Introduction When a woman stays young and beautiful forever, the world is hers. —Queen Ravenna, Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) Once upon a time over two hundred years ago, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, a pair of nineteenth- century university-trained philologists and librarians, published their compendium of European folktales called Children’s and Household Tales (1812), more commonly known as Grimm’s Fairy Tales in the English-speaking world. Over the next four decades, the German brothers went on to publish six more editions, tinkering with their tales from one edition to the next until the seventh and final edition in 1857, the one best known to us today. Modern audiences are mostly familiar with “Disneyfied” versions of the Grimm brothers’ timeless tales. These singsong, child-friendly confections with happily-ever-after endings sugarcoat the grittier narratives of the original stories. Initially intended for an adult audience, the first collection of folktales was hardly suitable for children’s ears. Benign titles belied a tableau of perversion, torture, betrayal, jealousy, humiliation, and rejection set against fantastical milieus. Feminine beauty is a common theme that runs throughout a number of Grimm stories, often conflated with spectacular wickedness or unflawed purity. More specifically, characters who are beautiful and virtuous are frequently targeted by characters who are beautiful and diabolical. Consider the tale of “Little Snow White.” In the modern retelling of this Grimm classic, Snow White’s innate purity and beauty provokes her stepmother, the Evil Queen. Malignant and narcissistically invested in her physical appearance, the Evil Queen is obsessively preoccupied with nonpareil beauty. She seeks validation from her magic mirror by repeatedly asking it, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who in this land is fairest of all?” The mirror always replies, “You, my queen, are the fairest of all.” Snow White’s beauty blossoms with each passing day until one day the magic mirror breaks it to the Evil Queen that she’s no longer the fairest in the land, declaring that little Snow White is fairer than she. Consumed with envy, the Evil Queen flies into a murderous rage. She’s determined to rid the land of Snow White and hatches a plan to snuff her out. The plan backfires and ultimately leads to the Evil Queen’s undoing. The unctuous male mirror in Snow White’s story is an echo chamber. The reverberated message is a simple one: Women are judged and valued on their physical appearance and allure. In her book The Annotated Brothers Grimm (2004), Maria Tatar, John L. Loeb Research Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures and of Folklore and Mythology at Harvard University, notes that the male mirror may be viewed as “a judgmental voice, representing the absent father or patriarchy in general, which places a premium on beauty.” Tatar also suggests that the voice could be the inner monologue that induces habitual monitoring of physical appearance against cultural standards of beauty (“an echo of the queen’s own self-assessment, one that is, to be sure, informed by cultural norms about physical appearances”). Whether in fairy tales or in real life, the importance of physical appearance and the fulfillment of expected gender roles are inculcated into women from an early age. This is especially true for my generation of women, who came of age during the 1960s. In those days, women were straitjacketed by socially endorsed views of gender and femininity that were promoted and reinforced by the mainstream media. Take teen-zines, such as Seventeen, Mademoiselle, Teen, and YM (Young Miss). During the 1960s, these popular publications helped crystallize the identity formation of teenage girls. Editorial content chiefly focused on the trappings of traditional femininity, such as beauty, fashion, cooking, and decorating. When I was a teenager, Seventeen was my favorite magazine. Each month, I’d make the pilgrimage to a grocery store to buy the latest edition. I grew up in an immigrant household that hadn’t integrated fully into American society. My family clung to strict traditions and customs from the old country (such as an adherence to traditional gender roles of male dominance and female submissiveness), disapproved of permissive Western values, and derided American pop culture. They viewed teen magazines as a form of cultural propaganda. So I’d hide my copy of Seventeen in a yellow Pee-Chee folder and read it during alone time. Seventeen was a training manual that schooled me in becoming an American teenager. I was in high school during the mid-1960s. The style icon of the moment was the British teen supermodel Twiggy. With her sideswept pixie cut and willowy figure, young girls everywhere tried to copy her mod look and achieve her reed-thin physique. Twiggy reportedly lived off water, lettuce, and a single daily portion of steak. To emulate Twiggy’s gamine figure meant ditching junk food, controlling food cravings, and turning off the hunger switch. The coltish thin ideal spilled over into the 1970s, when dieting was pursued with religious fervor. Many women sipped their way to skinniness by subsisting on diet drinks and sodas or tried one fad diet after the next. Others turned to quick-fix weight-loss drugs, such as amphetamine-laced “rainbow diet pills.” These brightly colored pills were as effective as they were addictive and even deadly. Prior to the 1970s, few people talked about eating disorders until the shocking death of 1970s singing sensation Karen Carpenter due to complications related to her years-long struggle with anorexia. Yet a heightened awareness of the dangers of eating disorders did little to change women’s skinny obsession. What’s more, women and girls were barraged with thin-ideal media images that portrayed thinness as a dominant view of beauty and equated slimness with success and happiness. There was no counternarrative then. As an undergraduate student, I cultivated an interest in feminist literature. I was particularly moved by the works of trailblazing feminist authors and writers like Betty Friedan (The Feminine Mystique, 1963), Germaine Greer (The Female Eunuch, 1970), and Gloria Steinem (cofounder of Ms. magazine, 1972)—feminist voices that challenged scripted roles that women had inhabited largely because of prevailing cultural norms and female biology. These courageous feminists and others like them refused to cave in to age-old tactics of silencing women. They were loud, proud, and unbowed. Some years later, I left the advertising and promotion industry to enter the education field. There, I became fascinated with—and dedicated to—exploring female role portrayals in advertising. This book is the culmination of a three-decades-long examination of gender representation in advertising. Made Up: How the Beauty Industry Manipulates Consumers, Preys on Women’s Insecurities, and Promotes Unattainable Beauty Standards takes a hard look at the multibillion- dollar beauty industry, which promotes unrealistic beauty standards, perpetuates gender stereotypes, and uses sexual objectification to sell products. The book is divided into four parts. Part I explores the global beauty industry, traces the cultural history of cosmetics, examines the regulatory climate of the cosmetics industry, and profiles the beauty consumer. Part II investigates the pervasiveness and persistence of the feminine beauty ideal, explores the globalization of Western standards of beauty, analyzes the myth-making power of beauty advertising, and decodes archetypal and stereotypical portrayals of women in beauty ads. Part III investigates the decorative and sexual depictions of women in beauty advertising and analyzes the power of celebrity beauty endorsements. Part IV looks at the interplay between images of physical perfection in advertising messages and the surge in body modification and enhancement. In societies that worship youth and beauty, the appearance of aging is often met with escalating disdain. In her 2012 New Yorker article “Snow White: Beauty Is Power,” which critiqued the film Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), Tatar wrote, “The queen’s quest for lasting youth is part of the story’s larger exploration (in the tradition of many great myths) of how humans relate to the natural world—whether we are of it or have mastered and moved beyond it. Efforts to remain forever young violate the natural order of generational succession and imperil life itself.” The pathological pursuit of youth and beauty can swiftly spin out of control and lead us down a crooked path to self-destruction. Martha Laham Oakland, California December 2019 Excerpt from the book Made Up: How the Beauty Industry Manipulates Consumers, Preys on Women's Insecurities, and Promotes Unattainable Beauty Standards by Martha Laham. Used by permission of the publisher Rowman & Littlefield. All rights reserved.