Globalizing Ideal Beauty by Denise H. Sutton: Upcoming New Book

A potentially interesting book is appearing on the horizon. Author Denise H. Sutton is preparing to release a new title called Globalizing Ideal Beauty. It focuses on the impact that beauty copy-writing has had on the dissemination of archetypes of beauty and especially through the work done at the J. Walter Thompson Advertising Agency. The latter founded in 1864 claims to be the oldest advertising agency in the world. It was renamed JWT in 2005.

The argument ties also in with one on gender as the sub-title indicates that what will be considered in this research is the specific action of "female copy writers". This is not surprising considering the fact that Sutton has a PhD in Women's Studies.

Globalizing Ideal Beauty is the forgotten story of a group of women copywriters whose successful ad campaigns went international in the 1920s and spread an American notion of feminine appeal from Bangor to Bangkok. Sutton's approach has all the complexity of the real world and is grounded in a huge body of original archival research that has so far remained largely untapped...

Positive reviews (from the Palgrave-MacMillan site):

"An empirically rich and beautifully written study of the complex and often contradictory roles that women and gender played in the history of American advertising.  This should be essential reading for all those interested in understanding in what ways gender, class and race matter to the projection of American commercial culture at home and abroad."--Mona Domosh, Dartmouth College

"This absorbing book contributes to a growing body of sophisticated work about 20th century advertising. Sutton's study follows a group of avant-garde female copy writers, the J. Walter Thompson Women's Editorial Department, focusing particularly on the interwar years. Sutton shows how these class-conscious, professional, modern, feminist style-setting copywriters created 20th century cosmetics advertising in JWT's imperialist, hyper-masculine corporate culture."--Tani E. Barlow, Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Professor of Asian Studies, History Department, Rice University.

Introduction * From Suffrage to Soap * "Good Looks Supremacy" * Selling Prestige and Whiteness * Selling Sex and Science * J. Walter Thompson's International Expansion and the Ideology of Civilization * J. Walter Thompson's International Ads * Index

The book is published by Palgrave Macmillan and due out in October 2009. It has 224 pages and is priced at $79,95.

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