Blossom Beauty is all about empowerment. Our tag line ‘let your inner beauty grow’ perfectly encapsulates the purpose of our brand. That is, to the let the natural beauty of young women flourish and grow, as they grow. At Blossom we believe that makeup shouldn’t be about covering up imperfections or looking like someone different, it’s about learning how to enhance what you already have. “At Blossom, our mission is to provide young women with natural cosmetic and skin care products that will magnify their true beauty. We also aim to empower our Blossom beauties by providing them with guidance in using our products.”
PART I: RESEARCH BACKGROUND
In ‘Hope in a Jar: The Making of America’s Beauty Culture’ (1998), a study on the evolution of cosmetic use, Kathy Piess explains that leading up to World War I, the use of makeup was viewed as immoral and often linked to prostitution (p 134-167). However, the end of the war saw the movement of women into the workplace and the widening acceptance of cosmetic use, as Piess states ‘a democratic vision of beauty began to break down traditional representations of women’ (ibid.) This uprise challenged male perceptions of the time, as demonstrated by a quote from Alain Rustenholz’s ‘Make Up’ (2003), ‘For the working woman, beauty has become the leading guarantee of efficiency...In earlier days, only a husband or a lover had rights to a woman’s beauty. Today, she is beautiful for everyone...A woman’s beauty is an essential element of the daily performance that the century has put on for itself in the working world’ (p 70.) Piess goes on to clarify that the increasing use of cosmetics represented a sense of freedom and individuality felt by women. ‘Makeup was no longer just a sign of a vanity, but a true expression of femininity’ (p 134-167.) The social acceptance of cosmetic use meant that feminine beauty and consumption would become intertwined. Kelley Massoni points out in ‘Fashioning Teenagers: A Cultural History of Seventeen Magazine’ (2010) that women began to purchase beauty products as a means to self-fulfilment and social acceptance, and this subsequently influenced the mindset of adolescent women (p 18.) According to historian Lizbeth Cohen in ‘A Consumer’s Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America’ (2008), after World War II women were viewed as the ‘consumers’ of society and advertisers pursued this idea by targeting younger women as a way of influencing spending habits early on (p 105.) Throughout the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s, cosmetic manufacturers targeted the seemingly endless teenage market. In ‘Hope in a Jar’ (1998) Piess explains that brands like Covergirl, Maybelline, and Revlon all ‘created beauty images that meshed closely with the ways high school students themselves classified girls into cliques and codified their evolving sense of personality’. By the mid 60’s, teenage girls, who comprised 11% of the population had bought nearly one-quarter of all cosmetics and beauty preparations (p 134-167.) While the teen girl market was burgeoning, Piess adds that during this time, children were largely off-limits. Eye shadow and rouge were considered improper for young girls and advertising was targeted towards parents rather than children. By the 1980’s and 90’s, however in America and Europe, cosmetics were designed for and marketed to ‘tweens’ (girls between childhood and teen years) and then to children as young as three. The practice of encouraging young children to learn how to apply makeup has not developed without controversy. Cosmetic ingredients were largely unregulated in the US until the 2000’s, leading some critics to question the safety of cosmetic products, while others believe that such products force children to grow up too fast, or undermine their self-esteem. However, with a movement into natural cosmetic and skincare products in the last...