83. szám // 2021. Tisztaság fél egészség?


Megjelent: 2021.07.02.

Vámos Gabriella

From Laundry Soap to the “Electric Orange”: Cosmetology and the Services of Professional Cosmetics in the 1950s and 1960s

DOI: 10.52656/KORALL.2021.01.007


In the 1960s, social sciences and medicine were becoming increasingly important in health education research. Scholarly publications analysed the Hungarian population’s general knowledge about health, as well as the motivating factors and dynamics of healthy lifestyles. The biomedical approach to health issues was gradually superseded by new perspectives considering social, economic, environmental, psychological, and pedagogical considerations. This meant that rather than simple dissemination of knowledge, they were raising awareness of the complex, habit forming effect of acquiring such knowledge. In the second half of the 1960s, analyses and surveys showed that the physical condition of the population was stagnating in spite of the accessible medical treatments, technical development, and state investment in public health. The main reason for this was found to be the people’s lifestyle, and prevention was promoted in lifestyle programs, health competitions, television shows, clubs, as well as health weeks and health months. In 1977, in the framework of the Fifth Five-Year Plan, the Health Information Center of the Ministry of Health developed a long-term strategy that set out to educate the population from an early age, in the thematic of personal hygiene, sport, and healthy nutrition. Based on medical research, contemporary media (especially the Egészségnevelés [Health Education] journal), textbooks, pedagogical guides, educational slide films and short films (for example, the adventures of the well known acorn figures representing the Hungarian equivalent of the phrase “fit as a fiddle”), the present study explores the perceptions of the correlation between cleanliness, personal hygiene, and health in the 1960s and 1980s.