Ms Jen-Yi Chen
Telephone: +44(0)29 208 75688
Location: Room 1.24, Bute Building
The Technologization of Femininity: The Perfection of ‘Natural Beauty’ through Science
This research is interested in how the cosmetics industry has exploited women’s youthful appearance through the development of the skincare products to its own advantage.
Science is often used to secure the legitimacy of advertising claims that a product will deliver on its promises. In the skincare industry, the science of skin physiology – the development of products to address particular problems such as wrinkles, sagging, dryness, spots, and so forth – has been used to construct ideal forms of femininity as being achievable through the consumption of skin creams that combine the rigors of scientific research with the use of natural ingredients.
The main focus of this research looks at the historical relationship between Science and Nature in order to make sense of what I refer to as the ‘technologization’ of femininity. Technologization refers to the ways in which the connection of Science and Nature now widely used by skincare companies in advertising their products constructs particular, ideal forms of femininity as achievable and controllable. This study will examine how readers of women’s magazines make sense of these technologized forms of femininity on offer through focus group and in-depth interviews. I will also undertake a content analysis of a wide range of UK women’s and girl’s magazines in order to analyse the ways in which Science and Nature are utilized to represent and regulate certain feminine ideals.
Supervisor: Dr Cynthia Carter
Femininity and consumption; advertising and cosmetics; science and nature.