Article | Economic History Review | February 2008

Blonde and Blue-eyed?: Globalizing Beauty, c.1945–c.1980

by Geoffrey Jones


This article examines the globalization of the beauty industry between 1945 and 1980. The 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 blond and blue-eyed female beauty ideal as the world standard, although it had significantly narrowed the range of variation in beauty and hygiene ideals.

Keywords: Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Globalized Markets and Industries; Globalism History; Markets and Industry History; Product Marketing; Standards; Beauty and Cosmetics Industry;


Jones, Geoffrey. "Blonde and Blue-eyed? Globalizing Beauty, c.1945–c.1980." Economic History Review 61, no. 1 (February 2008).