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Beauty and ugliness in the city of Fortaleza in the first decades of the twentieth century

Grant number: 12/01647-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2012
Effective date (End): November 30, 2015
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - History of Brazil
Principal Investigator:Denise Bernuzzi de Sant'Anna
Grantee:Luciana Andrade de Almeida
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Sociais. Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo (PUC-SP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):13/15013-0 - Beauty and ugliness in the city of Fortaleza in the first decades of the twentieth century (1900-1960), BE.EP.DR


This project aims to understand how beauty and ugliness were culturally and socially manufactured, (re) defining bodies in their material and symbolic dimension. It also aims to investigate how the city of Fortaleza is inserted in a circuit of practices, values and products related to the aesthetic body in the early twentieth century. It is intended to historicize the social construction of socially acceptable and/or rejected aesthetic standards, and also the tensions between experience and expectation horizons related to the care of the body and what was perceived as beauty and ugliness. Studying the history of beauty, ugliness and the body or, rather, fragments of it, becomes relevant not only because it triggers important issues relating to the various aspects of urban life and the invention movements of everyday life - especially those that relate to the senses, sociability, products and establishments connected to the universe of beauty. In addition, the here proposed study of bodies that focuses on beauty and ugliness is intended to help the understanding of the inventions of appearances, as well as historicizing practices and rituals related to bodily well-being and care of the self (seen in beauty products and hygiene products in particular, something that can be expanded to clothing and medicine). The body is recognized as historically variable - as are also variable the directions conferred to it. The choice of this subject is related to the interest regarding the city of Fortaleza, its specificities and complexities, linking the city with wider panoramas of multiple relationships and product movements, practices and other elements. The time frame focuses on the early twentieth century, which saw the strengthening of cosmopolitanism in the city and dissemination of new standards of beauty - and therefore of ugliness - alongside the expansion of beautification products, received, consumed, and appropriated in several ways. The initial period to be analyzed must be extended until the late 1950s, since the year 1960 onwards, with the counter-culture movement and feminism, everything changes: a new status of the body comes forth, along with a different view of the body, especially concerning the women, with new directions for beautification practices, new technologies etc. Regarding sources, journals of wide circulation in the city of Fortaleza will be used, such as newspapers and magazines, to develop ideas on the subject. (AU)

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