In videos less than two-minutes-long, one can see the changes of women’s beauty standards in different countries. Although many beauty standards in today’s world are mostly identical, one should know the true history behind all the looks that lead to today’s definition of beauty.
In the video, “100 Years of Beauty,” by WatchCut Video, one can see the similarities and differences in beauty standards between Europe and Asia. During the period 1910 to 1920, the Jazz Age began to rise in Europe. Females in Europe began to cut their hair short and curl the ends. Females also wore bright-red lipstick to make their pale skin stand out. Meanwhile in Asia, thick and straight eyebrows were a trend in this time period. Most importantly, having very white and pale skin was considered beautiful to Asian societies. During the 1930’s and 1940’s, women in Europe began to help out their countries in war, so they started to wear military uniforms and tied their hair up in a low bun. The same beauty standards applied to Asian countries. Because of military and labor work, looking healthy and strong was considered beautiful in Asia.
From the 1950s to the1980s, Europe’s beauty standard of women was heavily influenced by musicians, models, and artists in their own countries. Women began to wear more colorful eye-makeup and pink-colored lipsticks. However in Asia, western influence started dominating its beauty standards. Asian women continued to emphasize pale skin because they thought white women in the West were beautiful because of their pale skin colors.
“When I was in high school in Korea at this time period, I tried my best to maintain the whitest skin possible,” says Mikyung Kim, now a 20-year-resident in the United States.
Finally from the 1990’s to today, European and Asian countries seem to have very similar beauty standards. Long, flowing hair and big eyes with colorful eye shadow are considered beautiful in today’s society.
“Arched eyebrows are definitely considered the most beautiful beauty standard in today’s society,” says Genevieve Kelleher, who is of Irish, French, and German descent. Because this world is heavily influenced by the media, looking like skinny and underweight models is also considered beautiful.
Yujin Kim, Grade 11
Narbonne High School
Harbor City, CA