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Historical evolution of feminine beauty ideals.


2 years agoBusy6 min read


The beauty of women has been culturally appreciated since before the invention of writing, ie prehistory, proof of this are the sculptures of women dating from the Paleolithic asthe Venus of Willendorf ,where through these artistic expressions we can infer which were the most appreciated feminine qualities of the time.

Universal history is interesting in all its aspects because it allows us to analyze the cultural changes of humanity, but how would it be to analyze history, taking as reference female beauty as a cultural pattern? It is undoubtedly a fascinating subject that allows us to review human behavior from a different point of view, with women as protagonists.

All cultures have had a prototype of the perfect woman and as the times go by these models change, fashion, film and historical events influence in large part, if you want to know some concepts of ancient beauty to the present, out of curiosity or culture General, stay to enjoy this chronological account.

Ancient Egypt (1292- 1060 BC).

The Egyptian beauty had two maximum representatives: the queens Nefertiti and Cleopatra, the physical characteristics that made them the most beautiful women of the Egyptian culture were their thin figure, with long arms as well as the legs and neck, narrow shoulders and delicate back . The face had to be asymmetric and the skin shiny, any woman to be considered beautiful must possess those characteristics.


Ancient Greece (500-300 BC).

The master sculptors of this era carved the female figure similar to the body of the man, the perfect Greek woman had to have very white skin, big hands, robust body, wide hips and rounded face. The sculptures of the goddesses of Greek mythology can give us a reference of this concept of beauty.

Imperial China (206 BC - 220 AD).

The ideal of classical beauty of the Middle East completely represented their ancestral culture, there were still no Western currents to influence. The small feet were appreciated as they meant high social status among Chinese women, thin lips, large eyes and pale skin were the most coveted traits. In addition, the body proportions should be those of a teenager, that is, small breasts and thin waist.

Renaissance (1400-1700).

Beautiful paintings during these centuries were made, they were portraits of candid big maidens with green or blue eyes, flushed cheeks, small lips, white skin and very long blond hair. High social status was related to body weight, which is why voluminous women with large breasts and hips were considered sensual and fertile.

Victorian period (1837-1901).

The corset was the most used garment for women of this time, it gave them the beautiful hourglass figure desired by all, in addition to reducing the waist highlighted the bust and hips. Women with curves were the most admired and if they had a thin face with a small nose, defined lips and large eyes, they were simply perfect.

Elegant 20's (1920).

In the 20s the woman celebrates her emancipation, totally renounces the use of the corset and the classic style, now she wants to wear very short hair and light dresses up to her knees. In these surprising years, the ideal of feminine beauty changes to a slim body and with few curves, the most desired actresses look youthful, flattened chest and thin legs. The elegance, fine eyebrows and large lips made the men of that time sigh.

Pin-up suggestive style (1930-1950).

The beauty ideal of these years were the great Hollywood actresses Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell, famous for showing their curves in a suggestive way in the Pin-up photographic style where red lips, big breasts, narrow waist and wide hips were subtracted , transmitting a lot of sensuality.

Pop art 60's (1960).

The jovial and colorful style prevailed with the current Pop art in the 60s and female beauty should also have these characteristics, fashion was very influential in society and is thus as the physical attributes the most famous model of the Twiggy era They were considered as the ideal for the perfect woman, her adolescent style, slim body and without curves, thin lips and big eyes made her worthy of this title. The women of the time also had the first lady of the United States Jackie Kennedy as an icon of beauty and elegance.

Irreverent 80s (1980).

Cindy Crawford was an example of perfection and physical attractiveness during the 80's, the reasons were her toned body, beautiful face and tanned skin. Beauty was revolutionizing and now it was the health projected in an athletic body was the ideal pursued by the women of the time.

Unhealthy beauty, 90s (1990).

Women with androgynous facial features (of men) began to gain popularity, during the 90s, where also began a terrible tendency to anorexia and bulimia to get attractive from the extreme thinness, sickly faces with little makeup and bony bodies were of fashion.

Postmodern beauty (2000- 2017).

The sexy and curvaceous women are the most recent beauty model, their most iconic representatives are Jennifer Lopez or J.Lo and the Kardashian sisters, they are female with a large bust, wide hips, flat abdomen and voluminous butt. The face should be harmony between large eyes, full lips, small nose and defined cheekbones.

Inclusive beauty 2018.

This new concept of beauty seeks to demolish stereotypes, has the premise that all women are beautiful if they accept themselves as they are, regardless of physical characteristics, nowadays natural beauty is valued more. Currently on the catwalks around the world you can see the inclusion of models of different sizes, stature, skin color, and even with Down syndrome.

Many with the campaigns that are recently made to rescue self-esteem, for that reason in the social networks the most influential celebrities are showing themselves without makeup or digital retouching.



"Everything has its beauty, but not everyone can see it". Confucius.


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