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The Beauty TradeYouth, Gender, and Fashion Globalization$
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Angela B. McCracken

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199908066

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199908066.001.0001

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Introduction: The Beauty Trade

Introduction: The Beauty Trade

(p.1) Introduction: The Beauty Trade
The Beauty Trade

Angela B. V. McCracken

Oxford University Press

This chapter counters popular assumptions about the global beauty economy, arguing that it is neither frivolous nor culturally homogenizing. Rather, the global economy of beauty is a space where production, marketing, distribution, and consumption of beauty are intertwined with the production of gendered bodies, youth cultures, the blurring of distinction between public and private spheres, and beauty entrepreneurialism. The global beauty economy is as important to understanding gender politics as it is to understanding global political economy. The chapter then lays out the central questions of the book—how do beauty images, products, and ideals circulate? Who benefits from the beauty industry? How do adolescents experience and act on the globalizing beauty industry? Are youths’ norms of beauty and gender changing in ways that signify changes in gender, race, or national identity constructions? The chapter also defines key terms such as globalization, gender, and gender lenses.

Keywords:   globalization, gender, youth, beauty economy

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