Beauty standards have changed dramatically throughout history. During the Renaissance era, for example, a beautiful woman had generous breasts, belly and bottom. Then, it was considered that the bigger you were, the wealthier you were, and women were the reflection of their husbands. The Victorian age beauty standards kept the round breasts and bottom, but a thin waist was more desirable. Women of those times used the famous corset to obtain that, a clothing item which is seen as a torture instrument nowadays.
In our day and age, beauty standards have changed completely since those of old times. Now, when you think of a beautiful woman, you have in mind the American celebrity. Curvy, but not fat, with a flat stomach, perfect teeth, elongated, feline-like eye, plump lips and long, wavy hair. And let’s not forget about the “make-up on fleek”.
Having this image in mind, it’s really hard to even think that anything different can be considered beautiful. But, let’s take a look at other parts of the world and explore different types of beauty.
If in the United States a beautiful woman has (sometimes excessively) tanned skin, in Japan things are different. The lighter the skin, the more beautiful you are considered. What is more, unlike the perfect smile required in the US, in Japan it’s ok to have imperfect teeth. If you have crooked upper canines you’re more likely to be seen as attractive by the opposite sex.
Africa and body modifications
This continent has some unusual beauty standards indeed. Depending on the region or tribe, women use different instruments to modify their bodies. For example, in Kenya, there’s the tradition of stretching the earlobes and shaving head. The more stretched earlobes a woman has, the more beautiful she is. They usually emphasize their size with colorful beads and jewelry.
In Ethiopia, women stretch their lower lip. This seemingly painful procedure is an indicator of maturity, showing that the woman is able to have children, which is attractive to the male community. However, another theory says that this ritual started as a way to prevent women from being stolen.
In Europe and US it’s quite uncomfortable to walk on the street with a bandage on your nose. In Iran, however, it’s exactly the opposite. Women will spend their money on nose jobs for two reasons. One is that their face is the only thing that they can show, so they will do anything to enhance the beauty. The second reason is that they don’t spend money on clothes. Both reasons are the effect of wearing a hijab. In fact, since nose jobs are really expensive, wearing the bandage is a way to show off your wealth. Some women wear the bandage long after their recovery and other even put them on without having a surgery.
You’ve probably seen the famous photos of women with lots of rings around their necks. Well, this odd tradition is a sign of wealth. And since wealth is beauty, males are attracted to women with longer necks. This practice starts being applied to little girls starting at the age of around four years old. As they grow, more rings are added to their necks, making them longer and longer.
No matter what outside beauty means across the world, it’s clear that one thing remains universally beautiful. The inside beauty, which means self-love, confidence and kindness. These three ingredients can make even the oddest looking person look beautiful.