That Clean Feeling: Cleanliness, Advertising, and the Civilizing Process
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It is well documented that beauty, body size, and fashion are preferences subject to changing norms and standards.1 Such a phenomenon is evidenced through even a cursory examination of art and beauty throughout the ages: Rubens’s voluptuous females – considered the epitome of the sensuous, beautiful ‘nude’ in his time 2 – would never get a job in Hollywood today, for instance. Paintings, statues, drawings, sketches, and even action figures demonstrate how certain body shapes are valued and idolized within a group of people at a given time.3 Accordingly, beauty and fashion are socially constructed; there are fundamental differences in the quintessential standard for each that can be traced temporally throughout history. At the same time, there are a number of attitudes and behavioral practices that seem to be universal, pre-cultural, and perhaps even innate. The drive for success, contact with others, nurturance, stable communities, and intelligence are values or attitudes that all people exhibit and strive for cross-culturally and throughout time.4
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