Beauty Business

July 13, 1960

Report Outline
Phenomenal Growth of Beauty Business
Advances in the Art of Beautification
Competition in Marketing of Cosmetics

Phenomenal Growth of Beauty Business

First Miss America and Her 1960 Successor

Miss america of 1921, winner of the first annual beauty contest held at Atlantic City, N. J., was a dimple-faced little blonde whose curly mop of hair and demure features showed little evidence of the use of any artifice to enhance her natural prettiness. The Miss America to be chosen in September 1960 is likely to be a streamlined beauty with deftly arched eyebrows, tinted eyelids, enameled fingernails and lips of the currently fashionable pale hue. Her face will probably have been treated with numerous creams, lotions and make-up bases before application of the final layers of coloring, and it is hardly conceivable that she will face the judges without first having had her hair professionally “styled.” In thus preparing herself for the contest with beauties from other states, this year's Miss America will differ little from millions of other American women who similarly prepare themselves for their daily foray into the world.

It is within the past four decades that the cult of beauty has overtaken virtually the entire female population of the United States, and that the ancient trade in “secret” lotions, powders and dyes has ballooned into a multi-billion dollar beauty industry. Few females beyond the age of 15 now consider cosmetics anything other than an absolute necessity. A majority of women would sooner do without a meal than a regular visit to the beauty shop for a professional hairdo; many, in fact, reduce their food intake as an act of sacrifice for a smart figure.

Since earliest times, women—and men—have used creams, powders and paint to beautify themselves, and there have been eras when the effects attained were more artificial than those sought today. But never before has the practice of improving on nature's gifts been so universal and constant. Never before has there been so massive an industry to foster and cater to woman's innate desire for personal attractiveness.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Jul. 13, 1960  Beauty Business
Aug. 06, 1958  Business of Fashion
Consumer Behavior
Popular Culture
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