How to Be Beautiful like Mrs. Consumer: American Beauty and Italian Women

  • Jessica L. HarrisEmail author
Part of the Italian and Italian American Studies book series (IIAS)


This chapter investigates one of the most noticeable changes to Italian women’s physical appearance in the postwar period: the increased use of beauty and hygiene products. The flood of American and American influenced beauty and hygiene products into postwar Italy resulted in the rise to prominence of the American beauty ideal in the peninsula. In analyzing the images and words of beauty and hygiene product advertisements from the women’s magazine Annabella, Harris articulates the components of this ideal and illustrates how it broke with traditional ideas of Italian beauty. Moreover, the chapter reveals how this new ideal promoted democratic consumer capitalist values—freedom of choice, individualism, and affluence—that stood in stark contrast to Communist values and their perceived threat to the West.



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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.St. John’s UniversityQueensUSA

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