Beauty. It’s a word that can build people up to the highest levels of confidence and drag them down just as quickly. Standards of beauty have been noted for years, but the concept of it is so subjective that I find it hard to believe that so many industries market themselves on those so called standards. As you travel the world, these standards actually change. What might be considered the epitome of beauty in one country may be considered average or even ugly in another. And these standards also change over time. Decades ago, the classic definition of “beautiful” was more curvaceous. This trended into a waifish look. We have transitioned from that to what is considered “healthy” which places an emphasis on slim but muscular physique. We all have our own opinions. I would really like to see an emphasis put back on the reality of the true breadth of beauty that exists out there. We need to get away from narrow and often unattainable standards that leave so many women dealing with self esteem issues. I applaud those companies and markets that have finally embraced a more authentic look and labeled it beautiful. We’re going to travel the globe and see just how diverse beauty really is.
Italian women have long been considered beautiful. But the standards are more or less based on taking care of themselves and maintaining a natural beauty. It’s about what makes them feel good. They take care of themselves and maintain their skin and hair. Although they enjoy the sun, they do it responsibly and use good sunscreen. Proper diet also helps maintain gorgeous skin and hair. Italians embrace life and enjoy all aspects of it. They believe in embracing what comes. They are fit and comfortable with themselves. Italy shows that beauty is more than skin deep and truly embraces the diversity that is out there.
France is known for being fashion forward, but when it comes to the standard of beauty, it’s all about natural beauty. French women tend toward the clean, natural appearance instead of makeup. They actually prefer the bare, unmade up face that shows what they actually look like. They celebrate the true beauty and embrace what they were born with. French women enjoy the quirky and distinct features without the use of contouring and makeup. They go for a more understated look compared to Americans. French women are known to be glamorous and graceful at any age. They maintain a flawless complexion throughout their lives.
Korean women are admired the world over for their incredible skin. If you think of the standard for gorgeous complexions, Korea ranks at the top. These women work very hard to maintain flawless, pale, porcelain skin. Their creamy, alabaster faces are used to sell skin care all around the globe. This standard of beauty originates from a time when a pale complexion was a sign of wealth and social standing. Tan skin was a sign of someone who had to work outside and couldn’t afford the luxury of skin care. They also place a high importance on more rounded eyes and will even go through surgery to achieve what is considered ideal.
12. Great Britain
The British have a flair for the understated elegance. This shows in practically every aspect of their culture, including beauty. British women tend to prefer a more aristocratic look of slenderness, pale skin and maybe freckles. They tend to prefer comfortable and simple clothes that are more understated as well as a minimal look with makeup. British women also don’t worry as much about getting older. The wrinkles and signs of age that other women struggle to hide don’t bother them. They view these changes as signs of maturity and wisdom. Britain certainly has a healthier way to view standards of beauty at any age.
Brazil is a land of exquisite beauty and it’s women live up to it. Unlike a lot of countries that place an emphasis on slenderness, the Brazilians have a different idea in mind. They embraced the look of a more curvaceous body for years. Women were admired for having muscular legs, wider hips and a large buttocks. Unfortunately, like so many other countries, the Western standards of beauty have started seeping into the country and causing a shift toward thinner bodies with larger breasts. Hopefully, this unbelievably diverse and gorgeous country will start to enjoy it’s own unique styles and looks. It would be nice to see these amazing Brazilian women rocking the spectacular bodies that Brazil was known for.
Clothing is a huge part of the Indian beauty culture. Women use henna, saris, and bindis to show femininity. These colourful adornments are a huge part of celebrations such as weddings. For many years, a thin body was not considered to be beautiful or healthy. Standards were placed on a healthier body. But Western ideals have started to show in India, bringing a slimming down. Indian women are known for their unbelievably gorgeous hair. Indian women spend a great deal of money on hair products and treatments to maintain the thick, glossy manes they are known for all over the world.
Due to the endless sun that Australians are blessed with, many of the women have a sun kissed look. They do practice a great deal of skin care due to the extreme levels of solar radiation that the country deals with. The heat that Australia is known for tends to bring about a healthy, outdoors look that shows a fit and healthy body. This is hardly surprising from a country that is known for outstanding beaches, diving and other water sports. If you had the kind of diverse geography as the Australians, you’d probably have the look of someone who enjoyed being outdoors too.
Thai women take their culture and their outlook on beauty seriously. The women in this country strive for an appearance of a long neck. It’s considered the epitome of femininity to have a “giraffe neck” which is achieved by the use of brass coils around the neck. These coils are placed around a girl’s neck about the age of twelve and additional coils are added as she gets older. These coils push the shoulders down and gives the appearance of a longer neck. The brass rings can weigh up to twenty-two pounds. Although this practice is still occurring, many women are getting away from this very painful practice. It’s an example of culture affecting beauty.
7. Maori of New Zealand
The Maori people of New Zealand have an incredibly gorgeous practice that is considered a true sign of beauty. Facial tattoos known as Ta Moko are a symbol that is steeped in culture, beliefs and beauty. These tattoos are very intricate and completely unique to each person. They are based on social status, rank, power and prestige and are considered a big mark of beauty among the tribe. They are a mark of glamour and beauty as well as individuality. No two tattoos are ever the same and each is considered a masterpiece. Maori women are drawn to tattoos that enhance the chin and lips.
From the information I’ve found, it’s not easy to place specifics on what Russians consider beautiful, but there are some standards that seem to be common. Women who are tall with a slender or fit body, good hair and skin that still looks good without makeup are viewed as the most attractive. Emphasis seems to be placed on the tall and thin appearance that has swept the Western world. But Russians don’t seem to have a preference for hair and eye colour when it comes to what is considered ideal. Maybe other countries could learn something from this less restrictive view on appearance
For a culture that still embraces having women staying covered up, Iran is the country that leads the world in rhinoplasty. It’s considered a sign of affluence and is almost expected. Women wear the bandages that cover their sculpted noses long after they are no longer necessary and wear them proudly. There are even stories of people buying the bandages and wearing them even though they didn’t get the surgery. With women spending so much time veiled, they embrace the use of surgery on one of the few body parts that they can show. But despite the strict laws in Iran, many women wear bright colours and have dyed hair underneath their veils as they try to balance between fashion and cultural beliefs.
Ethiopian women have a long standing practice that is linked to beauty and marriage. Girls in the Karo tribe receive scars that are cut into their stomachs by the elders of the tribe. These are considered marks of beauty and desirability. Once the scars are placed, the girl is allowed to marry. The girls accept this practice and feel it will attract a good husband for them so they can get married and start a family. Many cultures have scarring as part of their history and place a great deal of emphasis on it. What may be considered extreme by some will be considered the epitome of beauty by others.
Despite the spread of Westernized images as a standard of beauty, many countries are still rejecting the waifish look and are embracing the curvaceous woman. Ghana is one such country. Women strive for the fuller figure that has always been considered the symbol of affluence and wealth. They also associate skinniness with illness and don’t embrace the look at all. Even as more people embrace the look of the tall, thin woman as the ideal, there is still many places that look at a more voluptuous woman as a feminine ideal.
Due to changes in climate and political upheaval, a common trait that marked the women of Tibet is starting to become much more rare. Tibetan women have long borne the pink cheeks of living high in the mountains and being exposed to the weather conditions there. But, due to the prominence of Chinese influence in the media, Tibetan women are being held to the standards that have swept over china. These incredible women who simply showed the naturally occurring colour from the lives they live are now being expected to maintain the pale flawless skin that has become the ideal for Asian women.
I’m going to end back at home. Although America is known to be a cultural melting pot, we have some definite standards of beauty that are fairly universal through the country. We tend to idealize celebrities and models. The tall, slender look is still in. Fit and healthy but still more slender than most average women can attain. But there has been a push for a more realistic and varied range of standards in this country. We’re seeing a push for the real look. But the image of the flawless, tall, thin, busty woman is still a standard in fashion and media.
As you can see, beauty is truly subjective and diverse. Each country has their own take on what is considered ideal. But, if you can approach each place with an open mind, you can enjoy the ideals of each and every place you visit. Enjoy the beauty in the environment and the people that live in it.
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