How do we understand glamour? Has it empowered women or turned them into objects? Once associated with modernity and the cutting edge, is it entirely bound up with nostalgia and tradition?
This unique and fascinating book tells the story of glamour. It explores the changing meanings of the word, its relationship to femininity and fashion, and its place in twentieth century social history. Using a rich variety of sources - from women's magazines and film to social surveys and life histories - Carol Dyhouse examines with wit and insight the history and meaning of costume, cosmetics, perfume and fur.
Dyhouse disentangles some of the arguments surrounding femininity, appearance and power, directly addressing feminist concerns. The book explores historical contexts in which glamour served as an expression of desire in women and an assertion of entitlement to the pleasures of affluence, finally arguing that glamour can't simply be dismissed as oppressive, or as male fantasy, but can carry celebratory meanings for women.
Carol Dyhouse is a Research Professor in History at the University of Sussex. She is the author of Girl Trouble: Panic and Progress in the History of Young Women (Zed Books, 2014).
Introduction 1. The Origins of Glamour: Demi-Monde, Modernity, 'It' 2. Hollywood Glamour 3. Dreams, Desires and Spending 4. Princesses, Tarts and Cheesecake 5. Revolutions 6. Glamazons, Grunge and Bling 7. Perspectives and Reflections: Glamour for All? Notes Bibliography Acknowledgements, Picture Credits Index