Cultural And Social Influences On The Perception Of Beauty: A Case Analysis Of The Cosmetics Industry

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Kenneth A. Hunt
Jennifer Fate
Bill Dodds


Case, Cosmetics, Cosmetology, History of Cosmetics


This case investigates the history of cosmetics and the cosmetic industry.  The success (or failure) of a specific cosmetic is dependent upon the consumer’s perception that the cosmetic will make him/her more attractive.  The case illustrates that this perception of attractiveness is a function of culture, society, and the time-frame of the purchase.  Specifically, that which is considered attractive in one society may not be considered attractive in another.  In addition, that which is considered attractive today may not be considered attractive tomorrow.  After illustrating the historical and cultural influence on beauty and cosmetics, teaching notes are offered to illustrate the importance of these variables on the success of the cosmetic industry. 


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