Truly Toffee and Raisin Hell: A Textual Analysis of Lipstick Names

Truly Toffee and Raisin Hell: A Textual Analysis of Lipstick Names The appeal of lipsticks named Triple Chocolate Parfait or Hot Mama and what they communicate to women and, by extension, others are the subjects of this article. Based on Goffman’s concept of presentation of self and impression management as theory and Barthes’ semiotic model as method, I studied the names of 1,722 lipsticks of 52 national brands. The findings show, beyond simple color names, that most of the lipsticks are named after food, beverages, sex, and romance. The American cultural imperative of beauty prompts many women to doubt their self-worth and keeps attainment of the beauty ideal just out of reach. Understanding how meaning is constructed through lipstick naming is an important step toward apprehending the role of cosmetics in conflating femininity, self-esteem, and body image with the goals of patriarchal hegemony. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Truly Toffee and Raisin Hell: A Textual Analysis of Lipstick Names

Sex Roles , Volume 56 (10) – May 30, 2007
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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-007-9201-9
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The appeal of lipsticks named Triple Chocolate Parfait or Hot Mama and what they communicate to women and, by extension, others are the subjects of this article. Based on Goffman’s concept of presentation of self and impression management as theory and Barthes’ semiotic model as method, I studied the names of 1,722 lipsticks of 52 national brands. The findings show, beyond simple color names, that most of the lipsticks are named after food, beverages, sex, and romance. The American cultural imperative of beauty prompts many women to doubt their self-worth and keeps attainment of the beauty ideal just out of reach. Understanding how meaning is constructed through lipstick naming is an important step toward apprehending the role of cosmetics in conflating femininity, self-esteem, and body image with the goals of patriarchal hegemony.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: May 30, 2007

References

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