Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 2
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Gustafson, Melanie 2012. The Family and Business Life of Harriet Hubbard Ayer, Culminating in Fights over Her Person and Property. The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, Vol. 11, Issue. 03, p. 345.

    Pettit, Michael 2009. Testimonial Advertising in the American Marketplace.

  • The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, Volume 4, Issue 3
  • July 2005, pp. 255-292

“The Mad Search for Beauty”: Actresses' Testimonials, the Cosmetics Industry, and the “Democratization of Beauty”1

  • Marlis Schweitzer (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 November 2010

“Actresses as a rule know no more about making themselves beautiful than does the average woman; neither are they naturally more beautiful,” wrote actress Margaret Illington Banes in a 1912 article entitled “The Mad Search for Beauty.” “The truth of the matter is,” she continued, “that no actress—or any woman—can impart the secrets of beauty to another, any more than the rich man can impart the secrets of business success to some other man.” Disturbed by recent trends in the theatrical profession that required actresses to present themselves as “beauty specialists,” Banes sought to expose the constructed nature of their on- and offstage performances. Stage stars captivated audiences because they had numerous opportunities to appear onstage dressed in the height of style; “under the same circumstances,” she concluded, most women “would look quite as well.”

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Maria Elena Buszek , “Representing ‘Awarishness’: Burlesque, Feminist Transgression, and the Nineteenth-Century Pin-up,” The Drama Review 43 (winter 1999): 141–61

Katie N. Johnson , “Zaza: That ‘Obtruding Harlot’ of the Stage,” Theatre Journal 54 (2002): 223–43

Tracy C. Davis , “The Actress in Victorian Pornography,” Theatre Journal 41 (October 1989): 294315

Christine Stansell , “Women, Children, and the Uses of the Streets: Class and Gender Conflict in New York City, 1850-1860,” Feminist Studies 8 (summer 1982): 310–35

Elspeth H. Brown , “Rationalizing Consumption: Lejaren à Hiller, and the Origins of American Advertising Photography, 1913-1924,” Enterprise & Society 1 (December 2000): 715–38

Ellen Gruber Garvey , The Adman in the Parlor: Magazines and the Gendering of Consumer Culture, 1880s to 1910 (New York, 1996)

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
  • ISSN: 1537-7814
  • EISSN: 1943-3557
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-gilded-age-and-progressive-era
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *