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Arnold Weber

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Published on: 17 Feb 2017 by arnoldweber112

Why is America the land of makeup?

 

It’s no secret that America has its own cosmetic culture. While
the makeup industry has always had a certain level of success there was a time
a long time ago when makeup was not part of society’s ideals. Makeup was seen
as a form of promiscuous war paint at certain points in history and in certain
American regions. The most ‘desired’ women seemed to be those that maintained
their youth and chastity while it was the rebellious girls that work makeup
like their favourite movie stars. It seemed that only 1 in 5 women wore makeup
during the early 20th century. But, 50 years later, the opposite
existed. So, what caused this boom in the industry? Well, there were a couple
of things that contributed to this sudden obsession with makeup.

Economic growth and
the rise of consumerism

During the early 20th century, America’s economy
took a steep upward term. American manufacturing and agriculture had been
revolutionised by electricity and production was at an all-time high. But,
people weren’t necessarily buying what was being produced. People weren’t used
to having such an abundant market and didn’t see the need to buy any more than
was necessary. Rather than produce less, it was decided that the solution was
to have people buy more. It was thought that if people bought more, the overall
happiness of the population would increase and there would become a fair
balance of work and leisure. The cosmetic industry wasn’t excluded from this.
They advertised relentlessly and while makeup had been somewhat gender neutral
in the century before, advertisers found women to be the easier target. So,
makeup became a ‘feminine’ product and to wear makeup came to mean that you
were representing your gender.

World War
2

During the Second World War it was the men that went off to
fight while the women stayed behind and took the place of men in the factories
and on the farms. This change from being women at home to suddenly being women
at work was something that the makeup industry capitalised on. Many women felt
as though the manual labour they were doing made them unfeminine and that they
were somehow losing their sense of identity. So, the makeup industry stepped in
and told them that women had a right to be feminine and to be feminine meant that
you were surviving the war. So, they offered them a means of preserving that
femininity – by using makeup. Makeup became a sort of crutch and a means of
retaining normalcy during a horrific period in history. If women thought about
makeup and looking pretty they wouldn’t have to think about their brothers,
friends and husbands who were fighting overseas as well as the constant threat
of the fight being brought to them.

Of course, these days makeup isn’t taken quite so seriously
and most of the brainwashing has been left in the past. There is a lot more
freedom and diversity when it comes to makeup in America these days. Makeup is
no longer designed with the intention of making women uniform. The diversity of
companies and products means that woman and men can now paint their face true
to themselves. There are so many incredible American cosmetic companies looking
to bring out the diversity of beauty and if you want to sample their products
as well all you need to do is apply for your ESTA at https://www.esta-visa.org.uk/ and hop on a plane.

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Make-up

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