The Making Of America 's Beauty Culture By Kathy Peiss Essay

1365 Words Feb 13th, 2016 6 Pages
In “The Making of America’s Beauty Culture” by Kathy Peiss, and in the anthology of pieces commenting on the modern youth of the 1920s, the authors examine of the substantial cultural shifts taking place in the early twentieth century, hallmarked by the shift from Victorianism to Modernity. The 1920s sparked the mass influence of cosmetics and self-conceptions, and the radical change in sexual ideologies and morals, a revolutionary take on the meaning of freedom. In Peiss’s piece, she address the progressive acceptance of cosmetics, and their psychological, economic, sociological effects over time. The irreparable damage done by the beauty industry to women’s self-esteems through the ages is chronicled in her work, and she does recognize the positive effects of the industry as well mentioning the role of cosmetics in fulfilling fantasies. The anthology of works both criticize and applaud the modern yearning for freedom through the denial of antecedent schools of thought through “radical” sexual behaviors and decorum. Clearly, both these pieces elucidate the importance of the shifting burden of individuality, either in women concerning makeup and self-expression, or in modern youth desperately seeking to self-identify by a different set of rules.
The rapid, social changes in the 1920s reshaped the sexual experience for many young men and women, and redefined the term “respectability” to mean individuality. In Fitzgerald’s definition of the flapper, he defines these women in…

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