The Beauty Trade: Youth, Gender, and Fashion Globalization

ISBN : 9780199908066

Angela B. McCracken
224 ページ
162 x 242 mm

The Beauty Trade takes seriously the frequently maligned and trivialized beauty economy, just as it has become one of the most important worldwide industries. Through the lens of beauty products, practices, and ideas of youth in Guadalajara, Mexico, the book analyzes whether and how beauty norms are changing in relation to the globalizing beauty economy. It looks at who benefits and who loses from beauty globalization and what this means for gender norms among youth. Weaving together fascinating ethnographic research on beauty practices, global political economy, and feminist analysis, the book presents a feminist analysis of the global economy of beauty. Rather than a sign of frivolity, the beauty economy is intimately connected to youth's social and economic development. Cosmetic makeovers have become a modern rite of passage for girls, enabling social connections and differentiations, as well as entrepreneurial activities. The global beauty economy is a phenomenon generated by young people, mostly women, laboring in, teaching, and consuming beauty. Globalization in the beauty economy is a phenomenon propelled by youth, eager for belonging and originality, using every mechanism at their disposal to look good. Contrary to popular wisdom, globalization in the beauty economy is not homogenizing beauty standards to a Western ideal; it is diversifying beauty standards. The Beauty Trade explains how globalization, combined with youth's desires for uniqueness, is enabling the spread of a diversity of beauty cultures, including alternative visions of gender appropriate looks and behavior.


List of Tables
List of Figures
Introduction: Beauty as a Trade: Toward a Feminist Global Political Economy of Beauty
Chapter 1: Seeing the Global Political Economy of Beauty through Gender Lenses
Chapter 2: Here Comes the Quinceanera: Isn't She Beautiful
Chapter 3: Princess Dresses, Sexy Dances, and Eyeshadow: The Construction of a Global Political Economy of Beauty through a Makeover
Chapter 4: Reproducing Beauty, Reproducing Gender in the Quince Anos
Chapter 5: Beauty Has a Price: The Global Productive Economy of Beauty
Chapter 6: Being Different: Contesting Gendered Norms Through the Global Virtual Economy
Appendix A Methods
Appendix B Youth Interview Questions
Appendix B Adult Interview Questions


Angela B. McCracken is the Director of the the University of Southern California's Regional Office for Global Initiatives in Mexico.