Sunday, 9 January 2011

The Power to Improve Beauty

Johnson's Dictionary links the cosmetic with beauty, defining the term as "having the power of improving beauty; beautifying".  The word is also linked etymologically to "cosmos," Greek for "order, ornament, world or universe", ideas embedded within the term "cosmetic".   Paradoxically, however, cosmetic adornment in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was often perceived to threaten social order. Texts debating the values of cosmetics often figure face painting as degrading women, even though this position frequently obscures a more profound concern that such art actually empowers women.
Tita Chico, Designing Women: The Dressing Room in Eighteenth Century English Literature and Culture, Associated University Presses, 2005 page 109

Photographer: Bernard Tartinville


  1. i follow your blog often. It's nice and interesting.
    here is my blogspot. Check it out if you have some time. I'd like to broadcast it a little.
    about, fashion design, textile, illustrations.

  2. Hello there. No problem. I am on it. :)