L'Oreal celebrates '100,000 Years of Beauty'

NEW YORK Beauty company L'Oreal, through its corporate foundation in Paris, has commissioned "100,000 Years of Beauty," a new book that aims to explore the age-old question -- "What is beauty?" -- and to share knowledge and encourage the emergence of new perspectives about beauty.

As part of this initiative, "100,000 Years of Beauty" will be used by the Fashion Institute of Technology in "Innovations in the Development of the Beauty Industry," a course in the graduate degree program in cosmetics and fragrance marketing and management. The book will provide a platform for students to explore historical, sociological and socioeconomic perspectives of beauty throughout the ages and across civilizations.

"In a fast-changing world, L'Oreal explores the fundamental question of the meaning of beauty," said Beatrice Daustresme, CEO of the L'Oreal Corporate Foundation. "Contributing to and shedding light on knowledge of beauty and reflecting on the business of beauty -- these are some of the motivations inspiring this work of social sciences research."

An editorial endeavor that began in 2006, "100,000 Years of Beauty" unites contributions from 300 writers of 35 different nationalities and 20different disciplines including anthropology, archeology, ethnology, sociology, psychology and more. The end result is a holistic look at the role of appearance through the profound lens of social sciences.

"'100,000 Years of Beauty' is a stunning and comprehensive study of the history of beauty culture and evidence of the important historical andsociological underpinnings of the modern beauty industry," said Stephan Kanlian, chairperson of the master's degree program in cosmetics and fragrance marketing and management at FIT. "Because the cosmetics and fragrance marketing and management graduate program at FIT, now celebrating its 10th anniversary, is the beauty industry's think tank, we're very excited about the learning opportunity this book provides for the executives in our program."

Published by Gallimard and under the editorial direction of Elisabeth Azoulay, the book features five volumes, spanning five major time-periods in chronological order:

  • Volume 1: Prehistory -- Features the origins of beauty in the earliest human societies
  • Volume 2: Antiquity -- Examines the great changes that transform, from a sociological and psychological point of view, the pursuit of beauty
  • Volume 3: Classical Age -- Explores the medieval and early modern periods as bringing about worldwide shifts in fashion and beauty
  • Volume 4: Globalization -- Journeys through the modern era, which are marked by the age of the individual and the desire to achieve such social equalities as fighting against racism, claiming equal rights for women, and sexual liberation
  • Volume 5: The Future -- Dawns the new digital age and alternative movements where beauty is a focus for cutting-edge medical and biotechnological research.

"100,000 Years of Beauty" retails on Amazon.com for $295.

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