Makeup, Your Mind: Social Expectations and Perceptions of Makeup Use

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dc.contributor.advisor Cadge, Wendy en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Shostak, Sara en_US Buegeler, Caitlin 2015-05-14T19:55:27Z 2015-05-14T19:55:27Z 2015 en_US
dc.description.abstract Unlike other parts of the world, in the United States makeup goes unregulated for certain chemicals and other harmful ingredients. I explore whether the possible health risks associated with makeup use are factors that women consider in determining whether or not to wear makeup. This research asks why women wear makeup and how that reasoning changes throughout the life course. I interview a total of twenty Brandeis University undergraduate females over eighteen years of age, half of whom wear makeup regularly and half of whom do not wear makeup regularly. My findings suggest that in childhood and adolescence, makeup use is a type of performance in which young girls mimic the behavior of maternal figures and female peers. Throughout college, however, makeup use becomes routinized and is reinforced by cultural expectations which are maintained by the accessibility of information on the internet that markets cosmetic products. Although non-makeup wearers argue that in their current lifestyle as university students, makeup is unnecessary for everyday use, all interview subjects claim that upon entering the professional world, expectations surrounding appearance through makeup use are more stringent. I argue that although makeup use initially enables young girls to express their maturity, social structures prevent women from discontinuing makeup use once they begin. Because makeup is unregulated in the U.S., this poses a unique threat to women’s health. By infiltrating social media outlets and raising awareness about the safety of cosmetics, women will be educated and empowered to call for stricter regulation of cosmetics to protect all women’s health. en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en_US
dc.language English en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Brandeis University en_US
dc.rights Copyright by Caitlin Buegeler 2015 en_US
dc.title Makeup, Your Mind: Social Expectations and Perceptions of Makeup Use en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.department Department of Sociology en_US
dc.contributor.department Undergraduate Program in Health: Science, Society and Policy en_US BA en_US Bachelors en_US Sociology en_US Health: Science, Society and Policy en_US Brandeis University, College of Arts and Sciences en_US

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