Semantic Reconstruction of Beauty and Makeup for Young Females: The Phenomenological Study

Document Type: Original Article


1 Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Sociology, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Kharazmi University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran



The concept of beauty is closely linked to gender in contemporary society; in this study, the concept of beauty was explored by the use of phenomenological techniques. For this purpose, an in-depth semi-structured interview was conducted among 35 young female students in Tehran. the sample of study was chosen by theoretical sampling model and the interviews were continued up to the point of  gaining theoretical saturation.After extracting the basic, secondary and intermediate concepts, the three main categories were defined as: general areas of beauty and signs, makeup and consumption, and mediaand the need for beauty and make-up. The results of this study indicate that makeup is defined as an important activity for young girls. Beauty and makeup are intertwined with people's life plans and are regulated by them; that is, the amount and manner of makeup of female students changes with their understanding of the culture of different environments, types and gender of the audience, the level of communication and type of activity. It can be stated that makeup allows girls to have multiple social relationships. In analyzing and interpreting the interviews, a wide range of reasons, such as increasing social capital, coercion or group ambiguity, building a new and self-identifying identity, and increasing self-confidence were identified for the explaination of why makeup is used.