The Economic History Review

Blonde and blue‐eyed? Globalizing beauty, c.1945–c.19801

Volume 61 Issue 1
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Pages: 125-154Authors: GEOFFREY JONES
Published online: July 4, 2007DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0289.2007.00388.x

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This article examines the globalization of the beauty industry between 1945 and 1980. This industry grew quickly. Firms employed marketing and marketing strategies to diffuse products and brands internationally, despite business, economic, and cultural obstacles to globalization. The process was difficult and complex. The globalization of toiletries proceeded faster than cosmetics, skin care, and hair care. By 1980, strong differences remained among consumer markets. Although American influence was strong, it was already evident that globalization had not resulted in the creation of a stereotyped American blonde and blue-eyed female beauty ideal as the world standard, although it had significantly narrowed the range of variation in beauty and hygiene ideals.