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"I am the way I am, and I don't want to lose that" : Russian immigrant women's narratives of beauty work,.. Korotchenko, Alexandra 2009-04-26

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“I AM THE WAY I AM, AND I DON’T WANT TO LOSE THAT”: RUSSLM’4 IMMIGRANTWOMEN’S NARRATIVES OF BEAUTY WORK, IMMIGRATION, AND AGINGbyALEXANDRA KOROTCHENKOB.H.K., The University of British Columbia, 2007A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENTOF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Human Kinetics)THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA(Vancouver)October, 2009© Alexandra Korotchenko, 2009ABSTRACTThis study examined the beauty work practices of Russian immigrant women and theirunderstandings of beauty and femininity in later life. The research was guided by the followingquestions: (1) What are the beauty practices of older Russian immigrant women living inCanada?; (2) Why do older Russian immigrant women pursue these practices?; and (3) How areolder Russian immigrant women’s beauty practices shaped by their social locations asimmigrants, Canadian residents, former citizens of the former Soviet Union, and women?The study utilized data from in-depth qualitative interviews with 10 immigrant womenfrom the former Soviet Union. The women ranged in age from 52 to 75 (average age of 61) andhad immigrated to Canada between 1992 and 2004. The majority of the women were well-educated, married, able-bodied, and self-identified as heterosexual, but differed in terms of theirsocioeconomic status and country of origin within the USSR. Each woman was interviewedtwice for a total of 19.8 interview hours. The majority of the interviews were conducted in a mixof Russian and English, and later translated into English. The data was analyzed using Straussand Corbin’s (1998) concepts of open and axial coding.To date, research has shown that North American, white, middle-class women frequentlyengage in beauty work due to the repercussions of their non-compliance with feminine beautyideals to their vocational success, heterosexual partnerships, and social acceptance. My findingsrevealed that similar to white North American women, older Russian immigrant women heldnegative attitudes towards their bodies, and engaged in a variety of beauty practices to concealand correct their bodies’ deviations from the slim and youthful beauty ideal. These beautypractices included skin care, non-surgical cosmetic procedures, makeup, hair care, fashion,dieting, and exercise. The women’s beauty work choices were framed by their socializationwithin Russian cultural values that privileged conventional gender roles and feminineappearance, their assimilation into Canadian culture, their resistance to Canadian views of beautyand femininity, and their feelings about their aging bodies. I discuss these findingsin relation tothe extant research and theorizing regarding beauty work and aging.11TABLE OF CONTENTSAbstract.iiTable of ContentsiiiList of TablesviAcknowledgementsviiCHAPTER 1: Introduction11.1 Situating My Research41.2 Research Questions5CHAPTER 2: Literature Review72.1 Russian Immigrants72.2 Russian Women and Cultural Idealsof Feminmi 112.2.1 The Beauty Practices of Older RussianImmigrant Women 152.3 Theorizing Beauty Work:Agency and Determinism172.4 Extant Research Concerning FemaleBeauty Work202.5 Older Women’s Beauty Practices222.6 Summary of the Literature27CHAPTER 3: Methodology293.1 Theoretical Framework293.2 Study Design303.3 Participation Criteria323.4 Recruitment Strategies333.5 Interview Translation333.6 Sample and Rationale341113.7 Sampling Challenges.383.8 Data Analysis 393.9 Reflexivity 40CHAPTER 4: Findings 434.1 The Beauty Work Practices of Russian Women 434.2 Russian Immigrant Women’s Motivations for Performing Beauty Work 494.2.1 Beauty Work and Russian Culture 504.2.1.1 Russian Ideals of Beauty and Sexuality 504.2.1.2 Media Images Behind the Iron Curtain 514.2.1.3 The Availability of Beauty Products in Soviet Russia 534.2.1.4 Beauty Work Practices in the Soviet Union 614.2.2 Old Age, Illness, Health, and the Aging Body624.2.2.1 Negative Attitudes Towards Age and the Aging Body634.2.2.2 Beauty Work and the Resistance of Aging 664.2.2.3 Positive Attitudes Towards Later Life 714.2.2.4 The Meanings of Old Age:Illness, Dependence, and Mortality 724.2.3 The Role and Influence of Male Partners and the Family754.3 Experiences of Immigration and Their Effect on BeautyWork 784.3.1 The Negotiation of Canadian Beauty Ideals: Assimilation784.3.2 The Negotiation of Canadian Beauty Ideals: Othering814.3.3 Facing Difficulties in the Canadian Labour Market85CHAPTER 5: Discussion895.1. Russian Immigrant Women’s Beauty Work895.2 Beauty Work as a Means of Assimilationand Othering 92iv5.3 Beauty Work, Health, Illness, and Death 935.4 Beauty Work, Agency, and Determinism 955.5 Limitations of the Project 965.6 Suggestions for Future Research 98References 100Appendices110VLIST OF TABLESTable 1: Sample Characteristics 37Table 2: Individual Beauty Work Practices 44Table 3: Summary of Beauty Work Practices 45viACKNOWLEDGEMENTSI am greatly indebted to the numerous individuals who have helped me at variousstagesof the research and preparation of this manuscript. I wish to offer my sincerestappreciation ofthe patience, understanding, and wisdom that my supervisor, Dr. Laura HurdClarke, has shownthroughout this process.Additionally, I would like to offer my gratitude tothe members of my committee, Dr.Wendy Frisby and Dr. Patricia Vertinsky, for their insightfulsuggestions and comments.I owe many thanks to my family, my friends, and mypartner for their continued supportand encouragement.Finally, I would like to thank my participants, whowelcomed me into their homes andinto their lives, and did not hesitate toshare their stories and invaluable advice.viiCHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTIONEven as new technologies of the body promise to render the body and self malleable andtranscendent of biographical and historical constraints (Bordo, 1993), the body remains amaterial entity, situated at a “congested crossroad of forces” (Craig, 2006,p.160). Asimultaneously public and private entity, a means of self-determination, and a locus of socialcontrol, the many meanings attributed to and understandings of the female body and theembodiment of femininity often include beauty work. Beauty work can be defined as the bodilyinterventions individuals engage in with the goal of achieving an idealized, culturally acceptableappearance (Hurd Clarke & Griffin, 2008). Beauty work practices can include, but are notlimited to, skin care, hair care, makeup use, dieting, exercise, as well as surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures (Brumberg, 1998; Wolf 1991). Analogousto doing gender (West& Zimmerman, 1987), beauty work contains an element of performance, allowing individualstoexpress how they perceive themselves and how they wish tobe perceived. However, whilewomen’s beauty work reflects a series of personal choices, thesechoices are frequently framedby hegemonic ideologies and cultural understandings of age,class, gender, privilege, and race, aswell as “social stereotypes regarding women’s nature and capabilities”(Weitz, 2005, p. 221).The immigrant female body provides a particularlyinteresting example of the ways in whichbeauty work is influenced by women’s conceptualizationsofbeauty and femininity, their sociallocations and cultural identities, and their negotiationof cultural norms and dominant aestheticideas.Following the passage of the ImmigrationAct in 1975 and the subsequent legal andeconomic liberalization of its immigrationpolicy, Canada has experienced a large, steady influxof inmiigrants and refugees (Kelley & Trebilcock,1998). Today, it is estimated that Canada’s1population is comprised of more than six million foreign-born residents (Statistics Canada,2006). The extant research, which has focused mainly on the integration, assimilation, andmarginalization experiences of Hispanic, Asian, and African-American immigrants, hasindicated that newcomers encounter multiple stressors as they arrive in and adapt to their hostcountries. Even as acculturation can evolve into positive biculturalism (Espin, 1999), newimmigrants nonetheless frequently face such hardships as familial fragmentation (Bernhard,Landolt, & Goidring, 2008), barriers to labour market assimilation (Bloom, Grenier, &Gunderson, 1995; Chiswick & Miller, 2008; Ferrer & Riddell, 2008; Reitz, 2007a; Reitz,2007b), psychological stress (Abouguendia & Noels, 2001; Ataca & Berry, 2002;Dunn &O’Brien, 2009), and ethno-cultural identity conflict (Stroink& Lalonde, 2009).Recent feminist scholarship has drawn attention to the gendered nature oftransnationalmigration, bringing to light the unique resettlement experiencesof female immigrants as well asthe various ways in which immigration processesand policies are informed by gender, sex,privilege, and sexual discrimination (Hondagneu-Sotelo,2003). This research has givenemphasis to such issues impacting immigrant womenas spousal and familial abuse (Anitha,2008; Merali, 2009; Morash, et al., 2008; Yick& Oomen-Early, 2008), motherhood andchildrearing (Sigad & Eisikovits, 2009), occupationaldowngrading (Akresh, 2008; Mojab,1999), ethnic and gender identity negotiation (Shi, 2008;Suh, 2007), and the transformation oftraditional gender roles (Bhalla, 2008; Menjivar,1999; Park, 2008). Moreover, researchfocussed on the inscription of immigration policiesand experiences on migrant women’s beautypractices has begun to contribute to existingfeminist explorations of North American, white,middle class women’s body imageand their body practices (Bartky, 1990;Bordo, 1993; Wolf1991). This research has called attentionto the diffusion of such forms ofbeautywork as femalegenital cutting (Androus, 2005; Gruenbaum,2005; Reason, 2004) and veiling (Afshar,2008;2Ahlberg, et a!., 2000; Ruby, 2006) into Western culture and the ways in which these practices areunderscored by discourses of gender ideology, the contestation and re-negotiation of culturalboundaries, the rights of minority groups, and the assimilation and acculturation of immigrantwomen (Atasoy, 2003; Killian, 2003).Despite the emergent diversity in the field of immigration studies, North Americanacademic literature has tended to focus on women of visible ethnic minority groups and theirexperiences of marginalization and drastic cultural adjustment (Hondagneu-Sotelo, 2003;Pedrazda, 1991). Few studies have explored the resettlement experiences of Russian-Canadianimmigrant women, even as a significant population of over 64, 000 Soviet émigrés currentlyresides in Canada (Ontario Immigration, 2006). Davey et al. (2003) hypothesized that littleresearch has examined the immigration experiences of white minority groups due to theinvisibility of their minority status, as well as wide-spread understandings of whiteness as amarker of dominance and privilege. Similarly, Chiswick (1993) contended that Russian émigrésin particular may have attracted little academic attention due to their rapid vocational andlinguistic advancement in comparison to other refugee groups. The academic disinterest inSoviet immigrants may be additionally explained by their seemingly smooth transition intoNorth American middle class culture (Gold, 2003) and their relatively lowlevels of politicalactivism with regards to immigrant rights and grievances(Kishinevsky, 2004).However, research conducted in the United States andoutside of North America hasshown that Russian immigrants face numerous challengesas they attempt to integrate into theirhost societies. For instance, following immigration,many Soviet immigrants are confrontedwith downward socio-economic migration as a resultof institutional and cultural barriers toemployment, as well as the difficulties of languageacquisition and vocational re-specialization(Remennick, 2003a; Vinokourov et al., 2000).Chiswick (1993) found that as a highly-skilled3refugee population who made intense efforts at linguistic and vocational skill acquisition,Russian immigrants nonetheless had difficulty attaining occupational success that wascomparable to their pre-immigration status. Russian immigrants’ occupational adjustment wasfurther complicated by their socialization within a culture of inter-dependence, compliance, andcollectivism, coupled with their unfamiliarity with Western values such as self-motivation andself-reliance (Shasha & Shron, 2002).Research has additionally shown than Russian newcomer women inparticular facenumerous difficulties following immigration. Remennick(2003 a) noted that older Russianimmigrant women were frequently disadvantagedby their age, gender, and immigrant status asthey attempted to re-enter the work force in their hostcountries. Moreover, Russian immigrantwomen experienced greater resettlement stress as theyoften remained the sole child- and elder-care providers for their families, evenas they continued to fulfill their roles as equalbreadwinners. At the same time, Russian immigrant women’scare giving responsibilities wereregularly coupled with a loss of social support networksas a consequence of their immigration(Remennick, 2001). Although Russian immigrantwomen, and in particular older immigrantwomen, displayed significant signs of psychologicaldistress and depressive mood as a result ofthese increased demands of immigration(Aroian & Chandler; Miller& Chandler, 2002),counselling or medical help wasrarely sought due to the stigmatizationof mental healthdisorders in Russian culture (Fong,2004).1.1 Situating My ResearchGiven the sizes of the Soviet immigrantpopulations in the United States and Canada,andthe unique issues impacting Russianimmigrant women, it is surprisingthat little qualitativeresearch has examined thesubjective experiences of Russian immigrantwomen in NorthAmerica (Kishinevsky, 2004).In particular, the everyday lifeexperiences of older Russian4immigrant women living in Canada have largely been ignored. It has been noted that the imagesof femininity and ideal beauty that abound in Russian culture have become “an intrinsic part ofRussian women’s perceptions of themselves and their roles” (Kay, 1997,p.79, own emphasis).Thus, there is a strong need to investigate older Russian immigrant women’s understandings ofbeauty and femininity, their experiences of the material constitution of multiple selves throughtheir everyday bodily practices (Majumdar, 2007), and the ways in which these practices andperceptions are situated within societal, historical, and ideological contexts.In this study, I examined the experiences of transnational migration, aging, andbeautywork among Russian immigrant women over the age of 50. Usingqualitative methodologyframed by a feminist interpretive perspective, I conducted semi-structured interviewswithwomen from the former Soviet Union who immigratedto Canada between 1992 and 2004. Thestudy drew on feminist readings of Foucault to examine thenegotiation and embodiment ofpractices of power in older immigrant women’s everydaylives. In particular, the study aimed tosupplement existing work in feminist gerontology byconsidering the impact of the cultural,historical, spatial, and chronological aspects of olderimmigrant women’s lives on their beautywork practices and attitudes towards their bodies.This study’s emphasis on older, Russianimmigrant women’s beauty practices provided fertileground for an examination of the mannerin which the “interlocking categoriesof experience” (Anderson & Hill Collins, 2001, xii)ofgender and age informed older women’s experiencesof immigration, cultural enactments offemininity, and the aged and genderedbody.1.2 Research QuestionsIn order to explore the beauty work practicesof older Russian immigrant womenandhow these were framed by theirunderstandings of beauty and femininity, as wellas their5experiences of migration, cultural transition, and later life, my research project was guided bythe following research questions:What are the beauty work practices of older Russian immigrant women living in Canada?Why do older Russian immigrant women pursue these practices?How are older Russian immigrant women’s beauty practices shaped by their sociallocations as immigrants, Canadian residents, former citizens of the former Soviet Union,and women?6CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEWI will begin by reviewing and locating my study within the existing knowledgeconcerning Russian and immigrant Russian women’s experiences of beauty work practices andunderstandings of femininity. I will further situate my research within the extant literature andtheorizing regarding aging, femininity, and women’s body and beauty work practices.2.1 Russian ImmigrantsWhile freedom of movement was strictly prohibited under Stalinist rule, repeated appealswere made thereafter by the United States (US) and Western Europefor the Union of SovietSocialist Republics (USSR) to ease its restrictive emigration policies (Fassman& Munz, 1994).In 1973, the US Congress insisted on the relaxation of immigration law as aprecondition for thereduction of trade barriers between the two countries (Fassman& Munz, 1994). The signing ofthe Commission on Security and Co-operation in Europe(CSCE) Final Act’ in 1976 forced theUSSR to recognize the right to freedom of travel and movement(Fassman & Munz, 1994).Consequently, the USSR experienced a large surge of emigrationin the 1970’s, as well as asecond wave that followed Mikhail Gorbachev’s liberalizationof Russian emigration policies in1987 (Lewin-Epstein, Ro’i & Ritterband, 1997). Between1990 and 1991, at the height of theFifth Wave of emigration, approximately 700,000 individualsleft the USSR, their emigrationdriven mainly by the social and economic instability thatresulted from the break-up of theformer Soviet Union (Fassman & Munz, 1994).‘The Commission on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE)Final Act, also known as the Helsinki Final Act.While the USSR saw the signing of the 1975 Helsinki Final Actas an opportunity to induce greater economiccooperation between the East and the West,the United States used the Final Act to intensify pressure on theSovietbloc regarding human rights issues, includingthe rights to freedom of movement (Brett, 1996).7Researchers studying the Russian immigrant population have generally focused onindividuals of Russian Jewish descent, the predominant cultural group that comprised theoutflow of immigrants from the former Soviet Union (Lewin-Epstein, Ro’i & Ritterband, 1997).This research has found that although the underlying motivations for Russian immigrantswerevarious and many, the most commonly invoked grounds for emigration hadto do with economicfactors (Brym, 1993; Salitan, 1992). As a result of its focus on militaryand industrialproduction, the Soviet Union “achieved modernity without acquiringmany of the conveniencesof most societies” (Ripp, 1994,p.54). Long food lines and housing shortages were a regular, ifnot daily, occurrence in Soviet Russia (Kishinevsky, 2004). Dueto the shortages of food, theaverage Soviet woman normally spent two hours a dayin food line ups (Smith, 1976), while thelittle de facto buying power of Russian money necessitatedthe creation of complicated systemsof bartering for goods and favours, all procured withgreat difficulty (Bruno, 1997). Thecollapse of state socialism and Russia’s transitiontowards a market economy did little toameliorate Russian people’s living conditions. Perhapsthe most tangible consequences of theeconomic and political reforms, known as perestroika2,were aptly summarized by Mamonova(1994) in this way: “Whereas communismmeant waiting in line for an hour to buybread,capitalism means waiting a year to be ableto afford it” (p. xv). The direst effectsof thetumultuous political, social, and economictransformations that were instigated bytheperestroika seemed to impact Russian women’s livesthe most (Buckley, 1997; Mamonova,1994). It is estimated that between 70 and85% of all worker lay-offs involved women(Mamonova, 1994). In addition to sufferingmore severe job losses, Russian womenalsoexperienced a sexualization of labourhiring practices, whereby female jobapplicants could be2Peresfrojka meaning “restructuring” inRussian, is the expression used to describe the economicand politicalreforms instigated by Soviet leader MikhailGorbachev in 1987. These reforms were intendedto decentralize theSoviet economy and democratize the politicalsystem, but instead led to the collapse ofthe Soviet Union in 1991(Buckley, 1997).8overtly discriminated against based on their gender and appearance (Mamonova, 1994), as wellas reduced provisions of state support, decreased political representation in the Russiangovernment, and increased rates of domestic violence (Buckley, 1997).Even as many Soviet citizens emigrated to escape these adversities, they faced numerousproblems upon their arrival in their receiving countries. For instance, following immigration,many Russian immigrants with high educational attainments and professional backgroundsrealized that there was little demand in their occupational fields, and, therefore, foundthemselves jobless or forced to enter the labour market in lower grade vocations(Chiswick,1993; Lewin-Epstein, Ro’i & Ritterband, 1997; Remennick, 2003a; Vinokourovet al., 2000).Older Russian immigrant women, who were triply burdenedby their age, gender, and immigrantstatus, were particularly disadvantaged in their attemptsto re-enter the workforce (Remennick,2003a). Finding little vocational opportunity in theircountries of destination, older Russianwomen who had trained in traditionally “masculine”professions such as engineering andtechnology under the declared equality of the socialist mandate oftenfound it necessary toretrain in more “feminine”, unskilled labour vocationssuch as aesthetics, hair dressing, and eldercare provision (Remennick, 2003b). Additionally, Russianwomen had experienced aparadoxical place within the Soviet publicand private spheres which served to make themespecially vulnerable to acculturative stressesand marginalization in their host countries(Ashwin, 2000; Voronina, 1994).Under state socialism, nearly 90% of Russian womenworkedfull-time outside the home andenjoyed a slightly higher educational levelthan Russian men(Voronina, 1994). However, Russianwomen pursued their educationaland professional goals atthe same time that they were requiredto fulfill the majority of the domesticresponsibilities, areality made possible only with the supportof their multi-generational, frequentlyfemale familymembers (Aroian, 2002). Matriarchalhouseholds held not only great culturalsignificance inRussian culture, but also provided significantfinancial, social, and spiritualsupport for working9women (Kishinevsky, 2004). Unable to sponsor family members into their receiving countries,many immigrant women lost these support networks, requiring them to face the challenges ofincreased domestic responsibility while attempting to integrate into a foreign labour marketalone (Aroian, 2002).In addition to the acculturative stresses posed by the challenges of labour marketintegration, Russian newcomers faced unique difficulties that stemmed from their socializationwithin Soviet culture. In his conversations with Third Wave Soviet émigrés in the United States,Ripp (1984) found that many were disillusioned with their experiences of immigration and theirlives in America. The author contended that America’s long-occupied, simultaneously glorifiedand vilified “place in the Russian national fantasy. . .a dizzying image constructedof twocenturies of misinformation, myth-making and propaganda” (Ripp,1984,p.12) lead manySoviet immigrants to feel disenchanted when faced with a cultural reality that wasquite differentfrom the America of their dreams. For instance, following a decades-longimmersion incommunist society, Russian immigrants had to adjust their expectationsof their host countrieswhen they were faced with the reality that basic living necessitieswere no longer the purview oftheir government (Gold, 1995). Additionally, as will befurther discussed in the followingsection, Russian immigrants’ attitudes towards genderroles and sexuality often conflicted withthose of their receiving societies, making full culturalabsorption difficult, especially for Russianwomen (Birman & Tyler, 1994). Due to ingrainedpatriarchal attitudes towards womenand anemphasis on the importance of women’s domesticand care giving responsibilities in Russianculture, Russian immigrant women often experiencedgreater identity conflict and alienation thandid immigrant men, as they found it difficult to redefinethemselves as the “Western” womenthey perceived to be so lacking in the feminine qualitiesthey valued (Birman & Tyler, 1994).Russian men, on the other hand, could reasserttheir masculinity at home and in the workplace,an attitude compatible with both Westernand Russian ways of thinking. Findingit nearly10impossible to reconcile the two contradictory definitions of femininity, Russian womenfrequently struggled to integrate Russian and Western beauty ideologies, their husbands’ wishes,as well as their own internal standards of feminine appearance (Birman & Tyler, 1994).2.2 Russian Women and Cultural Ideals of FemininityIn the wake of Soviet-style state socialism, which formally declared, but neveraccomplished institutionalized gender equity, and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991,Russian women’s understandings of gender and femininity were and continue tobe qualitativelydifferent from those of North American women (Ashwin, 2000). To reinforce its politicalstrength and undermine the social foundations of pre-communist Russia, the Communist Partyinstituted several policies that attempted to transform traditional gender relations(Ashwin,2000). These policies aimed to extend communism’s influenceon women by integrating theminto the Russian labour force and transferring their dependencefrom their male-dominatedhouseholds onto the state (Ashwin, 2000). From its inception,the Communist Party recognizedwomen as a disenfranchised group and used the “perceived backwardness”(Wood, 1997,P.3) ofthe female population to gain power over Russian societyby invalidating the long-establishedtradition of the male-led household. However,the aim of the new gender order was not toliberate women; rather, the Communist Party problematized traditionalwomen’s gender roleswithin the family, labour market, and society “in orderto subject them to the fulfillment of thecommunist order” (Aristarkhova, 1995,p.22) and to enlist new workers in its rapidefforts atindustrialization (Popova, 1999). This new genderorder, at its most extreme, “treated women’sbodies as no more than instruments of thestate’s reproductive requirements” (Verdery,1996,p.65). While patriarchal attitudes towards women aboundedin the home, the state had alsoembraced the image of traditional father-figure tobecome “a universal patriarch to which bothmen and women were subject”(Ashwin, 2000, p. 2).11In addition to dictating the roles of women in society, the Soviet government propagateda new feminine beauty ideal (Azhgikhina & Goscilo, 1996; Kay, 1997). While ‘Western’cosmetics and beauty rituals were held in contempt and derided for symbolizing decadence andbourgeois preoccupation with wealth and status, the new populist ideology valorized theunpainted face and short hair of the modest, simple, and self-effacing Communist woman(Azhgikhina & Goscilo, 1996). Ironically, at the same time as shorn hair was politicized inWestern culture as a symbol of women’s rebellion and non-conformity3,Russianwomen werecompelled to wear their hair cropped to better uphold the image of “purposefulnessand sanitizedphysical energy” (Azhgikhina & Goscilo, 1996,p.98) that befitted the societal ideals ofcommunism. Notably, the moral meanings attached to the plain female face andbody alsomasked the shortage of consumer goods in the newly-formed Sovietstate (Azhgikhina &Goscilo, 1996). However, the state-dictated pressures and prohibitionsonly served to arouseRussian women’s interest in the art of beauty, albeit in secret (Azhgikhina& Goscilo, 1996).Behind the façade of declared gender equity and the state-promulgatedimages of Russianwomen as potent workers and activists, women in theSoviet Union were limited in the careerpaths they could choose and the occupational advancementthey could achieve, particularly ifthey were of Jewish descent (Remennick, 2007). Despitetheir high levels of education, Russianwomen normally only attained lower- and mid-levelcareer positions, with little access todecision-making power (Voronina, 1994). Moreover,even with near-universal employment,women in Russian society were still perceived primarilyas homemakers, and had to continue toshoulder the majority of the domestic responsibilities(Ashwin, 2000). The final collapse of theSoviet Union in 1991 resulted in an extensive transformationof gender relations in Russia,which included the contestation of the institutional andideological underpinnings of SovietThe feminist movement too was declared anindulgent bourgeois pursuit by the Communist Party(Remennick,2003b).12approved gender roles, the rehabilitation of the traditional family, and the redefinition of workand motherhood as private responsibilities (Ashwin, 2000). These changes left Russian womenfeeling conflicted and confused by the roles they were expected to fulfill and by the futures theyhoped to shape for themselves. On the one hand, Russian women desired to maintain theirpositions as strong, able mothers and workers who could take pride in their abilities to bothmanage their households and provide for their families. On the other, women longed for and feltpressured to support a “new traditionalism” (Ashwin, 2000,p.21) that involved thereintroduction of traditional gender divisions in the Russian workforce and the domestic sphere.Corresponding to their tentative embrace of conventional gender roles, Russian womenwelcomed Western ideals of femininity and beauty (Remennick, 2007). Several factorsinfluenced Russian women’s acceptance of these views and the accompanying beautywork theydemanded. Firstly, de-Stalinization4,allowed Russian women to abandon the much-reviledCommunist beauty ideal of the unadorned female body,and resulted in the increased (albeit stilllimited) availability of beauty services and products in the formerSoviet Union (Azhgikhina &Goscilo, 1996). Secondly, whereas both governmentand popular cultural representations ofRussian women had previously portrayed plump, round-faced womenas the populist ideal, theslow introduction of Western goods and media advancedthe image of slimness into Russianculture (Kishinevsky, 2004). Finally, by thelate 1980’s, the Russian media was saturated withmessages endorsing a so-called return to ‘natural’femininity for Russian women (Ashwin,2000). The final collapse of the Soviet Union resultedin the permeation of an even greateramount of beauty products and media imageryinto the Russian marketplace in the 1990’s.Kay’s (1997) study of Russian women’s perceptionsof idealized femininity exemplifiesthese newfound attitudes in Russianculture. Kay (1997) found that alongsidewith stressing theDe-Stalinization refers to the time periodin the 1950’s and 1960’s following Stalin’s death,during which theStalinist political system and cult of personalitywere gradually dismantled (Filtzer, 2002).13importance of looking and behaving in a feminine manner, the majority of her respondents hadalso internalized the idea that women were unequal to men. Thus, the women’s view ofidealized femininity involved not only the achievement of an externally feminine appearance,but also a more profound acceptance of traditionally feminine traits, such as weakness, passivity,and submissiveness. While the cultural acquiescence to an image of womanhood that identifiedfemininity with fragility, beauty, and fashion was in part a rejection of the Soviet past, Kay’s(1997) participants additionally perceived it to be a mark of progress into a more civilizedandWesternized society. These changes in Russian attitudes towards beauty and femininityhad bothpositive and adverse effects on Russian women’s lives. On the one hand,the break-up of theSoviet Union and the subsequent sexualization of hiring practices made it a necessityfor Russianwomen to care for their appearance. At the same time, many Russian womennow regardedbeauty work as a release from the austerity of the formerSoviet Union and a form of regainingwhat was perceived to be a correct gender identitythat communism was feared to have destroyed(Kay, 1997).Russian women’s inequitable experiences under the formerSoviet Union’s declaredegalitarianism and its co-existence with chauvinisticideas of womanhood continue to shape theirattitudes towards feminism, femininity,and the body today. For instance, the legacy of theunjust “producer and reproducer” (Popova,1999,p.75) role that rejected gender differences inthe labour market even as it reinforced stereotypicalgender roles in the domestic sphere has leadmany contemporary Russian women to embrace conventionalgender ideologies (HendersonKing & Zhermer, 2003; Kay, 1997;Mamonova, 1984). Studies have shown thatmany Russianwomen (Popova, 1999) as well as Russian immigrantwomen (Goldenberg & Saxe,1996) holdstrong beliefs regarding the essentialdifferences between men and women. Despitea recentgrowth in the Russian women’s movement,including extensive campaigns againstdomesticviolence and for increased governmentsupport of older women (Lipovskaya,1997), most14Russian women do not self-identify as feminists and do not embrace Western feminist values(Henderson-King & Zhermer, 2003). Thus, the beauty practices of Russian women must becontextualized within the historical and cultural distinctiveness of Soviet attitudes towardsgender roles, femininity, and the female body.2.2.1 The Beauty Practices of Older Russian Immigrant WomenRelatively little research has been devoted to studying the subjectiveexperiences of olderRussian-Canadian immigrant women. Indeed, the majorityof the research concerning Sovietémigrés has been undertaken by Jewish community associationsand as such, has focussed onRussian Jews’ experiences of various Jewishissues, involvement in Jewish organizations, andpost-immigration experiences of acclimatizationin Israel and the United States (see for example,Birman & Trickett, 2001; Byrman& Tyler, 1994; Lomsky-Feder & Rapoport, 2001). The fewexisting exceptions include the work of Kishinevsky(2004), whose study of Russian-Americangirls and women revealed that the longer former Sovietwomen had resided in the UnitedStates,the more they had internalized Westernbeauty ideals. Of the five mother-daughter-grandmothertriads interviewed, the middle-aged mothersseemed to feel the most conflicted aboutthe idealsand demands of their new societyand the cultural inculcation they had experiencedliving inRussia. These women reported feelingnegatively about weight gain andthe overweight body,even as these attitudes contradictedtheir learned cultural appreciationof food and eating.Feeling burdened by their mountingcare giving and work responsibilities,the women frequentlyengaged in dieting practices that weresevere by North Americanstandards in order to maintainaslim body weight.Similarly, in her large ethnographicstudy of middle-aged and older Russianwomenliving in the United States, Remennick(2007) argued that Russian immigrantwomen facedsingular challenges stemmingfrom cultural disparities in Russianand Western definitions of15femininity, feminine appearance, and acceptance of traditional gender roles (Remennick, 2007).For instance, Remennick (2007) found that most of the women in her study were reluctant tosoften their hyper-feminine dressing and makeup styles, and reminisced about their former livesin Russia, in which they recalled feeling more womanly and attractive. Some of the women alsofound sexual harassment policies in American workplaces to be stifling, as they were no longercomplimented on their clothing, makeup, and hairstyles as they had previously been in Russia.Others found it necessary to change their appearances in order to better accommodate thedressing styles of local women (Remennick, 2007).At the same time, older Russian women’s attitudes towards and experiences of beautywork were further complicated by ageist preconceptions of older women’s roles in societyandwithin the family (Kay, 1997; Remeimick, 2007). Both Kishinevsky (2004) and Remennick(2007) found that older women were expected to act in accordance with a strong traditiondictating that they retire from both occupational labour and feminine beautywork at the onset ofmenopause or at age 55 (the age of retirement in Russia), and thereafterdedicate their lives tohelping their children and grandchildren. For older Russian women,physical signs of aging andthe onset of menopause denoted the beginning of a time of progressivedecline and the end ofactive life (Rememiick, 2007). Women from the formerSoviet Union were also expected toquietly endure the symptoms of menopause, as reproductive issues wereconsideredunmentionable among respectable women (Kay, 1997).On the other hand, Remennick (2007)found that while some older Russian immigrant womenstill espoused Soviet ideologiesregarding menopause and old age, othersadopted more positive, North American attitudestowards aging as a “fresh start”Q. 333) and a new lifestage. Indeed, many of the older womeninterviewed by Kishinevsky (2004) relished their newfound opportunitiesin American culture,including the possibility of spending less time performinghousework and more time engaging inpleasurable activities.162.3 Theorizing Beauty Work: Agency and DeterminismFeminist theorists have suggested that the female body is a historical and politicalconstruction that is a focal point of gendered power struggles (Bartky, 1990; Bordo, 1993).However, the feminist literature has disagreed on the ways in which individuals experience andnegotiate these struggles. On the one hand, radical feminists characterize women’s bodies asobjectified entities, which are socialized to internalize cultural representations of beauty thatplace a high value on hegemonic femininity and physical attractiveness (Bartky, 1990; Bordo,1993). Pointing to ubiquitous representations of the thin, toned, young, and white femalebody,these theorists argue that the pervasive feminine beauty ideal contributesto women’s bodyhatred and determines women’s beauty work activities (Bartky, 1990; Bordo,1993). Dworkin(1974) argues that in modem culture, beauty practices are inflicted uponevery part of a woman’sbody and that these practices constitute “the most immediate physical and psychologicalrealityof being a woman” (p. 113). Similarly, Bartky (1990) asserts thatin order to construct the“feminine body subject” (p. 34), women must diet and exercise to controltheir weight, removeall bodily hair even as they wash, colour, and style thehair on their heads, ensure that their skinis smooth, soft, and supple, apply make-up, cream, perfume,and nail-polish, and dress in anappropriately feminine fashion.Radical feminists have drawn from the work of Michel Foucault(1979), and inparticular, his conceptualization of disciplinary practicesand his thesis on panopticism. Foucault(1979) proposes that in modem societies, Bentham’spanopticon provides a generalizable modelfor the relationship between power and visibilityin individuals’ everyday lives. Comprised ofacentral watchtower that is surrounded by the cells of inmateswho are continually observable,and yet unaware of their observers, thepanopticon is an idealized disciplinary apparatusthattransforms individuals into self-policing“docile bodies” (Foucault, 1979,p.138) that are17responsible for their own subjection and discipline. Foucault (1979) contends that disciplinarypower is productive rather than repressive, exercised from the “very foundations of society”(p.207), and marking the minute details of everyday life. Foucault (1979) states that power isexercised “from below” (p. 202), in the way that an individual “inscribes in himself the powerrelations in which he simultaneously plays both roles; he becomes the principle of his ownsubjection” (p. 202).Bordo’s (1993) feminist appropriation of Foucault’s work compares the modern femalebody to Foucault’s prisoner: “Women glory in their subjection. . .Taught from their infancy thatbeauty is a woman’s sceptre, the mind shapes itself into the body, and, roaming around its giltcage, only seeks to adorn its prison” (Wollstonecraft, as cited in Bordo, 1993,p. 18). Bordo(1993) argues that contemporary disciplinary practices compel women to engage ina multitudeofbeauty rituals that “train the female body in docility and obedience to cultural demands” (p.38). Power is embedded in the small details of everyday life: Women’s supposedly trivialconcerns with bodily appearance often bear the heaviest consequences upon their lives,as noncompliance with normative standards of beauty can frequently result in the denial of a woman’svocational goals, heterosexual partnerships, and social acceptance. Foucault’s work isparticularly illuminating of women’s motivations to engage in often-painful, cripplingbeautywork. Insisting that women are not “cultural dopes” (p. 20), Bordo (1993) argues that women’sprimary motivation for partaking in disciplinary practices is to enhance their social andeconomic market value. Women engage in practices that are at timesdangerous and unpleasantbecause they “have correctly discerned that these norms shape the perceptions anddesires ofpotential lovers and employers” (Bordo, 1993,p.20) and recognize that a culturally-acceptedappearance is necessary if they are to be successful in life.18At the same time, interpretive feminists have sought to reposition feminine beauty workas a tool of personal empowerment. This perspective aims to capture the varied meanings ofwomen’s everyday life experiences as these are created through interpersonal interactions(Jansen & Davis, 1998). For example, Beausoleil (1994) contends that “women may experiencepleasure and creativity as well as satisfaction in wearing makeup and doing appearance work”(p. 46). According to this perspective, beauty practices are performed by women who are “savvycultural negotiators” (Gimlin, 2000,p.96), so that while some women may be subjugated by thebeauty myth (Wolf, 1991,p.4), others may take pleasure in it, reproduce it, or ignore italtogether. Women who choose to utilize beauty practices in ways that may benefit them in abeauty-privileging culture are conceived of as agentive subjects, as wellas objects whointernalize “a narrow range of accepted embodiments” (Gagne& McGaughey, 2002,p.819).Thus, “body projects” (Brumberg, 1997) are seen as a negotiationof the various costs of beautywork against the social benefits of a normatively accepted body (Gagne& McGaughey, 2002).Interpretive feminists draw on the work of Goffinan (1976), who examines howindividuals use a variety of strategies to present and managetheir gendered identities. West andZimmerman (1987) argue that individuals construct gender throughtheir social and embodiedperformances of femininity and masculinity, which entail carefulmanagement of everydaypractices in light of normative standards of gender-appropriatebehaviour. While successfulgender displays in general depend on an array of recognizable,learned gender-specificbehaviours in varying circumstances, socialcategorization as male or female is based firstly (butnot entirely) on an individual’s outward appearance, suchthat a female gender can typically bedetermined by a woman’s feminine dress and demeanour(West & Zimmerman, 1987). Westand Zimmerman (1987) suggest that beauty work is bothassigned to the female realm, and seenas a confirmation of its performer’s “essential nature”(p. 21) as a woman. In this way, beauty19work embodies the gendered meanings that reinforce a structure of dominance andsubordination, which is established on the premise of the dichotomy and distinction of the twosexes (West & Zimmerman, 1987).2.4 Extant Research Concerning Female Beauty WorkA wealth of research framed within both the interpretive and radical feminist perspectiveson the female body and feminine beauty work has shown that societal discourses of beauty andfemininity figure prominently in Western women’s lives. For instance, research has found thatpoor body image and body dissatisfaction in women are strongly related to dieting anddisordered eating (Griffiths & McCabe, 2000; Phares et al., 2004; Stice& Shaw, 2002), as wellas body modification procedures such as cosmetic surgery (Didie& Sarwer, 2003).Additionally, it has been found that popular media representations of the female bodyengendernegative feelings towards oneself in young and middle-aged women(Field, et al., 2001; Monroe& Huon, 2005; Stice & Shaw, 1994), and that negative self-perception is associated withlowself-esteem and feelings of depression (McCabe & Ricciardelli, 2001;Stice & Bearman, 2001).Other research has explored the beauty practices of Western women,although this literature hastended to focus on extreme and dangerous pursuits, suchas cosmetic surgery (Bayer, 2005;Davis, 1995; Jeffreys, 2005), and eating disorders (Bordo,1993; Gimlin, 2002; Hesse-Biber,1996). For example, Hesse-Biber’s (1996) examinationof the “cult of thinness”(jg. 5) revealedthat women’s preoccupation with variousforms of weight management and exercise is shapedby a cultural discourse that ascertains a woman’s worthby her achievement of an appropriatelyfeminine physique. Hesse-Biber (1996) arguedthat women are encouraged to internalizeaNorth American view of fitness and idealbody size that is imbued with moralistic notions offatness as a reflection of weak morals, laziness,unattractiveness, and poor health (Hesse-Biber,1996). Moreover, the beauty practiceswomen utilize to control their weightare equally20moralized, as exercise is deemed to be far more appropriate than other methods of weight losslike dieting (Reel, et al., 2008). Similarly, in her examination of cosmetic beauty work in TheBeauty Myth, Wolf (1991) has argued that cosmetic surgery has emerged as a modem means ofmedicalizing women’s bodies and negotiating new meanings of illness and health. Wolf(1991)suggests that older women in particular feel pressured to emulate youthful beauty standardsthrough cosmetic surgery, as physical ideals that privilege youth and a misogynistic culture thatassociates a woman’s worth with feminine appearance instil an apprehension of and disregardfor old age and aged bodies.In contrast, Davis (1995) suggested that women’s motivations to undergo cosmeticsurgery correspond to a need to normalize their bodies to established socio-cultural norms, ratherthan imitate a prescribed beauty ideal. Basing her work on interviews with female cosmeticsurgery patients in the Netherlands where cosmetic surgery is covered by healthcare, Davis(1995) argued that women undergo cosmetic surgery with the primary justification of achievingnormality rather than exceptional beauty, desiring their outer selves to embody their true inneridentity. Similarly, Kaw ‘5 (1991) interviews with female Asian-American cosmetic surgerypatients revealed that the women’s primary motivation for undergoing cosmetic surgery was theenhancement of their appearances, with the goal of advancing their economic positions andsecuring heterosexual relationships. Kaw (1991) found that Asian-American women resisted themedicalized view of the surgically-modified body, and instead regarded their choice to havesurgery as an exercise of free will and a rejection of their often-stereotyped ‘natural’ bodies.Due to the seemingly trivial nature of feminine beauty practices (Twigg,2007), a lesseramount of academic work has examined women’s everyday beautypractices, such as makeup(Beausoleil, 1994; Hurd Clarke and Bundon, 2009), clothing (Twigg,1007; Hurd Clarke,Griffin, and Maliha, 2008), suntanning (Garvin & Wilson,1999; Hurd Clarke and Korotchenko,212009), use of beauty salon services (Black, 2004; Gimlin, 1996) or hair care (Weitz, 2001). Thisresearch has explored women’s everyday resistance and accommodation of dominant powerstructures through their use of various beauty work interventions, and has attempted to portraywomen who chose to engage in beauty work as neither “pleasure seeking, liberated individuals,nor. . . over-determined ciphers pushed along by social forces beyond their understanding”(Black, 2004,p.188). Extant research that has addressed the everyday beauty work of olderwomen will be reviewed in further detail in the following section.2.5 Older Women’s Beauty PracticesDespite widespread cultural perceptions of older women’s bodies as asexualandunappealing (Wolf, 1991), the research suggests that for women, beauty andfemininity continueto play a significant role throughout the lifespan (Chnisler& Ghiz, 1993; Hurd, 2000, 2002;Pliner, Chaiken, & Flett, 1990). While both oldermen and women are negatively stereotyped asdependent, frail, and incompetent, and ageist beliefs constructold age as an inevitable period ofmental, physical and social decline (Cuddy, Norton,& Fiske, 2005; Featherstone & Hepworth,1995), the experience of aging is underscored by sexualdifference (Arber & Ginn, 1991; Sontag,1997). Sontag (1997) proposes that a mixture oftraditional sex role expectations and ageistsocietal beliefs combine to create an unequal “doublestandard of aging” (p. 20), which isexpressed through discriminatory practices and attitudesthat disadvantage women more so thanmen. The double standard of aging denounceswomen as sexless and useless when their bodiescan no longer be objectified, and when their reproductiveand child care-giving responsibilitiesare diminished at midlife (Arber& Ginn, 1991; Sontag, 1997). Brown and Jasper(1993) arguethat since “women’s social value hasbeen inseparable from their bodies.. .the way women’sbodies look bears greatly on howother people relate to them and is directly connectedwithwomen’s economic value in society”(p.18). Thus, ageist beauty norms that idealizehealth,22fitness, and youthfulness, as well as cultural perceptions of older women as frail, weak, andinactive underlay older women’s beauty practices (Arber & Ginn, 1991; Calasanti, 2001; HurdClarke & Griffin, 2007). Likewise, modem aesthetics, supported by the industries of anti-agingcosmetics, fashion, diet, and exercise, sustain societal beliefs that regard aged bodies and skin asdeviant and undesirable (Bayer, 2005; Calasanti, 2001; Wolf 1991). Older women may beparticularly sensitive to cultural portrayals of idealized beauty due to their experiences of thenatural bodily changes that accompany menopause (including weight gain, skin and hairchanges, and breast changes) that remove them further from the slim and youthful beauty ideal(Dillaway, 2005; Tieggeman, 2004). Research has shown that older women often viewmenopause and its accompanying physical changes in a negative light, and engage in beautywork in an effort to manage their “unruly menopausal bodies” (Dillaway, 2005,p.16).Several studies have examined how older women’s beauty work is intrinsically related tothe physical signs of aging, health in later life, and dependence/independence concerns. Inastudy of women over the age of 50 and their experiencesof menopause and later life, Fairhurst(1998) examined how older women constructed the aging body throughclothing, and inparticular, the phrases ‘aging gracefully’ and ‘mutton dressedas lamb’. Individuals who weredescribed with the phrase ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ weretypically derided for their desire toretain a youthful appearance through age-inappropriateor colourful apparel and excessivejewellery (Fairhurst, 1998). At the same time,the majority of the participants expressed as adesire to appear younger than their chronological ages,as they perceived aged appearance to berelated to cultural images of old age as a time of dependence,physical decline, and approachingmortality (Fairhurst, 1998).Twigg’ s (2007) article reflected on the meaningsof clothing in constituting identity,agency, and cultural expectations of older women. Theauthor argued that clothing could be23viewed as a mediator between one’s body, identity, and the social world, creating culturalunderstandings of the process of aging and displaying the social constructions of old age on thebody. Twigg (2007) additionally asserted that age-related physical changes were reiterated andresisted through clothing, which strongly symbolized gender and personal expression, and whichwas often modified in later life to accommodate changes in physical ability and health. As such,older women negotiated their bodily changes, the aesthetic representation of femininity, andtheirsymbolic departure from mainstream culture through dress (Twigg, 2007).Similarly, Hurd Clarke, Griffin, and Maliha (2008) used data from multiple interviewswith 36 women aged 71 to 93 to examine older women’s attitudes towards a rangeof beautywork practices in later life. When asked to describe their use of fashion, the participantsidentified appropriate clothing styles for older women, disparagingstyles that appeared to be tooyouthful and revealing. The women frequently utilized their clothingto conceal the visible signsof aging that had occurred in their bodies over time, such as weightgain and wrinkled skin, aswell as age-related health issues, including varicoseveins, arthritis, and osteoporosis. Moreover,the women’s clothing choices reflected their changing, increasinglycasual lifestyles. Whilesome of the women felt liberated by the choices of attire madeacceptable for them to wear asthey aged, many were also frustrated by the fashion industry’s persistentinattention to olderwomen’s bodies and clothing needs. In addition, someof the women used fashion as a means ofresisting ageist stereotypes, and expressed their fearsof being mistreated and discredited if theywere to appear older. The women appearedto have internalized cultural assumptions regardingold age and aged bodies as unattractive, and struggledto negotiate societal notions of idealizedfemininity and stereotypes of old age within the meansand resources that were available to them(Hurd Clarke, Griffin, & Maliha, 2008).24Likewise, Morganroth Gullette (1999) has theorized about older women’s engagementwith fashion using a life course metaphor. The author has proposed that far from a trivialoccurrence, the fashion cycle can be viewed as a social practice through which North Americanwomen construct their identity and attribute meanings to the aging process. In both the lifespans of women and their clothing, youth and newness are oftentimes privileged, while decline isdeemed outmoded. In the realm of fashion, which for many women represents pleasure, materialwealth, upward mobility, gender identity, and an opportunity for female bonding, positiveconnotations are naturally associated with the purchase of new garments, whereas out-of-styleclothing is routinely rejected and discarded (Morganroth Gullette, 1999). Echoing Bartky(1990), Morganroth Gullette suggested that the fashion cycle must constantly degrade the bodiesof those who engage in it, particularly bodies that do not conform to the youthful and slim ideal,in order to encourage individuals to continue their attachment to the capitalistic system. Inrejecting old possessions and replacing used apparel, women relinquish objects that at one pointcomprised a part of their identity, and in the process disavow their prior history. In this way,older women learn to recognize their advancing age, and its culturalassociation withunfashionable irrelevance (Morganroth Gullette, 1999).As well as clothing, existing research has investigated several other aspects of beautywork, body image, and aging. For example, Hurd Clarke’s (2002b)in-depth interviews with 22women aged 61 to 92 revealed that older womentended to describe their bodies in negativeterms in congruence with cultural perceptions of aged bodiesas unattractive and undesirable(Hurd, 2000). Tn particular, the women indicated that they werepredominantly discontentedwith their weight, pointing to a lack of willpower to dietand/or exercise as the reason for theirfailure to attain their desired body shape(Hurd Clarke, 2002b). At the same time, the womenemphasized healthiness, and not appearance, astheir primary motivation to control their weight25(Hurd Clarke, 2002b). To cope with the depreciation of their looks, a large percentage of thewomen interviewed defined the aging process as a natural, unavoidable occurrence, whichresulted in bodies that did not necessarily reflect their perceived inner selves, or their abilities toshape and control their bodies (Hurd, 2000). Likewise, many of the women highlighted theimportance of their bodies’ functionality and good health over their outward appearances (Hurd,2000). Indeed, many of the women mourned the loss of physical mobility and energy over theloss of physical attractiveness (Hurd, 2000).Utilizing interview data from 44 women aged 50 to 70, Hurd Clarke and Griffm’s (2007)article explored older women’s narratives of aging. The authors found that the participantsdefined ageism as both the societal fascination with youth, and the stigmatization of olderadults.Many of the women equated beauty with youth, and thus held negative views of their agingbodies. Several women discussed the marginalization they perceivedthey had experienced intheir lives, particularly in the context of the workforce and potential romantic relationships.Consequently, many of the women elected to engage in beauty workto fight the societalinvisibility they faced, to increase their chances of attracting a partner,and to retain or gainemployment (Hurd Clarke & Griffin, 2008). Others maintainedthat their secure relationships,retired status, and/or supportive social networks protectedthem from the pressure to engage inanti-aging beauty practices. The women accepted ageist conceptionsof beauty, even as theyunderstood that these societal attitudes towards agedappearances were an integral part of theirexperiences of ageism (Hurd Clarke& Griffin, 2008).Lastly, Furman’s (1997) ethnographic study of a beautysalon frequented mainly by anolder Jewish clientele showed that older women’s feelingstowards their bodies were oftenmultifaceted, coexisting as an amalgamation of shame,acceptance, and resistance. The studyrevealed that the beauty shop createda communal space for older women who shared similar26concerns regarding feminine appearance and the physical realities of aging (Furman, 1997). Tnaddition, Furman’s (1997) research illustrated how older women simultaneously engaged innormalizing beauty practices, while exercising a form of agency in their attempts to shape theirsocial interactions with others through their appearance. The women were able to identify withdominant cultural attitudes, as well as with their own perceptions as a marginalized group(Furman, 1997). While most of the women internalized conventional beliefs that painted theaging body as unattractive, others resisted ageist beauty ideals by questioning the idolizationofthinness, fitness, and youthfulness in popular culture and contested unrealistic societalexpectations of older women (Furman, 1997).2.6 Summary of the LiteratureFocusing primarily on the white, middle class woman, extant feministresearch andtheorizing of the female body and its embodiment of societal notionsof beauty and femininityhas conceptualized beauty work as both an act of patriarchalsubjugation and a means ofempowerment and self-determination. Several studies exploring women’sutilization of a varietyof forms of beauty work have shown that while most women internalizeand attempt to complywith dominant notions of idealized beauty, their decisionsto engage in these forms of beautywork are underscored by their recognition of the societaladvantages of attractiveness and thepleasure they derive from taking care of their bodies. Additionally,research has shown thatolder women’s beauty work is frequently influencedby their concerns regarding the invisibilityand devaluation of older women in Western society,as well as their fears regarding their currentand future health and independence. However,few studies have examined the livedexperiencesof Russian immigrant women. The existing researchhas shown that Russian immigrantwomen’s engagement in beauty work isframed by their reconciliation of conflicting culturalattitudes towards gender roles and beautyin Russian and Western cultures. Furthermore,older27Russian immigrant women’s beauty practices are complicated by negative cross-culturalattitudes towards later life and the aging female body. Given their unique life experiences,Russian immigrant women’s views of beauty work, femininity, and the aging body must becontextualized within their socialization in a distinct political, cultural, historical, and ideologicalclimate.28CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGYGiven that little research has studied older Russian immigrant women in Canada, Ielected to employ qualitative methodology in order to better explore these women’s attitudestowards aging, beauty, and femininity. Informed by feminist interpretive methodology, the useof multiple, in-depth interviews allowed the participating women to highlight those subjects thatwere most pertinent to their narratives of immigration, cultural assimilation, and beautypractices. Ten immigrant women aged 52 to 75 who relocated to Canada from the formerSovietUnion were interviewed twice regarding their engagement in a variety of beauty practices, theirexperiences of immigration, and their perceptions of the ways in which theirage and culturalIsurroundings have influenced their past and current beauty work. The interviews weretranslatedand transcribed, and later analyzed using Strauss and Corbin’s (1998) conceptsof open and axialcoding. The following sections further detail the theoretical framework,study design,recruitment strategies and criteria, as well as the data processingmethods that were utilized inthe study.3.1 Theoretical FrameworkThis study was theoretically framed by feminist interpretive inquiry,which can bedefined as a research methodology that rejects positivistresearch methods as androcentric andhierarchical, and instead aims to explore the narratives and personalunderstandings ofindividuals’ everyday lives (Jansen& Davis, 1998). Thus, feminist interpretative methodologyemphasizes the importance of correcting “both the invisibilityand distortion of femaleexperience in ways relevant to ending women’s unequalsocial position” (Lather, 1988, p.’7l,emphasis in original). In viewing“the everyday world as problematic” (Smith, 1987,p. 88),29feminist interpretive inquiry brings to light hierarchical relations within women’s lives, includingthe relationship between the researcher and her participants (Jansen & Davis, 1998; Oakley,1981; Smith, 1987). Additionally, this research methodology stresses rapport building withparticipants, sensitivity to feedback, and reciprocity (Oakley, 1981). The use of this perspectivewas particularly important during the data gathering, transcription, and translation phases ofthestudy, in which I attempted to focus both the interview questions and their subsequenttranslations on the participating women’s own understandings and articulationsof the subjectsdiscussed.3.2 Study DesignAs previously mentioned, the data for this project were derivedfrom in-depth, semi-structured interviews with ten Russian immigrant women. Eachwoman was interviewed twicefor a total of 19.8 interview hours. Following the first interview, asecond meeting was typicallyscheduled four to eight weeks after the first, in order toallow adequate time for the transcriptionof the interviews, as well as the preliminary analysisof the data. The interviewees were invitedto choose both the location and the language(s) in whichthe interviews were to be conducted.Although a variety of locations were proposedto the participants, all of the women preferred tobe interviewed in their own homes. This environmentlikely aided in facilitating opennessbyproviding a familiar, and, therefore,comfortable setting for the participants toshare theirpersonal narratives.Prior to being interviewed, the participantswere informed of the study’s purposeandasked to read and sign a consent form,in which they indicated their agreement toparticipate intwo digitally recorded interviews (see AppendixB). Participants were also askedto fill out abiographical data form, in which theywere asked to specify severalaspects of their personal30backgrounds as well as certain information regarding their immigration from the former SovietUnion (see Appendix C). Their answers were later used to prompt and aid the women inconveying the stories of their lives in the former Soviet Union and in Canada.I chose to question the women using multiple, in-depth interviews so as to uncover theirframeworks of meaning and avoid imposing my own assumptions ontheir narratives, anapproach consistent with feminist interpretive methodology. The interviewschedule provided aframework for the interviews, yet allowed for flexibilityin each woman’s narrative (seeAppendix A). The women were asked to discuss aset of questions regarding the central themesof the study, namely their beauty work regimens (including hair, make-up,diet, exercise,fashion, suntanning, and nail care), their reasonsfor engaging in these practices, and the ways inwhich their socialization in the FormerSoviet Union and their subsequent emigration to Canadahad shaped their understandings of beautyand their beauty practices. The majorityof thequestions were open-ended, and permittedthe women to direct the conversation to those aspectsof the subjects discussed that they consideredmost important. Further questions were based onthe participants’ replies, consisting mostlyof questions for clarification and probesfor detail. Iaimed to maintain a flexible approach tothe research, open to the possibility thatthe concepts Iidentified as being important and recurrentin the data might differ from thosepredicted at theoutset of the study (Pope& Mays, 2000). Using a multiple interviewformat allowed theinterviewees to continue to reflectupon the research themes and elaborateon previouslydiscussed information duringthe second interviews (Hurd Clarke, 2003).At the same time, thisapproach afforded me the opportunityto review the interview transcripts,amend and refine myinterviewing techniques, andrevisit the first interviews withquestions that would allow theinterviewees to elucidateand expand on their earlier responses.313.3 Participation CriteriaIn the process of selecting participants for the study, I initially established the followingcriteria: Firstly, I looked for Russian women who fit the definition of an “immigrant”, or “aperson who has been granted the right to live in Canada permanently by immigration authorities”(Statistics Canada, 2001). Secondly, I looked for immigrant women who had emigrated from theUSSR in the late 1980’s to early 1990’s and had resided in Canada for at least five years. Thesewomen, who comprised the so-called Fifth Wave of immigration from the SovietUnion (LewinEpstein, Ro’i & Ritterband, 1997), would have had some exposure to Canadianculture andsufficient time to overcome their experiences of “culture shock” (Oberg, 1960, p.177).Thesewomen would have also been the most likely to experience Russian life under theSoviet regime,as well as the effects of the perestroika, the fall of communism, and the westernizationof theformer Soviet Union. Thirdly, I sought out womenwho were English-speakers because I aimedto avoid the drawbacks of using multiple languages in an interview,as this practice has beenshown to complicate and cause discrepancies in data codingand analysis (Small, et al., 1999).Specifically, I attempted to prevent the misrepresentationof the women’s stories through thetranslation of their words by conducting the interviewsin English. Fourthly, I looked forRussian immigrant women over the age of 55, whichis the age signifying retirement and thustransition into later life in the USSR. The third and fourthcriteria were later altered to betteraccommodate the study’s participants and aid the recruitmentprocess, as will be discussed in thefollowing section. Finally, I endeavoured tointerview Russian women from varying geographicorigins within the former Soviet Union, sexual orientations,religious and spiritual affiliations,occupations, abilities, and socio-economic strata.323.4 Recruitment StrategiesMaking use of my contacts within the Russian immigrant community, I began therecruitment process by attempting to gain access to potential participants by word of mouth.Specifically, I approached several family friends and acquaintances in the hopes that they mightput me in contact with interested English-speaking immigrant women over the age of 55. Thesecontacts received copies of the study’s Letter of Information (see Appendix D) and ConsentForm (see Appendix B) and were encouraged to pass them along to women with whom theywere acquainted and who met the study’s recruitment criteria, so that these women might contactme directly by telephone and set up an appointment for an interview. However, my initial effortsonly yielded a single participant, as most of the older Russian women who were contacted by myacquaintances in the Russian community did not possess sufficient linguistic fluency to enablethem to be interviewed in English. Consequently, I decided to change the recruitment criteria toinclude women over the age of 50, reasoning that younger women would be more likely to beable to give interviews in English. I also informed potential participants of my willingness toconduct the interviews in Russian. These modifications to the recruitment criteria provedto besuccessful, and a second attempt at generating interest in the study through personal connectionshelped me recruit six additional participants. These participants then referredme to three otherwomen who agreed to participate in the study.3.5 Interview TranslationAlthough all of the participants had some knowledge of conversational English, mostcounted Russian as their mother tongue and onlytwo were comfortable enough to conductinterviews solely in English. Three preferred that we converseentirely in Russian, while sixadditional interviews were conducted in a mix ofRussian and English. Thus, the majority of the33interviews required some translation from Russian to English. I chose to translate the interviewsas they were being transcribed in order to preserve the meaning and spirit of the interviewees’narratives to the best of my abilities. In this process, I utilized the concepts of somatic anddialogic translation. Robinson defmes somatic translation as “an intuitive, gut-level sense of the‘right’ word or phrase” (1991,p.257) and dialogic translation as the varying, often unpredictableinteraction of the researcher/translator with the speaker and the audience. My goalwas totranscribe the interviewees’ words in a way that best conveyed the meanings I perceivedin theirnarratives. When participants used Russian words or expressions that had nocorrespondingEnglish correlates, I transcribed the words verbatim and provided an explanationof theapproximate use of the aforesaid word or expression. I transcribedand translated the interviewsas soon as was possible in order to preserve the full meaningof the interviewees’ words. Thesecond interview allowed me to clarify my translationof phrases I was unfamiliar with, althoughthis was often unnecessary; the participants viewed me asa non-native Russian speaker, and thusfrequently clarified the meanings of their words withoutmy prompting. Despite my own and theinterviewees’ apparent reservations, my fluency in the Russianand English languages andfamiliarity with both cultures was more than sufficientto adequately understand and translate theparticipants’ responses.3.6 Sample and RationaleFor the sake of simplicity, I will usethe term ‘Russian immigrant women’ to describe thegroup of women that took part in the study. There hasbeen some confusion with regards to theterms used to describe my participants’cultural backgrounds, since the majorityof individualswho have immigrated from theformer Soviet Union have been Jewish, but wereof differingnationalities originating in differentparts of the USSR (Kishinevsky, 2004). Cass (1997)notesthat Russian émigrés are typicallydefined as individuals who were “born in the regionformerly34known as the Soviet Union, and their children. This definition includes not only Russians, butothers with a variety of ethnic identities including Armenian, Chechen, Ukrainian, Azeri, andJewish” (p. 142). Since the participants in my study were of varying religions and geographicalorigins within the former Soviet Union, I will refer to them simply as ‘Russian immigrantwomen’. The remainder of this section details the sample characteristics, andthe commonalitiesand differences among the women interviewed.The sample of participating women was diverse with respect to age, country of origin,years in Canada, and income (see Table 1). Ranging in age from 52 to 75(average of 61 yearsof age), the ten women’s incomes varied from than $10,000 peryear to more than $60,000 perannum. Additionally, the women had originated from diverse regions in the formerSovietUnion, including Russia, the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Estonia,and Belarus. The women had madetheir immigrations to Canada between 1992 and 2004,and had resided in Canada for periods oftime that ranged from five to 14 years. Half of the women had previously immigratedto Israel,living for four to 12 years as Israeli citizens beforemaking a second immigration to Canada.The women were relatively homogenous with respect to their educationalattainment,marital status, physical ability, and stated sexual orientation.Thus, most of the women weremarried and all were well-educated, able-bodied, and self-identified as heterosexual.Themajority of the women had grown children, savefor one woman whose daughter was in her lastyear of high school. Most of the women had immigratedto Canada with their children, or withthe help of their children’s sponsorship. Although it is difficultto compare the Russian andCanadian education systems, all of the participantsindicated that they had graduated from apost-secondary educational institute. Prior to immigrating,half of the women had beenemployed as engineers, while the other half heldvarious white collar jobs. Two ofthe womenidentified their religious affiliation as being Jewish,two others as Christian, and the remaining35six participants identified themselves as agnostic, atheists, or did not provide a response.Thewomen were all light-skinned and self-identified as white.Canada’s partiality towards highly-skilled and educated workers,as well as theprioritization given to applicants with family membersliving in Canada may help explain thestudy sample’s homogeneity. Historically, Canada has shown preferencetowards immigrantswho displayed the greatest potential for contributingto the country’s economic, social, andcultural development (Man, 2004). This was particularly thecase following the passing of the1967 Immigration Act and the changes made to theCanadian immigration frameworkthatincluded the introduction of the point system (Man,2004). Under the regulatory pointsystem,applicants without family ties in Canada wereassigned points based on their age, education,vocational training, language proficiency, andoccupational demand. Applicants withfamily tiesin Canada received extra points on their applications(Green & Green, 1995). Thus, the majorityof applicants who are accepted for immigrationare highly educated and hold professionalpositions, are proficient in English,and immigrate with or to their families.Given the extremeinvisibility and marginalization ofpeople with disabilities in the formerSoviet Union(Grigorenko, 1998), the numberof Russian women who are disabledand who are able toimmigrate abroad is likely verysmall, and thus, it is unsurprising thatthe sample included onlyable-bodied women. Additionally,due to the stigmatization ofhomosexuality in Russian cultureand the air of taboo surroundingthe subjects of sex and sexuality(Mamonova, 1994), it isdoubtful that any of the womenwould have divulged their non-heteronormativesexualpreferences in our conversations.36Table 1: Sample Characteristics (n=1O)Age distribution n50-55 356-60 361-65 166-70 271-57 1Marital Status nCurrently Married 8Divorced 2Education nCollege/University Degree 10Income nUnder $10,000 1$10-20,000 2$30-40,000 1$40-50,000 3$60, 000+ 2Decline to say1Number of years in Canadan5-10311-16617+1Country of origin (within the USSR)RussiaUkraineBelarusn361373.7 Sampling ChallengesAt the start of the study, I had set out to recruit 12 to 15 female Russian immigrantparticipants over the age of 55. The initial sample size was based on the only other qualitativestudy of Russian immigrant women’s beauty practices that I could locate. This study, whichinvolved interviews with five grandmother-mother-daughter triads concerning their attitudestowards dieting, body weight, and sociocultural images of slimness, yielded a wealth of datawith strong and homogenous thematic concepts (Kishinevsky, 2004). Although the sample often participants I achieved was smaller than my anticipated sample of 12to 15 women, theanalysis of the data showed defmite trends and commonalities of thought among the women.Even though a larger sample size would have been preferential,I was also limited by theresources available to me as a Master’s student and the necessity of completing the project intheallocated time. Amber and Adler (1995) noted that the intensivestudy of a small sample ofcases can be used to generate explanations for cause and effectrelationships. Flick (1998)additionally observed that “it is their relevance to the researchtopic rather than theirrepresentativeness, which determines the way in whichthe people to be studied are selected”(p.41) in qualitative research. In this way, informantsare to be selected for the ways in which theymay better enable the examination of the behaviouror phenomenon of interest to the researcher(Mays & Pope, 1995).The challenges I experienced during therecruitment process stemmed mainly from theoriginal recruitment criteria I had established at theoutset of the study. In particular, I found itextremely difficult to locate Russian immigrant womenover the age of 55 who were willing toconverse entirely in English. I can only conjecturethat just as my earlier criterion for Englishlanguage aptitude was motivated by my ownapprehensions regarding my Russian languageskills, the participants’ discomfort with theEnglish language may have contributedto their lack38of willingness to partake in the study. After changing the criteria to include women over the ageof 50 and expressing my readiness to conduct the interviews in Russian, I was able to recruit theremaining majority of my sample. However, as a result of my inability to locate a significantnumber of willing participants using the initial recruitment criteria, the recruitment process tooksix months rather than the three months I had originally estimated, and my efforts yielded only10 participants, rather than the 12 to 15 I had intended to recruit.Kishinevsky (2004) notes that older Russian women are especially difficult to recruit dueto their deeply ingrained suspicions of figures and institutions of authority, an attitude rooted inthe Stalinist culture of fear many older Russian women observed growing up.Thus, myaffiliation with the University of British Columbia may have actually deterredolder Russianwomen from agreeing to partake in the study. Although I cannot be sure that thewomen I didnot recruit showed little interest in the study due to their mistrustof my intentions, the majorityof the women who did volunteer for the study were under the age of65, and thus born after ornear to Stalin’s death. Only one woman over the age of70 agreed to take part in the study. Inaddition, I noted that women were far more likely to agreeto participate in the study if we werealready personally acquainted or had been introducedthrough a mutual social contact.3.8 Data AnalysisThe analysis of the data involved three phases, namely datamanagement, coding, and indepth analysis. During the data management stage,all interviews were transcribed andtranslated, and each participant was assigneda pseudonym to preserve their anonymity(seeTable 2 in the beginning of the Findingschapter). After reviewing each transcript, theinterviews were imported into a computer program(NVivo 8) used to manage and analyzequalitative data. The coding of the data was informedby Strauss and Corbin’s (1998) models of39open and axial coding. Open coding is the process of identifying, naming, and categorizing thefundamental ideas, events, and interactions in the data, while axial coding helps to develop adeeper understanding of the data through connecting together various data categories (Corbin &Strauss, 1990). Each transcript was read and re-read several times to form am impression of thewomen’s realities and identify broad categories (codes) of analysis within the data properties(Strauss & Corbin, 1998). Three major themes emerged from the data corresponding to myresearch questions, namely: Beauty Work, Aging, and Experiences of Immigration. Within theBeauty theme, I identified the following open codes: Fashion, Skin Care, MakeUp, Diet, HairCare, Exercise, Other Forms of Beauty Work, and Socialization.An additional five codes wereascertained within the Aging theme, namely: Physical Signsof Aging, Resistance andAcceptance of Aging, Health, Old Age, and Beauty and Sexuality.Finally, seven codes wereidentified within the theme of Experiences of Immigration, including:Othering/Otherness,Assimilation, Family, Language Barriers, Re-entry into the Labour Market,Financial Concerns,and Positive Experiences of Immigration. The open codeswere further reduced to axial or sub-codes, each containing up to 10 sub-codes (Strauss& Corbin, 1998), which were analyzed inrelation to each woman’s social position (e.g. age,educational attainment, historical background,income, and marital status).3.9 ReflexivityUtilizing the practice of “reflexive inquiry”(Smith, 1990,p.4), I aimed to situate myselfwithin the project as a white, young, middle classRussian immigrant female, in order tounderstand older immigrant women’s subjectiveexperiences as exclusive of my own socialposition (Acker, et al., 1983; Majumdar,2007). My simultaneous insider and outsidestatuswithin my interviewees’ socio-culturalgroup acted as both an advantage and a disadvantagethroughout the study. At the outsetof the study, both my former associations within theRussian40community and my social location as a young, Russian immigrant woman aided me in enlistingthe help of acquaintances in the process of recruiting and persuading older Russian immigrantwomen to participate in my study. In fact, I was frequently introduced as and called by anexpression which would roughly translate to “our girl” or “one of us.” The participating womenviewed me as one of their own, often comparing me to their own Sons and daughters (many ofwhom were around my age, and had moved to Canada at a similar age), and welcoming mewarmly into their homes. I used these associations to my advantage, asking the women todescribe and elaborate on aspects of Russian lifestyle and cultural practices I was unfamiliarwith, or was too young to remember. I also used this approach to question the women abouthistorical events, practices, and institutions in the former Soviet Union.However, my social position also presented me with several challenges. The firstinvolved the widespread attitude of respect and reverence towards one’s elders in Russianculture. Thus, as a young Russian woman who was conversing with older women, I found itdifficult at times to challenge and probe my participants’ responses without being perceived asdiscourteous. Gaining the women’s respect and co-operation was particularly important fromthe standpoint of the feminist interpretive perspective that framed the study’s methodology.Moreover, on a practical note, it was also important to maintain rapport withthe women in orderthat they agree to participate in a second interview. I also found it difficultto broach subjectssuch as sex, sexuality, menopause, as well as the personal details ofmy participants’ lives, giventhat these are rarely discussed among Russian women. I attempted to approach these subjectswith tact and sensitivity, so as to not appear intrusive or disrespectful,while at the same timeallowing each woman’s narrative to unfold with sufficientclarity and detail. In order to bracketoff my own experiences and opinions of immigration,beauty work, and femininity, I kept notesdetailing my impressions, thoughts, and reactionof the interviews and the participants following41each interview. My awareness of my own perceptions made my record of my attitudes towardsthe interviews a necessary part of my attempt to reduce my “insider” bias within the processes oflistening to, observing, choosing, and interpreting the data.42CHAPTER 4: FINDINGSThis chapter begins with a description of the present-day beauty work practices of theRussian immigrant women participating in my study, including their skin care, hair care,makeup, fashion, diet, and exercise habits. Next, I examine the women’s motivations for theirvarious beauty work decisions. I explore the influence of the women’s perceptions of later lifeand the aging body, as well as their understandings of cultural and gendered ideas of beautyontheir beauty work decisions. Finally, I discuss the women’s experiencesof immigration andacculturation and the ways in which these frame the women’s understandingsof beauty,femininity, and beauty work.4.1 The Beauty Work Practices of Russian WomenEven as the women showed varying levels of interest in beautification,all of theparticipating women engaged in at least one formof the beauty work (please see Tables 2 and 3).The most commonly performed type of beauty work amongthe women was the use of skin careas all ten women indicated that they employedfacial and body creams. Five of the womenreported that they specifically sought out anti-agingcreams when selecting skin care products.These women tended to be younger and have higherincomes than the women who did notuseanti-aging products. Indeed, a few of the womenwho did not use anti-wrinkle creams remarkedthat their finances simplydid not allow them to do so. Valeria, who was retired,opined: “If Iwas living under different circumstances,I would buy more. . .creams for mature skin. Butrightnow, when I look at the price, Ijust can’tbuy it. I can’t pay $100 for a cream.” Similarly,twowomen disclosed that they had utilizedthe services of a dermatologist, and another twohadundergone non-surgical cosmetic procedures,specifically Botox injections and a laser skin43Table 2: Individual Beauty Work PracticeName Age Beauty Work PracticesSkin care use, makeup use, hair dye, fashion, dieting,Anna 53 exerciseDana 70 Skin care use, makeup use, hair dye, fashion, dietingSkin care use, non-surgical cosmetic procedure, makeupKaterina 63 use, hair dye, fashion, dieting, exerciseSkin care use, makeup use, hair dye, fashion, dieting,Lydia 58exerciseMaria 58 Skincare use, makeup use, hair dye, dieting, exerciseOksana 52 Skincare use, exerciseSkin care use, non-surgical cosmetic procedure, makeupPolina 52use, hair dye, exerciseSofia 75Skin care useSkin care use, makeup use, hair dye, fashion, dieting,Valeria 69exerciseVera 59Skin care, makeup, hair dye, exercise44Table 3: Summary of Beauty Work PracticesBeauty practices Number of participantsSkin CareUsed body and skin creams 10Used dermatological services5 2Had non-surgical cosmetic procedures 2Makeup useUsed makeup 8Used no makeup 2Hair CareDyed their hair 8Did not dye their hair 2Diet6Engaged in dieting 7Did not diet 3ExerciseEngaged in physical activity8Did not exercise 2FashionInterested in fashion and clothing5Not interested in fashion and clothing5I defined the use of dermatological services as theutilization of spa services such as facials, or the consultationservices of a dermatologist. I excluded non-surgicalcosmetic procedures such as the use of Botox,fillers, and lasertreatments from this definition.6Diet was defined as the reduction of caloricintake or the consumption of particular foods withthe goal of reducingor maintaining one’s body weight (Timko, Perone,& Crossfield, 2006).45treatment. These four women were among the five women who had the highest incomes amongthe study’s participants.Of the eight women who wore makeup, some used various products sparingly, whileothers enjoyed using numerous, expensive cosmetic products. The women’s makeup uselargelydepended on their lifestyles, with six of the women opting to only wear makeup whensocializingwith friends or for special occasions and three women wearing make-upat all times. Forinstance, Lydia did not wear makeup every day, but said that she dedicateda great deal of timeto her makeup application when she visited her ffiends or went out:“If I’m going somewhere, Istart two hours before I go out. . .1 make up my eyes...[I put on] liner, mascara, lipstick of course.There all kinds of subtle things that need tobe done.” In contrast to the other participants, thetwo women who wore make-up all the time wereheavily engaged in their communities, andpartook in numerous volunteer, professional, social,and cultural activities on a daily basis.Similarly, eight of the women dyed their hair.While one woman frequented a hair salon,the majority of the women dyed their hair in theirown homes and objected to the high prices ofprofessional colouring services. Lydia, who was theonly woman to have her hair dyedprofessionally, had one of the highest incomes amongthe women interviewed. While sixwomen decided to dye their hair a colourthat approximated their hair tone before they hadgreyed, two women decidedto lighten their hair. These two women arguedthat dyeing their hairblonde made them appear more youthfuland suited their aging faces better than darkerhair.Sofia, one of the two women who did not use hairdye or make-up, indicated that herbeauty work choices were strongly influencedby her socialization in Soviet Russia. Forexample, she had this to say about hairdye: “Dyeing your hair wasn’tacceptable at all, at all.[Some people] used peroxide to lightentheir hair, if they wanted to go blonde,but proper girls46didn’t do these things. . . Then it was only prostitutes who dyed their hair.” In contrast, Oksanaindicated that her choice to not use make-up or hair dye reflected her acculturation to differingcultural beauty norms in Canada, which will be explored in more depth later in the chapter.Additionally, Oksana stated that the inconvenience of hair colouring was a strong deterrent:“When you start [dyeing your hair] you cannot stop. If I started dyeing my hair, I would have tokeep doing it every month, or maybe even more.” Nevertheless, Oksana was seriouslyconsidering beginning to colour it in the near future.Half of the women expressed a strong interest in fashion and appearing fashionable whilethe other half suggested that their clothing choices were more practical in nature.The formergroup of women emphasized the importance of fashionabledressing and the superiority ofEuropean clothing styles. Lydia, who enjoyed experimenting with her sartorialchoices, opined:“I love to dress nicely, I buy nice clothing, and I changeit frequently. And my friends all knowthat I love fashion. I like to look good, and I try to lookgood in any situation.” Similarly,Katerina simply stated: “I just like very much to be well-dressed...I never wear the same thingtwice.” In contrast, those who were less interested in fashionstated that they had begun to payless attention to the way they dressed following theirimmigration to Canada in order to adapt towhat they perceived to be the more casualCanadian style of dressing. For instance, Polinaasserted: “I buy more practical things that are comfortablefor me, and I don’t look at what otherpeople are wearing. . .it’s much easierthis way. . . and I like it this way. I like that I’mable to notworry about it.”All of the women displayed negative attitudestowards overweight and seven engaged insome measure of purposeful dietingor controlling their food intake. These women madecomments similar to those of Oksana, who contended:“Everybody wants to be slim, right?Nobody wants to be fat, that’s forsure.” The women described various methods thatthey47utilized to maintain their weight, which ranged from a focus on “healthy eating” to more extremeforms of dieting. For example, Dana asserted that she tried to eat healthy foods that were not toospicy, not too salty, and not overly fatty. Other women resorted to more drastic measures, suchas Anna who underwent a food chemistry test in order to determine which foods werebestmetabolized by her body and which she should avoid, or Katerina who put herselfon a “veryaggressive diet” after she became concerned about her weight. Katerina recalledherexceptionally strict diet: “I ate 850 calories daily, no more. I ate 200 gramsof carbohydrates,almost nothing, 200 grams [of protein] daily and a half kilo of different vegetables,two fruitsdaily and one piece of whole wheat bread.”The three women who did not diet were the two youngest women(Oksana, aged 52, andPolina, aged 52) and the oldest woman (Sofia, aged75) in the study. Even though they indicatedthat they did not diet, Polina and Oksana discussed theirdispleasure with the appearance of theirbodies, and their need to “take action” to ameliorate thecurrent condition of their bodies. Forinstance, Polina described trying to eat healthy food and limitingher food intake as she hadgotten older, saying, “My metabolism is slower, I don’t need that muchnow, and I have to eatless. But it’s not a diet. I’m trying to adjust to a newstage of my life.” Likewise, Oksana noted,“I never diet and I kind of have a strong feeling thatI cannot stop eating, I cannot force myselfjust kind of to eat less.. .but I kind of feel guilty everytime I eat ice cream.” In contrast, Sofiahad grown up after World War II, at a time ofextreme deprivation in the USSR. Sofia recalled:We didn’t even have an understanding of diets becausewe didn’t have anything toeat most of the time. There was nothing to eat. . .ifthere wasn’t any milk, if therewasn’t any bread, you had to standin line. . .1 remember back then, even in the1980’s, not even to mention the hungry1960’s, a neighbour would come running,saying, “This store has eggs!”,“This store has sour cream!” And so it started.What diet? There was no talk of diets.48Although Sofia later learned of dieting when she moved to Israel, she observed that her long-ingrained habits were hard to break and it was still difficult for her to consider dieting given thatshe had grown up in a time of tremendous scarcity.Finally, eight women engaged in some form exercise including walking,going to thegym, yoga, skiing, hiking, swimming, snow shoeing, and tai chi.For instance, Oksana enjoyedswimming and yoga, saying: “Especially now that my childrenare grown up and I have time tospend for myself. I always prefer to spend it doing some exercise.”Maria said she tried toexercise every day: “I do exercise each morning, for20 to 30 minutes, depending on my mood.But I always start the day with exercises.. .as a rule, every morning,I exercise.” Valeria reportedthat she attempted to keep fit with walking: “Ijust try to walk a lot. I walk to my son’s house,and [to] my friends’ houses. Ito try walk for aboutan hour a day.. .I’m always walking, runningto the bus, then I walk some more.” Anna remarked:“I try to do a little bit [of exercise] everyday. . .it’s very good for you. I liketo walk, to hike, it’s a good workout for all your muscles,andI do yoga.” The two women who did notengage in physical activity were the two oldeststudyparticipants. Although Sofia was a gymnastin her youth, she said she never gotten intothe habitof exercising once she immigrated to Canada,remarking: “I’ve just gotten usedto not doingany, and I don’t feel like I needit.” Likewise, Dana stated that she hadnever liked exercisingand has not been tempted to trysince her immigration to Canada.4.2 Russian Immigrant Women’sMotivations for Performing Beauty WorkWhen asked to explain their reasonsfor engaging in various formsof beauty work, thewomen noted that their socialization withinRussian culture and their perceptionsof later lifestrongly influenced their beautywork decisions. The followingsection explores how thewomen’s past and present beautywork practices were informedby their understandings of49Russian cultural definitions of beauty, femininity, and sexuality, as well as the importance ofbeauty work in Russian culture. Secondly, the section examines the ways in which old age andthe women’s experiences of their aging bodies framed their current beauty work practices.4.2.1 Beauty Work and Russian Culture4.2.1.1 Russian ideals of beauty and sexualityMany of the women reflected on the differences they perceived in the ways that Canadianand Russian women understood femininity and sexuality, and how these understandings hadabearing on contemporary Russian women’s beauty work practices.For example, Lydia observedthat while Russian women focused more on the achievement of a feminineappearance, Canadianwomen had different priorities: “[Canadian women] are focusedmore on their career, and one’scareer rarely depends on your outward appearance, right?” Annaexplained that while NorthAmerican women fought for the right to work alongsidemen, Russian women underwent nosuch struggles. She went on to describe how genderequality in the Russian workplace impactedwomen’s approaches to beauty work:“In Russian beauty, maybe there isn’t that aggressiveness.Women could be more feminine, their approachto life and their way of life were calmer. . .so awoman dressed nicely and always lookedafter herself.” Anna additionally noted that Russianculture defined feminine beauty as a reflectionof a woman’s sophistication:Russian women tried to develop theirinner beauty, because practically all womenwere very well educated. . .practically everyonewas interested in culture, in art.Going to the theatre was a very popular activity. . . [Russian]women were verycultured in many respects. Theywere always interested in literature, culture,theatre, art. . . and I think that this wasreflected in their outward appearances,in theirbehaviour, and in their looks.At the same time, some of the older participantsin the study discussed theconcept of“Russian beauty”, or the beauty ideologyespoused by the Communist Party. Forinstance, Lydia50described this beauty ideal in this way: “Soviet beauty is very harsh. They never showed us thatyou needed to put on makeup. They never told us to put on lipstick.. .The Soviet girl had to bevery modest, not made up, on good behaviour.” Sofia recalled that her mother, who was amember of the komsomol or the Communist Union of Youth7,was directly influencedby thecommunist idea of beauty that was propagated before and during World War II: “Mother wasavery beautiful woman, but she grew up during the revolution, and becauseof that, she was akomsomol worker and they had a very severe style of clothing.. .and it wasn’tan acceptable thingto use makeup.” Although Sofia did not internalize this image of the ideal communistwoman,she remembered how her mother, as well as many of her friends’ mothers, heldon to this view ofbeauty throughout their lives. She recollected: “We were a little embarrassedto do [beautywork] in front of my mom, so she wouldn’tsee if we had to pluck our eyebrows.. .other girls hidit from their parents too, so they wouldn’t think we werevain.” The communist beauty ideal didnot directly affect the women in the study, who weretoo young to be affected by post-WorldWar II communist rhetoric. However, this ideology impacted theavailability of images ofbeauty and beauty products in the former Soviet Union, and thusthe women’s engagement invarious beauty work, as will be discussedmore fully in subsequent sections. Media images behind the Iron CurtainIn addition to Russian cultural norms, the womendescribed how their beauty workpractices were strongly influencedby their access to media images of beauty, as well astheavailability of various beauty productsand services. Even though women inthe Soviet Unionhad limited access to film and televisionrepresentations of beauty, their beautywork practiceswere nonetheless inspired by both popularimages of Russian beauty and the“Western” mediaConununist Union of Youth, abbreviated as komsomolin Russian, was the youth wing ofthe CommunistParty. The komsomol functioned mainlyto inculcate young Russians with the values of the CommunityParty(Gooderham, 1982).51that made its way into the Soviet Union. The women who discussed the impact of media imageson their beauty work reminded me that Russian women aspired little to emulate Americanactresses and styles due to the lack of American media in the Soviet Union. Oksana had this tosay: “You know, America for us never was as an example for beauty or anything. . . .maybeeconomic, how you could be successful and have money. . .but not dressing, not beauty.”Instead, Oksana asserted that Russian women defined “Western” as German, French, or English,and looked to Western Europe for ideal representations of beauty and fashion. Anna explainedwhy European values and fashions appealed so much to Russian women:“There was also thismentality - Europe was nearby, all the European news, magazines, televisionshows. Andeveryone wanted to imitate this. Russia has always respected foreignersand everything foreign,and has tried to emulate them.”Although the women recalled there being little foreign mediafrom Western Europe in theSoviet Union, films and beauty products from Eastern EuropeanSoviet nations, like EastGermany and Poland, impacted the women’s perceptionsof beauty work. For instance, Sofiaspoke of the influence of foreign European filmson Russian women:[Russia] was very insular, and when [women]saw pictures, or films, or magazinesof foreign actresses, they thought that these womenwere so successful, and wewanted to be like them. And people thoughtthat this was the way people abroadlived and that was how they dressed, so they thought,“If I wear something similar,then I’ll look so clever and rich, andall the boys will look at me.” And if you wereolder, then “Everyone will tell me how beautiful Ilook.” And when the bordersopened up, these sentiments still remained - thatyou had to look European, like aforeigner.Sofia said she came to learn about various beautypractices “from foreign magazines, fromfilms.. .We had some foreign films, fromGermany. . .[We learned] how you should paintyourlips, how you should make up your eyes,how to pluck your eyebrows, that was allfrom themovies.” Similarly, Lydia who grewup in a small town and whose motherdid not engage inmuch beauty work, first found outabout feminine beauty work from foreignmovies: “When I52turned about 16, 17.. .1 saw these beautiful women in films, and they made me want to also belike them.. .and I absorbed this idea of beauty.” Katerina remarked that following Stalin’s death,more foreign culture and films made their way into Russia. She reflected on how watchingforeign films and attempting to emulate the actresses’ appearances were ways for Russianwomen to glimpse and enact an unknown world:When we watched a movie, I still remember that I was less concerned about thecontent.. .1 was mostly looking at the detail of their everyday life, because that lifewas closed to us. And it’s not only me, all my friends were watchingforeignmovies, and almost everyone was watching the same way as I did. We paidattention to small details: the furniture, the clothes, how they behaved.. .whatthatlife that was totally closed to us looked like. Because we thought that peopleabroad had much more freedom.Valeria elaborated: “In Russia, for a very long time there wereno connections to the outsideworld. We almost never went abroad.. .of course, we emulated them tothe extent of what wecould see of the outside world.” Some of the women, likeLydia, were additionally inspired byRussian films. Lydia had this to say: “Russia was a very closedcountry, but there were Russianmovies and Soviet films, and they had their own kindof beauty, Soviet beauty. . . and it made youwant to look after yourself so you could look that way.” The availability of beauty products in SovietRussiaAll ten women recalled how the scarcity of beauty productsand services in the formerSoviet Union influenced their attitudes and performanceof a number of beauty work practices.For instance, Lydia expounded on the difficultiesthat Russian women had experienced whenthey attempted to procure cosmetic products in the1970’s and 1980’s:There was no selection [in the stores]. . . sometimes,there were even creams that weused and we had to wait in line to buy them. There werespecial stores that soldimported cosmetics but it was only for foreigners, forthe children of diplomats, forpeople who were related to officials. They were calledBeriozka stores wherethings were bought on valyuta withhard currency. And when someone got a holdValyuta, or hard currency, was a form ofcurrency available only to foreigners visiting theUSSR.53of something from those stores, they sold it on the [black] market. It was veryexpensive at that time.Similarly, Sofia explained that the limited products that were available were oftenof lower-gradequality: “There weren’t any products available. . . If you wanted some lipstick,there was onlyone kind available, very rarely. . .Powder, we only had loose powder,and it was like chalk, butthere wasn’t anything else, there just wasn’t.”The women relayed particularly vivid recollections of the difficulties they hadfaced inacquiring clothing, and how this contributed to the value they attributedto their stylistic choices.For instance, Dana recalled constantly discussingmethods of obtaining clothing items with herco-workers: “We all talked about where to get [clothes],where to buy, where there wereimporters that you might bribe to buy something fashionable.[Buying clothes] was a very bigproblem in my day.” The majority of the women discussedhow government stores were oftenempty and contained pricey merchandise. Kateninamentioned: “At our stores there wasnothing. They were empty, or thingswere so ugly. Because mostly the budget of the wholecountry went to weapons in the Soviet Union, so therewas nothing in the stores.” Dana recalledhow women often wore the wrong sizeshoes because of the difficulty they had in acquiringfootwear in the Soviet Union: “There wereno shoes in the stores at all. So all Russian women,if you pay attention, their feet areall bent, because we bought not what fit us, but what was instores. . . .It was a terrible time.” In addition, store-boughtclothes were often unattractive andidentical in style. Sofia noted: “Evenif something did show up in the stores, itwas all the samething. For example, if some coats cameinto the stores, they’d all be the same and everyonewould end up wearing the same thing.”Oksana shared the following anecdote:It was my birthday and we decided to goout to dinner in a really fancyrestaurant. . . .and two weeks beforehand,I bought a really nice dress in the store,and when I came into this restaurant,I saw my friend coming in, in exactly the54same dress. Because everything in every store was the same, right? If somethingfancy and nice came in, everybody started wearing the same thing.Often, when things became available in stores, the women recalled having to stand in line forhours because of the demand for clothing. For instance, Polina stated: “It wasn’t easy to findgood things. . . you had to hunt for them in the stores, look where they sold things, and when theystarted to sell it there was usually a huge line up to buy something.” Valeria toldme of how sheonce stood in line for two hours in frigid weather for a pair of boots:This one time, I was living in Moscow, and I had this onepair of boots, and wintersare very cold there, and my boots had a big crack in them, right across thefront. . .1had money for new boots, but I couldn’t find any boots anywhere. There justweren’t any boots in the stores. And so oneday I was walking around Moscow andI saw a line up of 50 or so people, maybe a 100,and when I came near I saw thatthey were selling boots. So we stood there bundled up.It was so cold! And when Iwas closer to the front, my heart was just beating, “If onlythey’d have some left inmy size!” And when I finally bought those boots, I wasin heaven! Dry feet!When I came out of the store, I tossed my other boots inthe trash and wore my newones.Many of the women saved up for months to buy a singleitem of clothing. Sofiaremarked: “People would save money all year to buy afashionable pair of boots. You couldsave money for a year, because boots would cost a month’spay.” Additionally, women resortedto making their own clothes or modifying garments thatwere already in their possession to keepup with the trends. Valeria remembered tryingto look nice with very limited resources:“I hadthis one black dress, and I made different collarsfor it so that it would look nicer, and.. . at workthe men always said that I was the best dressed.. .but in actuality, I only had two dresses.”Katerina recalled: “We were all tryingto make something from nothing. I rememberthat Iknitted very well and made myself lotsof sweaters.. .and we all were trying todo somethingfrom nothing, otherwise, we wouldn’thave anything.” Anna explained whyRussian womenwere very often adept at sewingand tailoring:55A Russian woman, whoever she might be, she could do something with her hands,that’s just what life forced her to do. Practically everyone could sew and knit,because we earned little, clothing cost a lot of money, and what you could buy,noone wanted to buy.Like cosmetics, clothes could also be bought through spekulanty, or profiteers, who wereable to import clothing from abroad and sell them for a large marginof profit. Katerina noted:“Spekulatzya (profiteering) was also very popular. Therewas a certain group of people whocould go abroad. . .so they were trying to bring something into sell for double the price or eventen times more expensive.” Aima particularly enjoyed her governmentposition, as it gave heraccess to imported items that were otherwise inaccessibleto regular Russian citizens: “Imports,you could rarely get your hands on them.That’s why I worked in the trade business - becausethat’s where everything came through. . . andyou might have been able to find something foryourself.” Similarly, Dana recalled this story:It was very difficult to buy something in the shops, becausethere was just nothingto buy. And we over-paid spekulanty so that wecould buy things. In Moscow, Ifantasized about buying a fur coat. . .but there weren’tany in the stores. I earnedfairly good money, I could allow myself that purchase,but there weren’t any forsale. And so, they brought me a Yugoslavianfur coat, the price was 600 roubles,and they offered it to me for 1,500, that is, morethan twice the price. And I boughtit because I really wanted it, and there weren’tany for sale. And we practicallybought everything like thatIn the 1970’s and 1980’s, many of the womenturned to buying clothes on the blackmarket. For example, Oksana recountedthe following: “In stores we didn’t haveenoughclothes, so we bought a lot of clotheson the markets. Butthe market was much, much, muchmore expensive, because they weren’treally allowed to sell it.” Lydia also procuredclothes onthe black market: “They sold manythings from Turkey. . . on the market, notin the stores.Because the governmentwasn’t interested in these things.” Sofiaadditionally mentioned that56some women resorted to stealing in order to supplement their income and thereby afford to dressmore fashionably or live more comfortably:People didn’t just make money at work, there were other ways to do it, you know?Shop girls were always dressed very well, but if you were a shop girl, it wasconsidered to be an underachieving sort of position.. .but they stole a lot,so theirsalaries stayed untouched. Let’s say, someone worked as a school cook. It wastaken for granted that she wouldn’t buy her own groceries, she’d just bring themhome from work, so her salary stayed untouched and she could buy things with thatmoney.As a result of the difficulties that the women faced when attemptingto buy clothing,Lydia said that Russian women valued the garments in theirclosets much more than Canadianwomen currently do: “We didn’t change clothes so often there. Youbought things and youwore them for a very long time, because they were very expensive,and you didn’t throw thingsout. We wore things out. We really did.” Anna added: “People hada completely differentapproach to clothing. Here, you can’t wear the same thing twice in a row,but there peopledidn’t. . .have that much money. But the good thing aboutit was that they bought good things.”Valeria explained how she thought these difficulties affected Russianwomen’s attitudes towardsfashion, saying: “Russia underwent so manymisfortunes, one war, the Second World War.People were destitute. People couldn’t find food orproper clothing. And maybe because ofeverything people lived through, it became a part of theiridentity to look good.” Katerinarationalized Russian inunigrant women’s focus on appearancein this way: “You had to beextremely creative to look good. . .this is whatmakes us pay so much attention to ourlooks. . .because we all grew up ina country where there were no nice things, no goodshoes,there was nothing.”The interviewees reflected on how the combinationof the lack of available goods andprevailing attitudes towards fashionin Soviet society defined the importanceof tasteful and57elegant dressing in Russian culture. For example, Polina explained that the Russian collectivemindset encouraged women to dress fashionably:We teach children in Russia that you have to be the same as everyone else — don’tstand out, don’t speak your mind. Maybe that is why Russian people all try to lookthe same and when there’s something that is in style, something popular, everyoneis buying it and wearing it and you have to do the same. And if someone doesn’t doit, it looks weird and it’s like something is wrong with him or with her. And maybethey wouldn’t hire you, or wouldn’t promote you. So you are weird, you are notnormal.However, Katerina speculated that dressing up andfashioning their own clothes with limitedresources had also afforded Russian women a degreeof individuality in an atmosphere thatencouraged conformity. Recalling how government stores werefilled with identical-lookingclothing, she had this to say: “When I grewup, it was so difficult to find something better,something different than what other people wore. . .[this is] why we all liked to be well-dressed.”Since the majority of people lived in deprivation,fashion became a form of expression of tasteand individuality. Sofia echoed this sentiment:“[The desire to look good] probably comes frombeing poor, because everyone there was poor.So to differentiate oneself somehow...youprobably couldn’t differentiate yourself in anyother way. How else could a womandifferentiateherself other than by her clothes?”At the same time, Russian women’s opportunitiesto dresswell were indeed dependent on theirsocio-economic status. Becauseof the difficulty ofprocuring unique, well-madeclothing, Russian women’s outwardappearances quickly becamereflective of an individual’s classand wealth at a time of collective dispossession.As Sofianoted: “Workers were dressedvery badly because the pay was justmeagre. . .they dressed verybadly in anything at all. . .the womenwho dressed well were the more educatedwomen... .it wasa segment of the population that could doit, not everyone.” Thus, a woman’s socialstatus wascontinuously appraised basedon her clothing.58Many of the women mentioned a Russian phrase that translated roughly to “When youmeet a man, you judge him by his clothes; when you leave, you judge him by his heart” toexemplify the importance Russians attributed to first impressions. Katerina remarked on howgood first impressions implied a higher social standing, and often influenced others’ behaviour:People judged you by your clothes.. .you could tell right away what class youbelongedto.. .it’s not like here, where it doesn’t matter how you’re dressed. There,it was obvious,because if you were high class you were dressed much better than everyone else,youknow? Here, it doesn’t have the same meaning. Here, people don’t judgeyou by yourclothing, but it becomes a part of your personality to do so.Sofia elaborated by stating: “There was this belief thatif you looked good, you must berich.. .They used to say, ‘Nobody sees an empty stomach,but everyone sees how well you’redressed.’ So the first priority became lookinggood, and food became secondary.” Mariarecalled how women placed greater importance on theirlooks, illustrating this view with ananecdote:Our friend just visited her sister in St. Petersburg andtold us this story. Her sister’sfamily lived in poor conditions. They didn’t evenhave money to buy a vacuum,you know. Their old one was broken and her sister justused a broom. So shedecided that she would buy her [sister] a vacuum,and she gave her some money forit. The next day, her sister came with a new warmhat and she said to her, “But Igave you money for a vacuum!” And her sister said,“No one sees how I clean myhouse, but everyone sees it when I have a newhat.”Thus, according to the interviewees, Russianwomen quickly learned to adjusttheir outwardappearances in order to increasetheir opportunities in life. Katerina remarked:“If you lookedwell-dressed, you were treated better...and ifyou didn’t look good, you didn’t commandrespect.So we were taught that if we lookedgood, we would be given preference.”Finally, while the lack ofcosmetics and clothing in the former SovietUnion did notdiminish Russian women’s interestin fashion, the women suggestedthat a lack of sporting59facilities encouraged an indifference towards physical activity among Russian people. Althoughmany of the women were involved in athletics in their youth, they emphasized the generalsocietal disinterest in physical activity as well as the shortage of fithess facilities and programsfor adults in the Soviet Union. Many of the women recalled having been involved in sportintheir youth, like Oksana who said: “We had physical education until theend of university. Westill had physical education, all of those five years [we spent in university].”Sofia remarked: “Idid rhythmic gymnastics while I was in school, I participatedin competitions and everything, Ihad a trainer.. .but when I finished school that was it. It wasn’t customaryfor older people,when you were already working, to exercise.”Like Sofia, the majority of the participants talked about the Russian tendencyto decreaseor even stop engagement in physical activity in later lifedue to the lack of proper fitnessfacilities. For example, Polina asserted:“[Sport] wasn’t popular. And we didn’t have enoughfacilities for it. It was too much hassle to find whereto go and too far away from your home andnot convenient, whereas here you have gyms on everycorner.” Sofia added to this sentiment:“There was a lot of propaganda aboutsport, but it just wasn’t too effective because there weren’tany stadiums and the conditions just weren’t optimalfor exercise.” The women additionallyremarked that the lack ofbasic living necessities in the former Soviet Union madeexerciseredundant. Lydia noted:“In Russia, we had no cars and we walked a lot. If youwalk, youdon’t need any other exercise.” Similarly, Polinaobserved: “There, you didn’t have time for[exercise] if you had a family...you spent too much time cooking for the kids...so you didn’tneed exercise. You were working much morethan here and we didn’t have cars.”604.2.1.4 Beauty work practices in the Soviet UnionThe women’s discussion of their beauty work practices in the former Soviet Unioncentred mostly on their use of hair care products, makeup, and clothing. Thiswas likely due to acombination of two of the factors mentioned above, namely thehigh value placed on femininityin Russian culture and the societal meanings attributed to certainbeauty practices in the formerSoviet Union. All ten women described feeling pressuredto dress fashionably and take care oftheir bodies while living in the Soviet Union. Thesewomen, like Polina, spoke of thesignificance of feminine beauty work in Soviet culture:“In Ukraine, [what you looked like] wasa big deal. You always had to dress up for work anduse makeup.. .you had to do it every day.”The women said that they had paid much more attentionto maintaining a feminine appearancethough the use of makeup, hair styling, and fashionin the former Soviet Union than they didfollowing their immigration to Canada.Oksana had this to say: “In Russia I used [makeup]alot, because it’s cultural - everybody thereused [it]. . .you know, manicure, pedicure,eyeshadow, everything.. .And if everybodyis doing it, you usually do the same, right?You’re justfollowing the same direction.”In particular, the women mentioned the perceivedimportance of having an attractiveappearance in the Soviet workplace,particularly given their middle-classstatus and employmentin white collar, professional jobs.For example, Dana who worked in a largetechnical institute,asserted: “I used to always wear mascaraand lipstick. . .because I worked in a researchinstituteand I was surroundedby people who all looked very good. And itwas like a habit for me. Itwas something necessary.” Daria additionallyfelt obligated to display her senseof style atwork: “Where I worked, inthe research technology institute. . .itwas just absolutely necessary[to dress well]. They’d look atyou like they’d look at a white crow ifyou came to work dressedunlike everybody else.” Similarly,Maria reminisced about the importance ofhaving a61fashionable appearance in the Russian workplace: “We all tried to dress nicely, right?. . .And itwas important, especially if you worked in the university, you couldn’t come in shorts and at-shirt. It wasn’t a rule, but no one would come to work in jeans.” Polina, who also worked for abig company in the Ukraine, also described how her work environment necessitated that shedress well: “It was a fancy office in the centre of the city. . .so, all of the people [who workedthere] were dressed up and I had to too. So I was always wearing high heels and suits andskirts.”Although some of the women undoubtedly took pleasure in procuring and wearingfashionable clothing, most of the women in the study felt ambivalent about the importanceoffashionable looks in Russian culture and particularly in relation to their middle-class, whitecollar employee status. The women’s concerns were chiefly financial, as fashionable clothingwas often extremely expensive. For instance, Polina recalled grudgingly spending money on thestylish clothing she was expected to wear at work and when socializing with friends: “You hadto buy expensive clothes if you went to a party, or even to work you would have to dress up, andyou had to spend money on it, even if you didn’t have money for your kids.” Maria likewiseremembered that she, like most women she knew, bought unnecessary items of clothing so as tonot look inferior to other women: “In my city, winter wasn’t very cold, sometimes itcould beminus 15, but only for a couple of days.. .but maybe 30, 40% of womenhad [fur coats] becausemost women didn’t want to look worse off than other women.”4.2.2 Old Age, Illness, Health, and the Aging BodyWhile the women’s beauty work was influenced by their currentand past culturalenvironments, it was additionally framed by their perceptions of and attitudes towards age and62the aging body. The following section describes the women’s views of later life and theirperceptions of beauty work as a response to aging. Negative Attitudes towards age and the aging bodyMany of the women reflected on the equation of beauty and youthfulnessin Russian andCanadian cultures. Polina asserted: “I think it’s everywhere.People don’t want to get older inany country.. .looking younger is better.” Indeed, the privilegingof youthfulness wasparticularly evident in the ways that the women described theiraging bodies. Using words like“haggard”, “angry-looking”, and “sour” intheir colourful descriptions of aged appearances, thewomen revealed the negative views they heldand the unpleasant character associations theymade with a woman’s aging looks. The womenwere particularly dissatisfied with theappearance of their own aged skin, which they equatedwith the look of”a shrivelled apple” and“cracked earth.” In addition to being discontentedwith the appearance of wrinkles, the womenwere concerned about the sagging, drooping,age spots, and paleness that accompanied skinaging. Anna was especially disconcertedby the loss of elasticity in her skin: “If yourmusclesweaken, your jowls droop.. .thesefolds appear around your neck.. .And the neck alwaysgivesaway a woman’s age.” Motioninga drooping action around her face with herhand, Mariaadded: “With age, you just see this differencein your face. And every woman wants to keepherface in a better condition . . .youjust want to see the face you saw years ago,right?” Katerina’scomment echoed those of the otherwomen: “Nobody is happy to see this- there’s wrinkleshere, there’s wrinkles there. Youdon’t like it, so you do anythingyou can to make this processless visible.”The women were also disparaging ofthe appearance of grey hair, which they viewedas aparticularly visible sign of aging.Polina asserted: “I look older [withgrey hair] and I don’t63want to look older”. Katerina elaborated: “Grey hair makes you look like a grandma... Andmoreover, if you have grey hair, if you have no hairstyle, it’s terrible. You look like a beggar.”Vera agreed, saying: “I don’t want to look like my kids’ grandmother. . . and when we you havegrey hair, you look much older than you are.” The women were especially critical of womenwho had long, grey hair. For example, Lydia asserted: “Women who walk around withlong,grey hair, untidy hair, they just look like witches, it looks so unkempt. . .It’sjust awful . . .thisunkempt look, it’s unsuitable. It’s neither here nor there.”Additionally, the women connected their negativeviews regarding obesity and their ownbody weights with the aging process. The majority of the women recalledbeing thin or ofaverage weight in their youth and early adulthood, andwere taken aback by the weight gain theyhad experienced after menopause. Nine of the womenexpressed sentiments similar to those ofKaterina, who stated that her life was a “permanent fightwith weight” as she dieted in order toavoid looking “fat and ugly.” Although Mariaspoke of the inevitability of weight gain with age,she remarked that her recent weight gain had madeher dislike the reflected image she saw in themirror: “In the last maybe four, five years. . . after menopause,I started looking not as good as Idid before. . . something changed in my body.I thought I was a normal weight all my life, butrecently it’s gotten worse and worse.”Lydia, who had been very small framed and thinthroughout her life, also found it bothersometo discover the menopause-related changes in herbody:My muscles became softer, and a little tummyappeared which isn’t going anywhere• . .and then these sausage rolls are appearing onall sides, and it’s just not nice,you’re putting on a dress, and itdoesn’t sit like you’d like it to. You’re puttingon acorset, and it doesn’t hold things in anymore.64Similarly, although Oksana had not yet experienced menopause, she complained about the rapidweight gain she had experienced since turning 50: “I have fat everywhere, everywhere. . .1became puffy, and you know. . .when you’re going to buy some clothes, and you look at the size,it’s frustrating. Like, you look at the size and say, ‘No! That cannot be my size.”Although the majority of the women indicated that they had watchedtheir weightthroughout their lives, they asserted that this had become increasingly difficult. Forinstance,Maria was distressed by the changes in her body and her inability to easilylose weight as shehad aged:The last couple of years, I have just gained weight, and gained more,and I just feelthat I’m not fighting it [enough]. I have to think about dieting, becausewith theyears. . .it is really easy to gain weight, and it’s more difficult to lose weight.Before, if I wanted to lose five, seven kilos, I could do it easily,in two or threeweeks. Right now, it is really difficult - it’s difficult to change.Anna also commented: “I used to think. . .1 was satisfiedwith my body, but now, when themuscle isn’t the same as it used to be.. .1 want to lookgood, of course, but it’s not as easyanymore, it’s a process now.” Some of the women additionallynoted that their desire to loseweight was counterbalanced by wantingto maintain a youthful appearance. For instance, Mariawho was contemplating going on a diet, butwas fearful that a rapid weight loss might result inthe equally rapid aging of her facial features,noted that the weight loss process was “noteasywhen you’re older, you know, everythingon your face immediately falls.” Oksana, who alsoexpressed a desire for a thinnerfigure, remarked that her dieting practices were complicatedbyher aging body:I understand that at my age, losing weight is probablynot the best solution(because) losing weight means getting morewrinkles. . . .especially if you loseweight in a short period of time, it will all wrinkle- which nobody wants, right?It’s like a choice. You could beslim and wrinkled, or you could be fulland. . .haveno wrinkles.65Even as the women the women identified their various concerns regarding their agingbodies, some of the women felt a disconnection between their aged appearances and theirperceived youthful inner states. For instance, Oksana remarked:My grandma, she was always saying, ‘I don’t understand how it’s happened, I’mlooking in the mirror. . . and I can’t believe that it’s me. I feel much youngerinside.’.. .1 believe that our mind stays younger much longer than our body. Andbecause of that, it becomes kind of inconsistent. When you’re younger, you don’tunderstand.. .but now I do understand. . . It’s hard to believe that I’m getting olderand older and older, and my body is changing, everything is changing, but I feelthat I’m still young inside.Katerina s explained why she didn’t want to look older: “I thinkI would feel really dissonantwith my look, because inside, I don’t feel likea grandma.. .That’s where the tragedy lies. . .Wecan’t accept the fact that as time passes, we change. ..because inside we’re still the same.” Beauty work and the resistance of agingFurther supporting their disparagement ofaging and aged looking appearance, all tenwomen indicated that they engaged in numerous beautypractices with the underlying purposeoffighting off the signs of aging. To begin, skincare products and facial treatments werepart ofthe arsenal that the women usedto ameliorate the appearance of age spots, droopingskin,dryness, and wrinkles. Asserting thattheir reasons for using various skin careproducts wererooted in their desire to appear more youthful,the women made comments similarto those ofMaria who said she used facialcreams “to keep the face maybe a little youngerand to avoidwrinkles.” While Daria had notused use facial creams in her youth,she said that she intended topreserve what youth remained in herfacial features through her useof skin care:You know, when I was younger, it wasnot very important for me to use creams,because I did not have wrinkles- that’s why I didn’t pay much attentionto myappearance. . .When I was younger, Ididn’t think much about howto look younger,because when I was younger,I was sure that I wouldn’t get old.66Dana went on to say: “Without creams, I don’t know what I woulddo, because [my skin] isvery dry.. .It’s like when you leave an apple out for too long.. .If you don’t moisturize andnourish the skin, it becomes like a shrivelled apple.” Likewise, Valeria remarked ontheimportance of looking after one’s skin to maintaina wrinkle-free appearance:When I worked [in aesthetics] in Israel, I hadpeople come in [to the store] and theirskin was dry, dry. I have wrinkles too, of course, I’m almost70 years-old.. .but ifyou don’t look after the skin, it dries out and these wrinkleslook much worse, theyresemble the cracks in dry earth, like the cracksthat form in the sand when it hasn’trained.While they questioned the validity of the claims madeby the product advertisements forthe various facial creams,half of the women additionally utilized anti-aging creamsin the hopesof obtaining and maintaining younger-lookingskin. For example, Polina explained why shebought anti-aging creams: “Maybe it’sbecause of the advertisements everywhere.. .you don’tknow exactly if it will help but you wonder,what if it will? For me to spend an extra fiftydollars is not big deal, and if it helps,why not?” Similarly, Oksana stated:“I started to use anti-aging [creams], but I see no difference..I’m just trying [it out]. It’slike, if you’re using anymoisturizer cream, why not useanti-aging, right?”Additionally, two of the participantshad tried non-surgical cosmeticprocedures in aneffort to appear more youthful. Katerinahad recently become concernedwith her facialwrinkling and had gotten Botoxinjections. She recalled her experiences:I tried Botox twice, becauseI had lots of wrinkles here, in myforehead. BecauseI’m an emotional person.. .it’s [all]expression lines. The first timeI tried it I likedit so much. My foreheadlooked as if I was dead, you know?Dead people, they allhave smooth foreheads. Itprobably looked better than whenI was born.67When the effects of the second set of Botox injections wore off, Katerina reverted back to herformer skin care regimen after weighing the procedure’s high cost and short-term effects againstits benefits. Polina had had a sun spot removed from her cheek using a laser procedure. Shesaid that she was concerned about the associations between sun spots and oldness, and usedvarious sun protection methods to avoid the recurrence of sun spots:“I’m so scared that I willget some other spots, so anytime I go outside I try touse sunscreen.. .because otherwise, they’revery noticeable. They call it an age spot and I don’t wantto have age spots.”In addition to skin care products and non-surgical cosmetic procedures,some of thewomen stated that they used makeup to conceal facialsigns of aging. For example, Lydiadiscussed how she carefully and subtly appliedher makeup to disguise the imperfections sheperceived in her face: “Maybe I need to fix somethinghere so that this wrinkle is not as visible,maybe there are some shadows on my face. . .1 lookin the mirror, [and I] fix whatever I don’tlike that day.” Valeria remarkedthat she used blush to “make my cheeks a little rosy, becausethe colour in my face isn’t what it used tobe.” Finally, Katenna mentioned that she usedmakeup to conceal the aging in her skin, in orderto not look “like an ape.”Both women who did and those who did not wear makeupfrequently framed theirdiscussions of their makeup use interms of appropriate makeup colours and use in laterlife. Forexample, Maria who wore little makeupand muted colours, elaborated on whatshe considered tobe appropriate makeup use for her age:I think that with years [makeup] shouldn’t be reallybright, because then everyonewill see that the skin is not so young.I’m just thinking that with years youshouldn’t try to keep attention onyour face too much, you know? I think that[asyou get older].. .maybe you don’t wantthis attention anymore.68Similarly, Oksana who wore no makeup, explained part of her reason for giving up makeup use:“You see, when you’re getting older, makeup doesn’t look right on old people. . .it doesn’t looknatural.” She further reflected: “Makeup never looks natural, right? On younger people,itmakes them look more beautiful, but for older people, it doesn’t makeyou look younger. Ijustdislike it.” Lydia, who continued to wear makeup, remarked on the importanceof applyingrestrained makeup shades and avoiding bright colours, “so that your oldness doesn’tstare sobrightly into everybody’s face.” For Valeria, who wore makeup veryday, it was important towear her makeup subtly so as to not give away her age:We all have little cracks along our eyes and next to our lips and. . .whenyou use ashiny lipstick, it seeps into the cracks and it looks awful. . .And I say,at my age, youneed to use a more muted colour for your lipstick. You don’t needto use somethingso bright and eye-catching. And it’s even betterto line your lips with some pencilso that the lipstick doesn’t seep too much into these cracks.Anna, who wore little makeup, thought that older womenneeded to be careful with their makeupcolours: “When you’re young, you can wearany colour, but when you’re older, some coloursdon’t suit you anymore because they ageyou, because your skin tone changes and those coloursaccentuate how pale your skin has become.”She shared this advice: “Dark lipstick is alwaysaging, so in later life, you need to use lighter shades,and not use makeup as aggressively, youneed to use subtler makeup.”The majority of the women heldunfavourable opinions of grey hairand subsequentlysaid that they dyed their hair. Valeriaexplained her reasons for using hairdye in this way:“Naturally my hair is as dark as tar, and now it’sgreying as well, and white and black togetherisvery aging. . .1 started to colourit a lighter colour and I noticed that.. .the grey doesn’t show asmuch.” Similarly, Vera stated thatshe coloured her hair “because otherwiseit would becompletely white, like this chair. Andwhite hair makes people look mucholder than they are.”69In addition to not using hair dye and letting one’s hair go grey, Dana further observed that aninappropriate hairstyle could make an older woman appear unattractive: “I don’t want to lookyounger, like I’m trying too hard. [Women] who let down their long hair. . .they look like theydon’t want to accept their age. . .it’s not good for old people to have long hair.”Fashion was considered to be another means of masking what were perceived to be age-induced bodily flaws. Many of the women described choosing their clothes to strategically hideor accentuate particular body parts. For example, Maria explained her attempts to dress in a waythat concealed the weight she had gained after menopause: “My figure changed a little bit withthe years... .with time, my waist became a different size.. .1 used to like to use wide belts...butnow, there’s nothing more to accentuate, so I don’t.” Sofia tried to wearclothing that did notemphasize what she called her “biggest flaws”, saying: “If you wearsomething with a lowneckline, your skin is sagging. . . so it’s better to wear something that would coverit up, all ofthose wrinkles.. .your stomach hangs out, so you wear something more coveredup.” As well ascovering bodily flaws, the women’s fashion choices reflected perceivedage-related clothingnorms. Katerina succinctly stated: “You can’t wear everything whenyou’re older.” Annasimilarly shared this advice:There are many ways in which clothing can be usedto [make a person] lookyounger or older. . . When you’re older. . . you needto not reveal your décolletage,because your skin becomes different,you need to show less skin. If you feel likecertain parts of your body still look good, you canshow them off but if you see thatfor example, your chest isn’t as firm anymore,you don’t wear dresses with arevealing neckline. . . and you probably don’t wear shortskirts anymore or very tightpants, so clothing offers a lot of choices in terms of concealingwhat flaws you haveand accentuating your best features.Daria said that while she still enjoyedhigh heels and smart jackets, she no longer woreshort skirts because “there are somethings old people should wear and some theyshouldn’t. And everybody can understand.. .what’s appropriate for older people.” Dana70found it difficult to dress in a way that expressed her stylish inclinations while lookingage-appropriate: “I’m trying to be fashionable, too. Maybe, it looks strange for you, butI’m trying to look not too young, or like an old lady.”Finally, many of the women discussed how exercise helped ameliorate the age-relatedchanges they had experienced in their bodies, specifically weight gain and skin drooping. Mariaexplained why swimming was her preferred method of exercise: “I think that swimming reallyhelps to hold up the legs and arms in good condition. Usually, after 45, the skin and bodybecome droopy.. . so exercise, especially swinmling, helps me to be in a better condition.” Lydiadiscussed how yoga helped her address some of her concerns about her body weight: “Youknow, when you put on a dress, I don’t like it when I have some[fat] hanging here or pokingout, it’s unpleasant for me. So something had to be done, and that’s why I started doing yoga.”Anna, who also practiced yoga a few times a week, explained why she beganto invest more timein exercise as she had aged: “I need to do more physical activity to strengthenmy musclesnow. . .naturally, your muscle becomes weaker. . .so I need to exercise morethan I did before.. .toslim down and develop some muscle.” Positive attitudes towards later lifeOnly three women discussed the positive aspects of aging and/or spoke oftheiracceptance of the aging process. It is interestingto note that two of the three women whoasserted that they were accepting of old age were the youngest participantsin the study. Thesetwo women had not yet undergone menopause, nor hadthey discussed experiencing any seriousage-related physical ailments. For instance, Oksana,aged 52, contended: “I know that somepeople just don’t feel comfortable [with old age],but I’m fine with it.. ..maybe in ten years I willbe saying something different.” Likewise, Polina,aged 52, remarked: “Of course I don’t like71some of the changes.. .but people adjust to any changes in their lives. . .I’m okay with it - fornow. I don’t know, maybe in the future [I won’t be].” Only two women, Oksana and Katerina,aged 63, talked about the potential advantages of aging. Oksanastated: “Getting older, it meansnot only bodily changes. . .You also feel that you did somethingwith your life. You alreadyraised your children.. .you did your job. And it’s a nice feeling.” Likewise,Katerina observed:“Any age has its advantages, you know? And I hope that oneday I’ll have grandchildren. . .1won’t have to work. I’ll be able to read however much I like.I’ll be able to do what I want.” The meanings of old age: Illness, dependence,and mortalityAlthough the women mostly discussed theappearance effects of the aging process ontheir bodies in our interviews, ill-healthand death was a common underlying theme in theirnarratives of the aging body. When I askedValeria why she did not want to look older, shereplied by linking her aging lookswith her fears of sickness and dying, saying:“I don’t want togrow older prematurely, and I don’twant to leave this life prematurely. You’re onlyhere for solong, so I want to be healthy andlook good.” Daria added: “You know,nobody wants to die.The more wrinkles you have,the closer you are to the grave.” Vera hada similar view ofoldness and aged outward appearance, stating:“Why don’t people want to look old? Becausewhen you look very old, youlook like one more step and you willbe in the grave, and you wantto be alive, that’s why.”Several women discussedtheir general concerns about their health, includingOksana,who tried to keepin good health by exercising and eating well,but regretted not having taken herhealth into considerationearlier in life: “When you’re young,you don’t think about your health,it’s only later on.. .Mygrandma said, keep your healthfrom when you’re young . . .it’sonly laterwhen you start to understandit’s true. . .if you let it go, it willbecome uncontrollable.” Lydiafelt72strongly about preserving her health and body into old age: “[Old age] happens so quickly that ifyou don’t look after yourself, oldness just takes over very quickly. That’s why you have to lookafter yourself. You have to look after yourself as much as possible.” Likewise, Katerina stated:I don’t want to lose my health. I don’t want to lose my teeth. I don’t want to losemy vision.. .Nobody knows their destiny, right? So of course, we’re all afraid ofold age. I’m afraid that I’ll end up paralysed.. .I’m afraid of being dependent onsomeone. I don’t want anyone to be taking care of me.Vera similarly noted: “We all want to live. . .when you get older, illness come out of nowhere.that’s why we don’t want to age too quickly. . .There’s a time bomb in your body that willexplode one day. And we want to postpone it.”Moreover, a few of the women briefly discussed their specific health-relatedconcernsboth in the present and with respect to the future. Some women expressedsadness over thechanges to their physical abilities that had already occurred. For example, Oksanahad this tosay: “I feel the limitations. I know that whatever I could do before, I couldn’tdo right now. Icould accept it, but I cannot change it back, that’s for sure...I’m not as flexible, I cannot run[like before].” Similarly, Sofia asserted: “You’re moving differently now.If you used to beable to sit down freely, you can’t bend anymore. . .you don’t haveas much flexibility. You can’twalk as much anymore.” Other women described how menopause had negativelyimpacted theirhealth and well-being. Lydia was particularly alarmedat how undergoing menopause hadchanged her body, saying: “When I hit menopause, I understoodthat my whole bodychanged.. . the reason I hurried up to joinyoga and started exercising was because I felt that I wasjust catastrophically changing. . .1 couldn’t keep myshape.” Anna similarly practiced yoga toovercome the hot flashes and weight gain she experienced:“Hot flashes are a big problem, it’svery upsetting. You get covered incold sweat, and especially if they keep happening ina publicplaces, it’s very unpleasant, and you don’t look veryattractive and don’t feel well either.”73Finally, some women expressed fear about developing dementia in the future. For instance,Lydia stated: “I’ve noticed that in the past two years, even my memory has changed, it’sbecome worse.. .everything changes.” Similarly, Katerina contended: “The most depressingthing is the fear of losing your memory and your mind.. .so you have to train your memory, youhave to train your mind, otherwise you can get Alzheimer’s disease, and that’s just the end.”Several women made the link between (ill) health and appearance, like Lydia, who hadthis to say: “[Maintaining your health] is important, especially with age. . . everything inside is allreflected on the outside. All your illnesses will become visible anyway, whatever youdo. Soit’s very important to stay in shape, and try not to get sick.” Polina likewise asserted: “Yourhealth is your look. If you look healthy, you will lookbetter. . . if you eat better, you lookbetter... it’s better for your health and your skin. Your eyes will lookbetter. Your hair will bebetter.” Anna stated:I’d say that these issues are inseparable: If you wantto look good, you have to behealthy.. .when a woman is sick, it’s very difficult for her to lookgood. First of all,because she’s probably not in the mood to be doing these kinds ofthings if she isconstantly in pain. . .and secondly, she can’t look good anymore,because all theseillnesses that are inside are reflected in the face,in the skin, in the figure, ineverything. . .so these things are connected, and to look younger longer,you need tomaintain your physical health.As a result, the women stated that they engaged inbeauty work not only for its potentialappearance dividends, but also to target the specificage-related bodily and health changes theyhad begun to experience. Lydia now exercised regularlyin order to keep herself from feelingtired: “I started doing it a year ago... because yourbody changes, and in the mornings, whenyou wake up you’re not as energetic asyou used to be, so exercise is absolutely essential.”Similarly, Oksana believed that exercisehelped her remain more energetic: “I think it’s goodtospend time exercising, and I feel much better.. .1 feel like I have more energy than I do sitting at74home reading. . . or browsing the internet or something.” Anna asserted that exercise aided her insustaining her general health: “If you’re in bad shape, you start having all sorts ofillnesses.. .and no one wants to be sick. So you need to look after your health and exercise. I,for instance, do yoga and it helps me a lot.” Oksana also saw exercise as an important way toslow the physical decline she had begun to experience with age, remarking: “It’s important forme to feel that I’m still fit, that I’m still able to walk or swim for a long time, or climbamountain, like I could 20 years ago...that’s why I [exercise].”Similarly, some of the women stated that watched their weight for medical as wellasappearance reasons. Valeria in particular stressed how important it was for her to maintainhercurrent weight, stating: “In reality I’m always on a diet. . .1 have typeII diabetes, I have highcholesterol, and I’m quite full in figure. I don’t want to fall apart, to notbe able to fit intodoorways and become even sicker.” Other women, who were currentlynot suffering from anymedical conditions, agreed that low body weight was an importantpreventative measure topreserve one’s health. Maria remarked: “It’s notonly about aesthetics, it’s also about health,you know? I understand that it’s more difficult for myheart, for everything, that I’ve got theseadditional kilos.” Anna concurred withthis statement, observing that, “extra weight is an extraload. It predisposes you to diabetes, heart disease, [and]joint problems... so you need to helpyour body stay healthy.”4.2.3 The Role and Influence of Male Partnersand the FamilyGiven the significance of familial relations in Russianculture, it is unsurprising that thewomen interviewed evoked the importanceand influence of their families and partnersin theirnarratives of immigration and beautywork. The following section detailsthe role played by thewomen’s families and male partners intheir beauty work interventions.75It was clear from our conversations that all of the women had positive relationships withtheir mothers and daughters, and that many of the women’s beauty practices were shaped bytheir female family members. Three of the women remarked on the ways in which theirdaughters had influenced their beauty work, including Katerina, who shared clothes with herdaughter, and Oksana, whose daughter encouraged her to better her eating habits. Likewise,Polina had two daughters who continuously advised her on her hair style and fashion choices.Other women’s stories exemplified how their mothers held sway over their past and currentbeauty practices. For instance, Maria contemplated why she spent less time on her appearancethan other Russian women she knew: “I’m different because. . .my mom taught me that this isnot so important.. .it doesn’t matter how you dress.. .she always pushed me tolearn more, ratherthan thinking about how to dress and how to make an impression on people.”On the other hand,the beauty work of Polina’s mother had inspired her to be attentive to her own appearance:“[My mother] is 82 now and she likes to look not that old, not that grey. . .1 sawit all my life -that she takes care of her looks - and now I’m trying to do the same.” Similarly,Valeria recalledhow her mother had influenced her beauty practices: “[My mother] taught meby example. Isaw before me a very put together woman, who looked after herself and wasmade up... shetaught me by example, although she never sat down and talkedto me about cosmetics.”Additionally, some of the women mentioned thattheir beauty work was tied to their desireto look attractive to men. Lydia, who carefully managedher appearance with makeup,fashionable clothing, and an updated hair cut, opined:“In Russia, we got used to lookinggood. . .we got used to men looking at us, atany age. It’s natural. It’s completely natural. Andwomen exist for that reason - to delight men’s eyes.”During our interview, Lydia showed mephotographs from a recent event she had attended, drawingattention to her attractive outfit andrecalling the pleasure with which she had receivedcompliments from her male acquaintances:76“It’s nice when my ffiends’ husbands come up to me and say, ‘You look wonderful today.’ Ofcourse! And it’s nice for my husband as well that next to him stands a woman who is worthy ofpraise.” Likewise, Katerina felt very strongly about maintaining one’s femininity and sexualappeal in later life:The older [women] are, the less feminine they begin to look, and that’s why theyget depressed.. . .and they are depressed because they aren’t seen as women, butrather they’re seen as sexless beings.. .if you give up on being a woman, then youstart thinking that it’s all behind you now. A woman’s weapon is our charm, it’sfemininity. . .part of a woman’s power is the ability to look good, to flirt, to capturepeople’s attention.. .and if you give up these things, if you don’t look after yourself,then the world rejects you too. You feel rejected if you stop looking after yourself,because no one will pay any attention to you.Although Katerina initially insisted that her boyfriend, whowas seven years her junior, did notinfluence her beauty work in any way, she later admitted: “He probablydoes motivate me alittle ... if I go somewhere with him, of course I don’t wantto look much older [than him].”Both Daria and Anna considered it a woman’s callingto seek out male attention, with Annaasserting: “I think that it’s a self-evident truth that.. .it’sabout the continuation of the species, soa woman needs to attract the attention of the other sex.For me, it’s just obvious that a womanwants to attract attention.” Aima was disappointedand distressed over her decreasingattractiveness in the eyes of her husband, saying:“When you’re starting to get old, you lose thatability to be admired and even whenyou observe the reaction of your husband.. .you seetheexpression on his face. . . and the disappointmentthat others feel is very unpleasant.” Asa result,Anna, like the majority of the women,worked hard to retain a youthful and attractiveappearance.774.3 Experiences of Immigration and Their Effect on Beauty WorkThis section examines the ways in which the women’s beauty work practices wereinfluenced by their immigration experiences and assimilation into Canadian culture. Inparticular, I explore the impact, or lack thereof, of Canadian ideals of beauty and femininity onthe women’s beauty work practices. Additionally, I look at how the women’s integration intothe Canadian labour force and their experiences of ageism and sexism in the workplace affectedtheir beauty work decisions.4.3.1 The Negotiation of Canadian Beauty Ideals: AssimilationMost of the women adapted and assimilated their beauty practices to better correspond totheir understandings of Canadian beauty ideals. For instance, the women’s use of makeup wasamong the beauty work practices that were most affected by the women’s assimilation intoCanadian culture. Nine of the women regarded Canadian standards of beauty to be moreinclusive of a “natural” appearance, and perceived Canadian women to be less interested thanSoviet women in the use of makeup products. The prevailing attitude among the women was awillingness to assimilate to Canadian norms by minimizing or givingup makeup use altogether.For example, Maria, who had worn brightly-coloured lipstick in Russia, now preferred to wearmore subdued tones. She stated: “Here, women don’t use such bright [makeup] colours.. .Andifyou start using them, you’ll look different from the crowd.. .1 just don’t want to look differentthan other people.” In addition to not wanting to appear dissimilar from Canadian women, someof the women simply preferred Canadian attitudes towards makeup use to those theyespoused inthe former Soviet Union. Valeria noted: “Everyone around me walks around withoutmakeup.That makes life a lot easier for me. Sometimes I need to runto the store, and I think, ‘Oh, whydo I need to put on makeup?’ It just makes life simpler.”78In addition, some of the women relished their liberation from the obligations offashionable appearance that they had been required to undertake while living in the SovietUnion, particularly in relation to clothing. The four women who perceived themselves to haveassimilated to Canadian styles of dressing stated that their motivations included the desire to fitinto their Canadian surroundings as well as the seeking of practicality and comfort afterspendingyears immersed in a culture that privileged fashionable femininity. For instance, Oksanaasserted: “I don’t dress up here.. .because I want to feel more comfortable and also,I want to bethe same as the other people. . . .1 want to be like everybody else in my environment.”Polinaexplained why she had altered her dressing style since movingto Canada: “I like spendingmoney on clothing, but now my clothing is more usefulor comfortable. Not pretty orfancy. . . I’m spending more money on things that Ineed.” Sofia expressed a similar view:Here they try to make clothing and everything suit their lifestyle. If it suits youtowear a low heel, wear it. If it suits you to wear a T-shirt, wear it, anddon’t suffer.Back there, you’d board a bus, and you wouldn’tbe able to sit down in your skirt.You couldn’t walk through the mud in your highheels. . .and here you wearwhatever suits your life.Indeed, the majority of the women commentedon how they perceived Canadian clothingto be more relaxed and athletic. The women’sobservations regarding Canadian style reflectedthose of Maria, who remarked: “In Canada, people dressmore simply, more casual.. .they dressto feel comfortable.” The women additionallynoted feeling less societal pressureto dress welland buy expensive clothing to denotetheir middle-class status. Sofia, who preferredto dressmore casually now that she lived inCanada, stated: “The clothing here, you couldn’ttell bysomeone’s clothing how wealthyor poor they are, you just can’t. A wealthy womancould bewalking around in ordinary lookingshorts and running shoes.” Likewise, Polinaasserted:“[Here], you can buy what you likeand what you feel good in. And you don’tneed to spendmoney or pretend that you likea certain style to fit in.”79Although none of the women had placed much importance on sport and exercise whilethey resided in the Soviet Union, their immigration to Canada made the majority of the womenreconsider the merits of physical activity for maintaining their health and appearance. Upontheir relocation to Canada, eight of the ten women began to explore various forms of physicalactivity. These women felt compelled to engage in physical activity by the aging of their bodiesand by the appearance dividends they hoped to receive from exercising, and not in order to betteradapt to the Canadian lifestyle. For instance, when I asked Oksana why she exercised, sheopined: “My weight, it’s actually going up, and if I’m not going to diet, I should try somethingelse.. .With age, you start to look...less shapely.” However, many of thewomen spoke of beinginfluenced to begin exercising by their Canadian friends, co-workers,and general surroundings.Anna remarked:I think [living here] has had a positive effect on me. I saw that really, it’s verysmart to start thinking about your health when you’re younger. . .here,everyoneactively looks after themselves, exercises, looks after their diet. . .maybethat’s whyI started thinking more about it and maybe that’s why I started practicingyoga. . .theCanadian lifestyle, it influenced me very much in theway I look at my health andhow I try to maintain it.Lydia likewise observed: “When you come here, your worldviewchanges.. .sooner orlater, everyone comes to the conclusion that they needto move. . . and in our [yoga] class, thereare a lot of Russian women who have also come to thatconclusion.”Finally, half of the women additionally noted that itwas not only the cultural atmosphere,but also their changing life circumstances in Canadathat altered their beauty work routines.Both Daria and Sofia observed thatsince they had retired and now devoted muchof their time totheir families and grandchildren, they felt less compelledto engage in beauty work. Sofia, whowore little makeup when she lived inRussia, remarked that she did not feel required to beginusing beauty products now that she lived in Canada: “Itfeels unnecessary. . .You don’t really80want to start putting things on your body or your face.. .1 just don’t feel like I need it [anymore].”At the same time, three of the women, who were currently unemployed, said that they had scaleddown their beauty work when they had gotten laid off. Maria felt that it was nolonger essentialfor her to maintain her makeup use now that she was not workingand interacting with the public,noting: “I don’t use real makeup each day. When I was working [I wore] more,but when I stayat home, I think that it’s good to give my face a chance to rest a little bit.” Likewise, Lydianoted: “My lifestyle has changed, and I don’t go to work every day, likeI used to.. .1 don’t haveto put on makeup everyday if I’m just sitting at home or going to thegrocery store, right?”However, as will be discussed further in the followingsections, these three women continued toperform long-term beauty interventions suchas dieting and hair colouring as they attempted toregain employment in the Canadian labour market.4.3.2 The Negotiation of Canadian BeautyIdeals: OtheringAt the same time, some of the womenused makeup and clothing as a way of othering ordistinguishing themselves fromCanadian women and Canadian beauty culture and maintainingtheir “Russianness.” To begin, many of the women’snarratives emphasized the significanceanddistinctiveness of their identities asRussian women. For instance, when speakingof Canadianculture, Oksana commented: “I will neverbe inside this culture.. .so we stay and communicatemore with [Russian] people. We do not reallymix with Canadian people. I believe it’smucheasier for us to have our [Russian] friends,our family.” Likewise, Maria noted thatmost of herfriends were Soviet émigrés:“We know maybe only a couple of Canadian families...We’re ingood relations with our neighbours,sometimes they visit us, but.. .1could not say that we’refriends.” Polina explainedthe reason behind this: “We’re lookingfor Russian-speaking friends,because they can understand our background,our traditions.. .you want to find peoplethat speakyour language and understandyou better.”81Paralleling their efforts to preserve their former homeland’s traditions, culture, andlanguage through their social networks, some of the women used beauty work to construct andmaintain their individuality as Russian women. For instance, half of the women maintained aconscientious and fashionable dressing style following their immigration to Canada, and weremotivated both by their desire for an attractive appearance and their wish to maintain theirunique identities as Russian women. These women stressed the superiority of European styles ofdressing, and attempted to construct a fashionable look that echoed the European fashions theyhad grown up emulating and imitating. For instance, Katerina had this to say: “It’s a habit. It’smy nature that I’m used to being dressed mostly like European women. So I have beautifulcoats, I still like high heels.. . and I hate wearing sweatpants.” Having come from a verypopulous Soviet capital, Katerina was shocked by the contrast between Canadian and Russianstyles of dressing: “Canadian women.. .they’re often dressing tastelessly, very often in thingsthat don’t match. They could be wearing a silk dress with sneakers.. .1 wouldn’t do that. Myfeel will hurt, I’ll hobble, but I’d wear proper shoes, you know?” Valeriaalso had a negativeview of Canadian style and stated that, compared to Russian women,“the women here, theydon’t dress as nicely. Maybe when they’re going out, they’ll dressa little nicer, but as a rule, Idon’t see well-dressed women.” Thus, Valeria continued to emulate European fashions: “Igrewup in a different culture, and I try to pick out clothing that looks elegant.For me, European styleis still preferable, and I like it when women dress ina European manner.”Similarly, some of the women utilized makeup toset themselves apart from Canadianwomen. Even though Katerina was awarethat her makeup use differed from that of mostCanadian women, she observed that she felt compelled towear makeup in the same way that shedid in the former Soviet Union, because, “yourcharacter is formed from childhood.. .and this[way of life] just becomes a part of you.. .it becomesyou.” Lydia similarly commented on her82reasons for wearing makeup and attempting to maintain an attractive outward appearance: “It’sa part of [the Russian] mentality. . . We grew up with this belief from a very young age, to try tobeautify ourselves.. .it was a part of our lives.” Despite her belief that Canadian women wereless focused on beauty, Lydia continued to wear feminine makeup, saying:I try not to lose my own habits and my self. And because of that, I look aftermyself the way I’ve gotten used to taking care of myself. So I don’t lower myselfto another level — because if you let yourself go, then that’s it, consider yourself alost cause. . .Never mind that around me, people have a different mentality. I am theway I am and I’m going to stay the way I am.At the same time, the women struggled to reconcile their notions of attractivenessandfemininity with what they perceived to be Canadian beauty ideals. WhileLydia spoke of notwanting to appear Canadian, she was also conscious that she looked outof place by virtue of theway she dressed:I think that a woman is more confident if she looks better. ButCanada is not veryaccommodating in that respect, because whenyou go outside, you feel like a whitecrow because next to someone else you’re dressed very brightly.. .but if I woulddress like the locals here, I think that I would get very depressed,very quickly.Likewise, Anna lamented having to tone down her elegantstyle of dressing so as to notstand out among Canadian women:“I think that I could dress better. I mean,I’d like to dressbetter, but taking into account the Canadianattitude towards fashion, I tryto adapt myself to thisenvironment, even if I don’t subscribeto this attitude.” While Anna attemptedto maintain herindividual sense of style, she simultaneouslystressed the importance of blendinginto hersurroundings: “I don’t like beingoverdressed because I don’t want to look differentfromeveryone else. So I can’tdress like I dressed in the Ukraine, orit wouldn’t look right. . . .no onewants to look like a white crow.”83In particular, the women felt conflicted by their desire to uphold a feminine appearance.Katerina had this to say:Sometimes I see Russian women, and I can spot them from a distance. And I don’tlike that sometimes they wear too much makeup, too much jewellery. Sometimesthey’re dressed up and the look out of place, you know? On the other hand,Canadian women look very, very plain. You can’t even see them, they’re like greymice. And sometimes I think, maybe it’s better to look brighter, but look like awoman and not like an undefined mass.However, Katerina continued to wear makeup and bright clothing, noting: “It makesme feellike a woman. . .1 want to look at me in the mirror and I want to likemyself then I feel moreconfident, my mood is going up, I go out and I feel like a woman.” Similarly,Lydia thought itimperative to preserve a well-groomed appearance in order tomaintain one’s sense of self-assurance. She remarked: “I have some lipstick on right now. I wouldjust never go out withoutmakeup.. .[because when I wear makeup] I feel moreconfident when I enter a room. Andpeople tell me that I look good.” Indeed, Lydia wasproud of the way her makeup usedifferentiated her from Canadian women and attractedthe attentions of Canadian men:“Sometimes I even see that Canadian men, who arenot used to women who are made up, payalot of attention to me. Even young men, theylook [at me] with interest and with a sort ofrespect.”Finally, the participants distinguishedCanadian and Russian clothing trends in relationtoattitudes towards overweight and arguedthat Canadian women were more acceptingof fatness.For example, Sofia stated:Here, [being overweight] is perfectly normal. Thesewomen, they’re walkingaround, putting on whatever they like- even if it shows their flaws, they’reperfectly content. They’re taught thatthey’re just not like other girls, and that’sperfectly normal. But inRussia, they’d say, “Oh here comes a fatcow.”84Similarly, Valeria remarked: “In Canada. . .1 don’t like it when women who are chubby walkaround in shorts, there’s bulges sticking out here, out there. . .But I think that in Canada there’s adifferent understanding of [appropriate body weight].” While they perceived Canadian womenas more accepting of their figure flaws, the women remarked that Russian womenwould chooseto conceal their body weight with what were considered to be appropriate clothing choicesratherthan flaunt their bodily imperfections. Katerina asserted: “Very often, Canadian women willwear things without understanding that maybe they shouldn’t wearthem. A big womanshouldn’t be wearing shorts.. .it’s just unpleasant to look at. A Russian womanjust wouldn’tallow herself to do that.”4.3.3 Facing Difficulties in the Canadian LabourMarketThe women’s negotiation of Canadian beauty ideals was particularlyapparent when theirintegration into the labour market necessitated themto adopt Canadian views of beauty andfemininity. Despite their advanced educationand possession of often extensive workexperience, many of the women were met with challengeswhen they attempted to gain work inCanada. As previously mentioned, prior to immigratingto Canada, six of the women workedasengineers, while the other four held variouswhite collar jobs, including those of anadministrator, shipping agent, journalist,and customs agent. However, six of the eight womenwho sought work upon arriving in Canadaexperienced an occupational downshift.While herhusband, who worked in the trades,found ajob relatively easily, Lydia, whowas a journalist inthe Soviet Union, found it difficultto attain a position in her field of specialization.She spoke ofthe time when she realized shewould have to take on an unskilledlabourer position: “It wasvery serious and very stressful forme. . .because I had never worked adifferent job in my life.I’d never held anything in my handother than a pencil, and.. .1 was very depressed,it’s true.”Katerina was forced to find work quicklyafter her divorce left her withno monetary support85from her husband and no transferable skills for work in Canada. She recalled: “I’m a chemicalengineer, so I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t young when I came here, I was 49, and itseemed to me that it was too late to go to university to confirm my diploma.” Like Katerina,four of the other women were also forced to take on lower status jobs in the hospitality industryor as elder-care workers, customer service representatives, and aestheticians. Vera, whoimmigrated to Canada during a recession, had a particularly difficult time adjusting tohervocational downgrading: “I had to make a funeral for my previous background and acceptmynew life. Sometimes it was tough, people would say, “You’re an engineer,why are you stoopingso low?”. . .but I didn’t have any other way to live.”Only four of the women were able to find work in their previous professions. Thesewomen were younger andlor immigrated later than the women who feltcompelled to changeprofessions in order to gain employment inCanada. Even so, these women had difficultyobtaining employment, spending an average of two tothree years looking for work followingtheir immigration. Furthermore, likelydue to their limited work experience in the Canadianlabour market, four of the eight womenwho had sought work in Canada had recently been laidoff due to the worsening Canadian economy. Thus, evenwhen the women were able to regaintheir former occupational status, they still facedmarginalization in the workplace.The majority of the eight women who entered the Canadianlabour market uponimmigrating to Canada commentedon how their age affected their ability to find work.Forinstance, Lydia who was already in her50’s at the time of her immigration to Canada, remarked:“The fact was that we were already older,and this proved to be another difficulty. It washarderfor us to learn the language.. .You needto put much more resources into [looking for work].”Inaddition to discussing the language-related challengesthey experienced, most of the womenspoke of their perceptions of theimportance of having a youthful appearancein the labour86market. As previously noted, the women who were able to regain their pre-immigrationvocational status were younger than the remainder of the sample. Even so, Oksana, one of theyoungest participants, said she felt pressured to dye her hair so as to not appear older than heryounger co-workers: “I’m thinking about [dying my hair].. .1 think that probably later on I willdye it. . .because I would like to look a little younger than I am. I’m not sure how much they likeolder people at my workplace.” Similarly, Maria, who was presently looking for work,explained why she dyed her hair:I don’t want to look older.. .1 have to find a job.. .and you have to look good enoughto get a job, right?.. .1 think that it’s a problem when you come in and look older...because if you look old then maybe [an employer] will think that you will work acouple of years and will leave the company. . .and it’s about sickness too, becausewhen you’re older, they understand that maybe you will not work all the time, howthey expect you to work.Anna noted that when women look older, “they cross over to a different group of people, and it’sbad because if you’re working or even worse, looking for a job, you need to look younger,because if you look old, no one will hire you.” Anna also commented on how she thoughtlooking more youthful allowed a woman to network within a greater rangeof social groups, andthus expand her professional opportunities. While mostof the women talked of unspokenstandards of appearance in the workplace, Vera experienced overtageism when she attempted toapply for ajob in engineering. She told me: “I triedto get ajob in my old field, but no onewould take me because they said, “You can’t teach olddogs new tricks”, because I was over40.. .and I was a woman in a male field.” Thus,while the women attempted to retain theirRussian identities though their use of various beauty work suchas makeup and fashion, some ofthe women chose to assimilate their makeup andclothing use in an effort to adapt to Canadianviews of attractive feminine appearance. Additionally,the women who sought work in Canada87aimed to comply with what they perceived to be the standards of appropriate appearance withinthe Canadian workplace by engaging in such beauty work as colouring their hair.88CHAPTER 5: DISCUSSIONThis study has examined the beauty practices often Russian immigrant women over theage of 50 and their reasons for engaging in these practices. In this final chapter, I review andsummarize my findings in light of the extant research and theorizing concerning beauty workand aging, discuss the broader implications of my research, highlight the strengths andwealcnesses of the study, and offer suggestions for future lines of inquiry.5.1 Russian Immigrant Women’s Beauty WorkTo begin, all of the women engaged in some form of beauty work with ten women usingskin care products, eight using make-up, eight opting to dye their hair, seven engaging indieting,eight engaging in physical activity, and five displaying an interest in fashion.For the most part,the study’s findings reflected the extant research on beauty work amongNorth American andRussian immigrant women. Similar to the research that hasbeen conducted with older whiteNorth American women (Calasanti, 2001; Hurd Clarke & Griffin, 2007; HurdClarke & Griffin,2008; Wolf, 1991), the women in my study viewed the various physicalsigns of aging asundesirable and unattractive and indicated that one of theirmain motivations for doing beautywork was to delay or conceal such visible signs of agingas wrinkles and grey hair (Hurd Clarke& Griffin, 2007; Hurd Clarke & Griffin, 2008, Wolf 1991). Likewise,the women’s clothingchoices were often driven by their desireto camouflage age-related changes in their figures, andmaintain a conventionally attractive aestheticappearance (Fairhurst, 1998; Hurd Clarke, Griffin,& Maliha, 2008; Twigg, 2007). Indeed, the womendeemed figure-flattering clothing thatconcealed weight gain and other signsof aging, such as wrinkled or sagging skin, to bethe mostappropriate for older women. Like white North Americanwomen (Fairhurst, 1998; Hurd Clarke,89Griffin, & Maliha, 2008) the women considered clothes that were brightly-coloured, attention-provoking, and revealing to be inappropriate for older women.Corroborating existing studies of North American and Russian immigrant women (HesseBiber, 1996; Hurd, 2000; Kishinevsky, 2004), the majority of the women interviewed alsodisplayed negative attitudes towards their body weights, and attempted to maintain a slim figurethrough the control of food intake and exercise. Despite their similar dietingpractices and viewsof body weight, the women in my study considered Canadian womento be more accepting of avariety of body types (albeit more interested in health and exercise). However,unlike NorthAmerican women, who tendedto identify exercise as a more socially acceptable method ofweight loss (Reel, et al., 2008), the majority of the womenin my study viewed both exercise anddieting as equally viable means of maintaining their weight.In addition to being shaped by their lifestyles, the women’s beautywork was underscoredby their ages and fmancial means. Those womenwho worked with the public and stated thatthey socialized frequently with others tendedto engage more in beauty work such as makeup,fashion, and hair colouring. At the sametime, those women who were unemployed statedthatthey had lessened their utilization of makeupand fashionable clothing. These women weresimilar in their reduction of beauty workto the older Canadian women interviewedby HurdClarke, Griffm, and Maliha (2008), whoaltered their clothing choices to better reflecttheircasual lifestyles as they transitionedinto later life. Echoing Ashwin’ s (2000)observation of thecultural acceptance of traditional genderroles in Russia, the two oldest womenin the study feltthat their beauty work was lessimportant than their commitments to their childrenandgrandchildren. This finding reflectedthe work of Kishinevsky (2004), whoseinterviews witholder Russian immigrant womenin the United States revealed that they likewisefelt compelledto devote their attentions to their familiesrather than themselves. Several of thewomen were90deterred from using expensive anti-aging skin treatments and professional hair colouring by theirlimited finances. Indeed, the two women who underwent non-cosmetic surgical procedures wereamong the most affluent women in the study. Finally, the women’s beauty practices wereshaped not only by their advancing ages, but also by their unique chronological ages andcorresponding socialization. For instance, the oldest participant in the study engaged in littlebeauty work due to the negative associations with makeup, hair dye, and dieting she had formedduring her childhood in post-war Russia. On the other hand, the two youngest participantsin thestudy, who had not yet undergone menopause, did not diet, likely due to the limitedage-relatedchanges that had occurred in their bodies compared to the other women in thestudy.At the same time, the women’s beauty practices differed from those of North Americanwomen in some important ways. To begin, the women’s socializationin the former SovietUnion strongly influenced their attitudes towards their bodies and theirbeauty work choices.Only a few of the study participants alluded to the influenceof communist ideology on beautywork that was noted by Azhgikhina and Goscilo (1996),as the majority of the women, whowere born after or close to Stalin’s death in1953, grew up at a time of lessening societal controlsand ideological indoctrination in Russia. However, theshortages of goods and servicesthroughout the 1960’s, 1970’s, and 1980’s that havebeen well-documented by most researchersof Russian history (Mamonova, 1994; Smith, 1976)had a distinct impact on the women’sabilities to engage in beauty work. The womennoted that the unavailability of certain services,such as exercise facilities, lessened their interest in thoseforms of beauty work that wereunattainable to them, while the lack ofother products, such as cosmetics and clothing, onlyintensified their desire to partakein the discourses of fashion and beauty.Even as thecomparatively high earnings of theparticipating women made it possible forthese women toengage in beauty practices that werebeyond the reach of other Soviet women,their occupational91status as middle-class workers compelled their efforts of beautification as a class preservationmechanism.5.2 Beauty Work as a Means of Assimilation and OtheringThe women’s translocation into Canadian culture required them to reconsider theirunderstandings of feminine beauty and their means of achieving this ideal.The majority of thewomen perceived Canadian definitions of beauty and femininity tobe more affirmative of“natural” aesthetics. While some of the women regardedthis aesthetic to be liberating, otherswere disappointed by what they perceived to be Canadian women’s disregardfor feminineappearances. Regardless of their views, most of the women felt compelledto reduce their use ofmakeup and fashion in order to adapt to their newcultural environment. These findings reflectedthose of Remennick (2007), who observed that some ofthe Russian-American immigrantwomen she interviewed felt similarly obligated to changetheir appearances as they assimilatedinto their receiving country. Both the womenI interviewed and those that Remermick (2007)studied felt that their feminine appearances were overlyconspicuous among North Americanwomen, and attempted to alter theirbeauty work to fit with their new cultural surroundings.Moreover, those women who sought work inCanada felt that it was particularly necessary forthem to accommodate the appearancepreferences of the Canadian labour market, which willbediscussed more fully in the next section.At the same time, some of the women utilizedtheir beauty work as a means ofdifferentiating themselves from Canadian womenand preserving their identities as Russianwomen. These women employed makeupand fashionable dressing as a wayof maintaining theirdistinct cultural views of beauty andfemininity. Given their socialization withina culture thatexoticized unattainable Western Europeangoods, it is unsurprising that the womenprivileged92European fashions over those of North America. The women reflected on how their beauty workcomprised an important part of their self-identities, and an outward reflection of theirinternalized value systems. For instance, the women struggled to reconcile their ideas offeminine beauty and their desires to maintain attractive appearances with what they perceived tobe Canadian attitudes towards beauty. Many of the women considered the process ofbeautification and their abilities to attract male attention to be an intrinsic part of theirpersonalities, and lamented what they perceived to be the rejection of femininebeauty amongCanadian women. Although the women modified their beauty work to someextent in an effortto assimilate to Canadian ideals of attractiveness, they continued to engage inbeauty practicesthat reflected their preconceived notions of attractivefeminine appearance.5.3 Beauty Work, Health, Illness, and DeathIn addition to their relocation into a new cultural environment, the womenwere alsocontending with their transition into later life. The women’s ages and their perceptionsof theiraging bodies exerted a considerable influenceon their current beauty work practices. Thewomen’s concerns regarding the social devaluation of theiraged appearances were coupled withtheir apprehension about old age and the ill-health anddependence they feared it would bring.Much like older North American women, the womenin the study expressed negative views oftheir aging appearances and aging bodies (Hurd Clarke& Griffin, 2007; Hurd Clarke & Griffin,2008), and attempted to negotiatetheir efforts to present a youthful, attractive lookwith theirneed to convey an age-appropriate appearance(Fairhurst, 1998; Hurd Clarke, Griffin, andMaliha, 2008). Accordingly, the women assertedtheir preference for subtle makeupand figureconcealing clothing that flattered whatthey perceived to be their best features.93In addition to articulating their discontent with various appearance-related changes intheir bodies, like skin wrinkling, drooping, grey hair, weight gain, and muscle loss, the womenexpressed dissatisfaction with the energy loss, mobility limitations, and changes to their bodiesthat had coincided with menopause. While studies of white North American women showed thatthey frequently articulated fears regarding the social devaluation and invisibility of the agedbody (Fairhurst, 1998; Furman, 1997; Hurd Clarke & Griffin, 2007; Hurd Clarke & Griffin,2008), the women in my study more commonly expressed their apprehensionsregarding thephysical decline of their bodies. Indeed, many of the women engaged in beauty work suchasexercise and dieting with the intent of decelerating the physical aging of theirbodies and theirloss of physical abilities.Although the women spoke little about the social depreciation of their aginglooks withrespect to societal invisibility, women discussed their experiencesof ageism in their attempts ofregaining employment following their immigration to Canada. As previouslymentioned, alleight women who sought work in Canada experiencedsome difficulty in attaining work in theirprofessional fields. While the younger women in the studywere able to find employment intheir respective fields, the older women often experiencedovert and implied age-discriminationthat made it difficult for them to recover their previousvocational status. Consequently, many ofthe older women were forced to assume positions insuch ‘feminized’ fields as aesthetics, eldercare, and customer service. These findingscorroborate existing research on Russian immigrantwomen in the United States and in Israel, which has demonstratedthat Russian immigrantwomen often experience difficulties in regainingtheir pre-immigration professional positions intheir receiving counties, and that older immigrant womenare further disadvantaged by their agein their search for employment (Chiswick, 1993; Remennick,2003 a). Moreover, the womenwere wary of the ways that theiraging appearances might shape a potential employer’s94decisions, and engaged in beauty work to appeal to what they perceived to be a preference foryouthfulness in the Canadian workforce. Thus, the women’s perceptions of their social andeconomic values as indistinct from that of their aging bodies betrayed their internalization of the“double standard of aging” (Sontag, 1997,p.20), and cultural categorization of older individualsas unproductive, weak, and inactive (Arber & Ginn, 1991, Calasanti, 2001).5.4 Beauty Work, Agency, and DeterminismThe women’s beauty work practices exemplified their continuing negotiation ofculturally-imposed ideals of beauty and femininity and their abilitiesto choose their beauty workpractices and outward representation of self-identity. On theone hand, the women’s beautypractices were framed by hegemonic ideals of beautyand femininity (Bartky, 1990; Bordo,1993). The impact of the youthful, slim, and toned beauty ideal thatwas described by Barky(1990) and Bordo (1993) was evident in the women’smany disparaging comments on the partsof their bodies that deviated from this prescribednotion of beauty, including their aged skin andpost-menopausal weight gain. It was alsoapparent that the women dedicated much time to theirefforts of approximating an attractive feminine aestheticthrough their use of multiple beautyproducts, implements, and services. Furthermore,the feared consequences of the women’s noncompliance with societal beauty standardswere perceptible in their apprehensions regarding thecontinuation of their careers into later life, and their continuedability to appear feminine andattractive to their husbands and partners.On the other hand, their beauty work choices affordedthe women, who were doublymarginalized by their immigrant status andage, the possibility of defining and managingtheiroutward representations. For instance,the women’s use of hair dye and smart clothingtoconceal perceived age-related physicalflaws could be viewed as a logicalcultural negotiation95(Gimlin, 2000) of the cost of beauty work against the social and economic benefits it bestowed.By engaging in beauty work that defied societal stereotypes of older women as unproductive andasexual, and identifying themselves as feminine, attractive, and sexually-viable through theirappearances, the women employed beauty work for their benefit, even while they acquiesced to alimited definition of accepted feminine appearance (Gagne & McGaughey, 2002).At the same time, some of the women’s beauty work choices allowed them to redefinetheir identities as Russian women in Canadian society. Through engaging in beauty work thatmimicked European styles, the women were able to convey their unique cultural perceptions offemininity and attractiveness through their appearance. Additionally, the women were abletopreserve and express their individuality as Russian women through clothing and makeup thatdifferentiated them from Canadian women. Even as the women comprised an invisible minorityamong other white Canadians (Davey, et al., 2003), they were ableto express their culturaldistinctness through their external manifestation of beauty.5.5 Limitations of the ProjectAlthough the project interviews resulted in sufficientdata to uncover new knowledge ofRussian immigrant women’s beauty work practices, thestudy’s design and limited sample sizemake it difficult to generalize the data to thegeneral population of Russian immigrant women inCanada. The women who participated in the study werenot representative of the female Russianimmigrant population in Canada, and thus, it is difficultto make generalizable statementsregarding the beauty practices of all Russian immigrantwomen in Canada. Due to thepreference given to highly-educated, skilled immigrantswith families by Canadian immigrationpolicies, the study’s sample was additionally highly homogeneousin terms of the women’s workexperiences, educational attainments,marital status, and stated sexual preferences, aswell as96with respect to their origins from urban areas within the former Soviet Union. It is likely that asample including women who worked in lower-class vocations, had lesser financial means, livedin rural regions, or were not white would have resulted in different conclusions for the study.However, it is unlikely that such a sample could have been recruited from one concentratedgeographical area within Canada. It is also regrettable that the study did not attract moreimmigrant women over the age of 65. It is probable that the opinions of immigrant women whowere older andior retired would differ appreciably from those of their younger, employedcounterparts. Moreover, older women would likely have differing views of their (gendered)roles within the family, their social locations in Canada, and their utilization of beauty work inlate life than those of younger immigrant women.Additionally, the study’s design limited someof the conclusions that I was able to drawfrom the data. The interview questions focused mainly on the women’s currentbeauty workpractices, past experiences of life in the former Soviet Union, and immigration experiencestoCanada. However, half of the women had indicated that they had relocatedto Israel prior toimmigrating to Canada, although I did not question them about theseexperiences. Exploring thewomen’s attitudes towards, and assimilation and resistanceto Israeli beauty culture could haveprovided additional insights into the women’scurrent views of feminine beauty work and theiraging bodies. Furthermore, in their descriptions of their exercisehabits, the women equatedexercise with sport, rather than adopting a broaderview of physical activity as a part of everydaylife that can encompass such activitiesas housework, workplace endeavours, and walking.Troubling the notion of exercise as an exclusivelysport-related pursuit may have elicited furtherdiscussion from the women regarding their daily physicalactivities in the former Soviet Union,how these were similar to or different from the physicalactivity they performed in Canada, and97whether their defmitions of physical activity as a form of beauty work had changed or stayed thesame over time.Finally, my lack of Russian language skills provedto be a detriment in reviewing theextant literature regarding Russian women and their conceptionsof beauty and femininity.Although I attempted to draw from a wide range of translated academicsources, the study wouldhave benefited from the inclusion of Russian languageresearch in my review of the literature.5.5 Suggestions for Future ResearchOne surprising observation that was made during thisstudy was the willingness anddesire of many of the women’s partners and male childrento take part in the research. Given theimportance of the nuclear family in Russian culture,an examination of immigrant Russianmales’ attitudes towards their bodies andbody work practices may reveal interesting insightsinto the socialization and acculturationexperiences of Russian men and boys, as wellas theirformations of gender roles, gender attitudes,and gender-appropriate body work.Additionally, further research regardingthe beauty work practices of older Russianwomen over the age of 65 would likelyadd to current understandings of immigrantwomen’sbeauty work choices in and experiencesof later life. Although this type of research mightbedifficult to actualize, interviews withRussian immigrant women over the ageof 65, particularlythose who have resided in Canadaover 10 years, would be helpful in uncoveringhow thesewomen acculturate to Canadian norms.Would these women adopt middle-class Canadianattitudes towards later life, viewing retirementas a time of increased freedom? Wouldtheirfinancial capabilities allow themto assume these ideas of later life? Howwould their acceptanceor rejection of Canadian viewsof later life alter their beauty practices andtheir perceptions ofbeauty and femininity?98Finally, it would also be interesting to examine the beauty work practices of olderRussian immigrant women in a longitudinal manner. A longitudinal examination of Russianimmigrant women’s beauty work might help illuminate how their attitudes towards aging, thebody, and feminine beauty work change or stay the same over time, and how they might varywith the length of the women’s stays in Canada. Longitudinal studies would also be helpful inuncovering how Russian immigrant women struggle with and continue to negotiate conflictingRussian and Canadian cultural ideals of beauty, femininity, and old age.In conclusion, this project has helped to extend existing research on immigrant women’sbeauty work practices through qualitative interviews with ten Russian immigrant women.Additionally, this study has contributed to the feminist researchof older women’s attitudestowards their bodies, later life, and beauty work by including the perspectivesof older Russianimmigrant women. The women were similar to Canadian women in their beautywork choicesand motivations, which included their desire to approximatea normatively attractive appearancein order to increase their social and material success.However, the women were also able toredefine their Russian-Canadian identities throughtheir use of various forms of beauty work.Thus, the women’s beauty work practices, whileshaped by hegemonic ideals of beauty andfemininity, were also performed as a negotiation of theirsocial location as immigrants, Canadianresidents, and older women. My research highlightsthe importance of beauty work in women’severy day experiences. Far from being a trivial notion,the pursuit of beauty was central to thewomen’s negotiation of their identitiesas immigrant women, social and economic relevance, andcultural locations.99REFERENCESAbouguendia, M., & Noels, K. A. (2001). 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JournalofInterpersonal Violence, 23 (8), 1075-1094.109APPENDICESAppendix A: Interview Schedule1. Tell me about yourself.a. What was your life like in Russia?i. Prompts: Where were you born? Where did you live in Russia? What didyou study in school? What did you work as in Russia? Tell mea littleabout your family.b. What was your experience of immigration?i. Prompts: When did you immigrate to Canada? Why did you decidetoimmigrate to Canada? What was the most/least difficultthing about yourimmigration experience? What was it like foryou to learn the Englishlanguage? What was your experience of findingwork in Canada? Whatwas your experience of finding friends and establishingsocial contacts?c. Tell me a little about your life in Canada.2. Tell me about your beauty practices.a. Walk me through a typical dailyroutine.i. Prompts: How do you care for your hair?Do you use hair dye, makeup,skin/body lotions, perfume, tanning/skinbleaching creams? How do youcare for your nails? What do youdo with respect to clothing? What areyour dieting practices? What kinds of exercisedo you engage in?3. Why do you do the kinds of beautypractices that you do?4. What are the most important/leastimportant aspects of your beauty routine?5. What practices do you spend the most/leasttime on and care about the most/least?a. How much time/money doyou invest in these practices?b. Why are these particularpractices important to you?6. How have your beauty practiceschanged throughout your life, ifat all?7. How are/were your beauty practicesinfluenced by your female (mom, aunt,grandmother,daughter) and male (husband, father,son) family members?8. How are/were your beauty practicesinfluenced by your friends?1109. How are/were your beauty practices influenced by the media?a. What type of media influences you the most currently/when you lived in Russia?What types of media were available to you when you lived in Russia?10. How are/were your beauty practices influenced by the cost of beauty products andservices? How are they influenced by the availability of beauty products and services?11. Who or what most influences your beauty practices?a. Why is that the case?12. How do you feel about your body?a. Why do you feel this way about your body?b. How have your feelings towards your body changed as you have aged?13. How has your age influenced your beauty practices?a. Which beauty practices have you had to change as you’ve aged?b. How have your beauty practices changed?c. How has age made it more difficult/easier for you to take care of yourbody?14. How do Eastern European beauty practices differfrom Canadian beauty practices?15. How do you think your beauty practices woulddiffer if you had not immigrated toCanada?a. How have your beauty practices changed since you have immigrateto Canada?b. How have they stayed the same?c. Why have your beauty practices changed/stayedthe same?d. To what degree do you think Canadian idealsof beauty have influenced yourbeauty practices?16. Are there any questions I should have askedyou but didn’t? Are there any importantissues we haven’t discussed? If you weredoing this kind of research, what kinds ofquestions would you ask?111Appendix B: Information Sheet and Consent FormINFORMATION SHEET AND CONSENT FORMProj ect Title: The Beauty Practices of Older Russian Immigrant Women Living in CanadaBrief Description of the Project:This project aims to find out more about:• The experiences of older women of Russian descent living in Canada with various beautypractices, such as makeup, clothing, diet, hair, and skin care.• The cultural factors that influence the beauty practices of Russian-Canadian women.Who is Doing the Research:The research is being conducted by Alexandra Korotchenko, a graduate studentin theSchool of Human Kinetics at the University of BritishColumbia, as a part of her graduatecurriculum coursework. Her supervisor, Dr. LauraHurd Clarke, an Assistant Professor in theSchool of Human Kinetics at UBC, is overseeingthe project.The Interview and Your Participation:Your participation would entail one interview approximatelyone to two hours in lengththat would be conducted in your home, at the university,or at another location of your choice.With your permission, the interview will be digitallytaped and transcribed. After the interview,the interviewer will be happy to answer any questionsyou have about the study. There are noanticipated risks associated with participating in thisstudy.Confidentiality and Anonymity:All information resulting from the interview willbe kept confidential and your name willnot be referred to in any of the documents emergingfrom the study. The taped interview andtranscript will be secured by password on a computerand stored in a locked cabinet. Alldocuments associated with your interview willbe identified only by a code number. The key tothis number will not be publicly released underany circumstances. The consent form (see below)will be kept separately from the interview materialsin a locked filing cabinet. According toUniversity of British Columbia regulations,the transcript and consent form will be stored forfive years and then destroyed. The computerdata files will be stored for five yearsand thenerased.112Your Voluntary Participation:Your participation in the study is entirely voluntary. You are free to not answer anyquestion, and you may withdraw from the interview at any time without giving a reason.If youhave any concerns about your treatment or rights as a research subject, feel free to telephone theOffice of Research Services at the University of British Columbia, at (604) 822-8598.Further Contact Information or Concerns:If you have questions or want further information about the project, please contactAlexandra Korotchenko, the graduate student who is conductingthe research at (778) 881-5411or her supervisor Dr. Laura Hurd Clarke at (604) 822-4281.113CONSENTI have read the above information and understand the nature of the study. I understandthat participation in this study is entirely voluntary and that if I do not wishto answer anyquestion or discuss any topic that is raised, I may refuse to answer. I understand that I mayrefuseto participate in or withdraw from the study at any time without penalty.I am willing to take part in a one to two hour interview and am agreeable that theinterview be taped.I understand that any identifying characteristics will be removed fromthe information Isupply so that my anonymity is assured.I hereby agree to the above stated conditions andconsent to participate in this study.Your signature below indicates that you have receiveda copy of this consent form for your ownrecords. Your signature also indicates that you consentto participate in this study.Signed:Date:_______________________114Appendix C: Biographical Data FormBIOGRAPHICAL DATA FORM1. Name:___________________________________________2. Date of birth:_______________________________3. Place ofbirth:_______________________________4. Marital status:____________________________________5. Number of children:____________________________6. Number of grandchildren:_______________________7. Number of great grandchildren:___________________8. Please indicate the highest level of education you have obtained:Public schoolSome high schoolHigh school diplomai College or university (undergraduate)i Technical schoolGraduate schooli Other - Please specify:____________________________________9. Did/do you work outside the home? If so, for how longand what didldo you do?10. What didldoes your husband(s) do?11511. What is your religious affiliation?12. Into which of the following income brackets do you fall?i Under $10,000$10-20,000$20-30,000$30-40,000i $40-50,000$50-60,000$60,000+13. Please list the all places you’ve lived in and howlong you’ve resided in each place:14. When did you immigrate to Canada?116Appendix D: Letter of IntroductionLETTER OF INTRODUCTIONWHO IS DOING THE RESEARCH?Alexandra Korotchenko, a graduate student in theSchool of Human Kinetics at theUniversity of British Columbia (UBC), under the supervisionof Dr. Laura Hurd Clarke,Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia. Mytelephone number is (778) 881-5411.WHAT IS THE RESEARCH ABOUT?I am conducting interviews with Russian womenaged 50 and older about theirexperiences of various beauty work practicessuch as makeup, hair and nail care, diet, exercise,and fashion. I would also like to talkto you about your experiences of immigration and life inCanada.WHAT DOES PARTICIPATINGIN THE STUDY INVOLVE?If you agree to participate, you will take part inone to two hour interviews. Theinterviews will be conducted by myself andwill take place at the University of BritishColumbiaor at another location of your choice. Youwill be asked about your perceptions and experiencesof a variety of beauty work practices.With your permission, I would like to digitally recordtheinterviews so that I can concentrateon what you have to say rather than on takingnotes. Thereare no anticipated risks associatedwith participating in this study.WILL YOU MENTION MYNAME?No. Never. Everything that you tell me willbe in confidence and the resultsof theresearch will be presentedin general terms so that no individualwoman will be identified. Youwill not be identified by namein any of the reports of the completed study.All of the digitalrecordings of the focus groupswill be stored in a locked filing cabinet.Only I and mysupervisor, Dr. Hurd Clarke, willhave access to the digital recordings.Once the data has beenanalyzed, I will destroy all of thedigital recordings and related information.117HOW WILL THE RESEARCH BE USEFUL?To date, little attention has been paid to the experiences of immigrant women and little isknown about their perceptions of their bodies and the beauty work they engage in. The findingsfrom this research will help to improve our understanding of women’s experiences andperceptions of immigration, beauty, and aging.WHAT IF I WANT TO WITHDRAW FROM THE STUDY?Your participation in the study is entirely voluntary. You may withdraw from the studyat any time without giving a reason. There are no penalties for not participating or forwithdrawing from the study.If you would like more information about how to become involved in thestudy, please call (778) 881-5411. Thank you!118The University ofBritish ColumbiaOffice ofResearch ServicesBehavioural Research Ethics BoardSuite 102, 6190 Agronomy Road Vancouver,B.C. V6TJZ3CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL - MINIMAL RISKCERTIFICATE EXPIRY DATE: January 25, 2010DOCUMENTS INCLUDED IN TifiS APPROVAL: DATE APPROVED:January 25, 2009DocumentNameIversionIDateConsent Forms:Appendix A- Information Sheet and Consent Form N/A January20, 2009Advertisements:Appendix B- Study Recruitment Poster N/AJanuary 20, 2009Ouestionnaire, Ouestionnaire Cover Letter, TestsAppendix C- Interview Schedule N/A December17, 2008Letter of Initial Contact:Appendix D- Letter of Introduction N/AJanuary 20, 2009Other Documents:Appendix E- Biographical Data FormN/A December 17, 2008Appendix F- Peer Review FormN/A December 17, 2008The application for ethical review and the document(s) listed abovehave been reviewed and the procedures wereiund to be acceptable on ethical groundsfor research involving human subjects.UBC[NVESTIGATOR: EPARTMENT:UBC BREB NUMBER:PRINCIPAL INSTITUTION IIUBC/EducationlHumanILaura Hurd ClarkeineticsH08-03007INSTITUTION(S) WHERE RESEARCH WILL BE CARRIED OUT:Institution ISiteUBC Vancouver (excludes UBC Hospital)Other locations where the research will be conducted:Interviews will take place at the location of the participants’ choosing. Possible sites willinclude the following:*Subjects’homes*Inter,liewrooms on UBC campus*CopjuflitycentresCO-INVESTIGATOR(S): Alexandra KorotchenkoSPONSORING AGENCIES: N/APROJECT TITLE:The Beauty Work Practices of Older Russian Immigrant Women Living in CanadaApproval is issued on behafofthe BehaviouralResearch Ethics Boardand signed electronically by one ofthefollowing:II119


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