IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/taf/femeco/v13y2007i3-4p307-323.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Meinu Jingji/China's beauty economy: Buying looks, shifting value, and changing place

Author

Listed:
  • Gary Xu
  • Susan Feiner

Abstract

Along with the new products, modes of behavior, and economic relations that followed China's 2001 accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) came the introduction of new words to everyday language. The term meinu jingji, “beauty economy,” is increasingly ubiquitous, describing everything from beauty pageants, modeling competitions, advertisement, cosmetics, and cosmetic surgery to tourism, TV, and cinema, and even extending to China's success in the Athens Olympics. One of the unexpected by-products of this new cultural focus on beauty as a significant source of individual economic success is the full bloom of beauty pageants endorsed by the state. This article focuses on these pageants: their history in China, their promotion of Anglo-European beauty norms, and their relationship with Chinese national identity and economic reform. The paper argues that the beauty pageants are a prerequisite of China's neoliberal policies as they promote consumerism, reinforce and symbolize commodification, divert attention to the personal, and undermine political protest of the ravages of economic reforms.

Suggested Citation

  • Gary Xu & Susan Feiner, 2007. "Meinu Jingji/China's beauty economy: Buying looks, shifting value, and changing place," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3-4), pages 307-323.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:13:y:2007:i:3-4:p:307-323
    DOI: 10.1080/13545700701439499
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13545700701439499
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:soinre:v:132:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-015-1143-y is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Wang-Sheng Lee & Zhong Zhao, 2017. "Height, Weight and Well-Being for Rural, Urban and Migrant Workers in China," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 117-136, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Beauty pageant; China; meinu jingji; neoliberalism; JEL Codes: D; D1; D11;

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:13:y:2007:i:3-4:p:307-323. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: http://www.tandfonline.com/RFEC20 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.