Monday, November 9, 2009


One title caught my eye as I was looking through books that have just arrived in the library:

Marseille, Jacques. L'Oréal: 1909-2009. Paris: Perrin, 2009.


It is folio-sized,with a bright yellow dust jacket and a sketch of a woman's face dwarfed by a swirl of hair. I couldn't resist, and spent some time paging through the book, looking at the old advertisements and historical photos and skimming the text. No piece of fluff, this book is for anyone interested in gender issues and the representation of women, and on fashion, makeup, and hair trends in France over the past century. Particularly fascinating are the sections about the role the company played in hygiene education - getting people to wash their hair once or twice a week with DOP and using soap daily (with advertising focused on public transport, of course!). Also notable are the development of self-tanning lotion and sunscreen, hair dye for women, hairspray, and especially how the influence of L'Oreal on advertising.

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brought to you by...
Sarah Sussman, curator of French and Italian Collections