Beauty standards are everywhere you look – in movies, in magazines, on social networks, commercials, and TV. It’s impossible to escape beautiful men and women with ‘perfect’ proportions, hair, makeup, and smiles. Still, we have to point out that the things we find beautiful today weren’t considered so decades or even years ago. Here are some of the greatest beauty standards through history and how they changed.
It seems like eyebrows are in focus no matter what era you live in. If we look at ancient Greece though, we’ll be shocked to find out that not only did they refuse to pluck out their brows, but they used paint to draw a ‘unibrow’. In medieval Japan, on the other hand, they used to shave off their brows completely, but that’s not all. They would draw them high up on the forehead, near the hairline, and they would smudge them. In Victorian England, it was considered improper to beautify yourself so ladies would leave their eyebrows untamed.
There probably wasn’t a point in time where symmetrical features weren’t considered beautiful and this is one of the beauty standards that outlived different trends. In ancient Rome women would draw red circles on their cheeks, and in Japan, women would apply lipstick only in the middle so that their lips resembled flower buds. For decades, women used makeup and cosmetics to look good, but today there are more effective alternatives. The uses of botox, rhinoplasty, and dermal fillers in Sydney, New York, LA, Paris, London, and a number of other cities and countries have been on the rise for years so ladies can have flawless facial features of their dreams. A great number of women are able to have faces without wrinkles, noses with pointed tips, and full lips; features which have been considered beautiful for centuries.
Hair has always been an important asset for both men and women no matter if they wore it short or long. In ancient Egypt, women would wear long, braided wigs that made their hair seem big, while in ancient Greece women were in love with light hair and would often use vinegar and other acidic liquids to bleach it. This of course lead to significant hair loss which resulted in Grecian women wearing wigs too. In medieval Japan, court women would wear their hair as long as they possibly could, and this meant that it often reached their knees or even floor. Today, women also use wigs that allow them to change hairstyles and color without actually having to cut, style, or dye their natural hair.
An important trend that shyly emerged in the past decade is age. There have been older models who were featured in beauty magazines and this opened the doors for others. There were women over 30 who were Playboy’s playmates and the magazine also featured a 67-year-old actress Jane Seymour. Another ‘sign of age’ that’s been coming out of the closet is grey hair. Not only is it acceptable today, but a number of younger women choose to dye their hair grey deliberately. With less stigma surrounding the middle age, women today can feel free to be as confident as they used to be, something women of the past century couldn’t imagine doing.
Over the past few decades, ladies love looking tanned – it makes them look healthier, skinnier, and sends a message that they have enough time to hit the beach or the swimming pool often. It wasn’t always so – in 18th century French women were so in love with pale skin that they would use makeup and powders that contained lead. This has led to poisoning and severe health problems but people often choose to look fashionable rather than go out into the public without makeup.
It’s important to remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that we all have different ideas of what beauty is. It would be impossible to look flawless at all times and if we all found the same things beautiful we would all aim to look the same. Embrace diversity and try to see beauty in it rather than attempting to pursue so-called ‘ideals’.