Temporary Body Arts
fashions change so quickly, so that new styles of hair and make-up appear every year
n contemporary Britain, we spend hundreds of millions of pounds a year on personal hygiene and make-up. Some of us may do little more than keep ourselves clean and tidy, while others spend hours every day 'putting on a face'. Unsurprisingly, in different cultures there are different ideas about what is most important; for example, in some cultures adult men must have beards, in others they may spend hours plucking every hair from their bodies. And we all know how fashions change so quickly, so that new styles of hair and make-up appear every year.
In this section, we explore some of the thousands of different ways people have developed to keep themselves clean and to make themselves smell nice and look attractive. We also explore some of the vast range of objects they have made in which to store their equipment and supplies, from powder compacts made out of tortoiseshells to scent bottles made out of glass in nineteenth-century Venice.