Cover image for Vanity rules : a history of American fashion and beauty
Vanity rules : a history of American fashion and beauty
Hoobler, Dorothy.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Brookfield, Conn. : Millbrook Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
160 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
Describes the shifting ideal of beauty in the United States, from colonial times to the present, and how it influenced and was influenced by societal and economic changes.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GT605 .H75 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
GT605 .H75 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Colonial settlers arrived in America with their own notions of what constituted the beauty ideal. For more than a century they continued to follow European fashion and beauty styles but eventually selected a path that was as American as apple pie. Societal and economic changes often brought about fashion and cosmetic innovations and in this book those larger concerns are woven in with a delightfully readable history of the changes in the beauty ideal from colonial times to the end of the twentieth century.

Author Notes

Dorothy Hoobler is a historian and author of over sixty books, both fiction and nonfiction, mostly for young readers. Her and her husband are the authors of the well-loved American Family Album series, including The Japanese American Family Album, which was named a Carter G. Woodson Honor Book in 1997. The Hooblers won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Young Adult Novel in 2005 with In Darkness, Death.

In addition, the Society for School Librarians International chose their book Showa: The Era of Hirohito for a best book award in 1991, and they have been cited for excellence by the Library of Congress, the Parents' Choice Foundation, Bank Street College, the International Reading Association, the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and the New York Public Library.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 5^-8. This entertaining and informative book surveys the history of the American quest for beauty--from the painted bodies of Native Americans described in 1607 to Madam C. J. Walker's hair-care products for African Americans to the popularity of tattoos and body piercing today. Changes in clothing styles account for the most noticeable shifts in fashion, but the Hooblers also discuss the changes in role models and ideals of beauty from one generation to the next and consider styles for men as well as women. Quotations give voice to Americans from different periods, while the many well-told anecdotes keep the writing from becoming too dry or simply descriptive. The black-and-white illustrations, mainly photographs, include fashion plates, snapshots, and advertisements from many eras. An engaging volume of social history for browsing or research. --Carolyn Phelan

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-Rich with examples of the ridiculous, this entertaining and highly readable volume is marred only by its proportionate lack of illustration of a subject that is all about appearances. The Hooblers take a humorous tack to their subject, relating the foibles of both the masses and particular celebrities from the earliest Native American culture to the present. Their take on the planned obsolescence of the fashion industry is particularly keen. All aspects of costume are included-dress, beauty aids, makeup, hairstyle, cosmetic surgery. Brandon Marie Miller's Dressed for the Occasion: What Americans Wore 1620-1970 (Lerner, 1999) is an equally good book on the topic.-Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.