner, helps us to earn more money (there have been studies which have 
proven that the better groomed you are the more you get paid!) and it makes us 
appear more competent.

Bizarre beauty trends:

Rubbing semen, urine, blood, bird droppings and snail 
slime on your skin
Piercing genitals
Tattooing faces
Removing Ribs
Castration
Beer Baths

Snake massages


(picture credit: sarah from writing, rambling)

1 comment:

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