Beauty does not come with a concrete definition because the concept is fluid. This is because beauty is usually subjective, relative to the culture and always changing. There have been numerous shocking beauty regimens demonstrated throughout history and practiced by women. This was an attempt to conform to what was considered beautiful during the time. When these regimes are examined, it provides a fascinating view of the ways the concept of beauty has changed as history has been established.
This concept can be demonstrated from c. 1292 through 1069 B.C. during the course of Ancient Egypt. Women received encouragement regarding their beauty and independence. The society of the ancient Egyptians promoted an environment that was sex positive. Pre-martial sex was considered completely acceptable. This meant women were able to divorce their husbands without being subjected to shame.
The concept was different from c. 500 until 300 B.C. in Ancient Greece. The male form was worshipped and this concept went so far it proclaimed the bodies of women were nothing more than disfigured copies of men. During this period of time, the standard of perfection and beauty was much higher for men than women.
During the time period from c. 206 B.C. through 220 A.D. in the Han Dynasty, the ideal woman has large eyes, a slim waist, small feet and pale skin. The Chinese have considered small feet an important aspect of beauty for hundreds of years. The culture of the Han Dynasty favored the women with long black hair, red lips and white teeth.
Ultra feminine women have been historically favored throughout the history of China. The Italian Renaissance was from c. 1400 until 1700. The duty of the wife was to reflect the status of her husband both in her outward appearance and her behavior. The most superior type of beauty was light skin, a full body and light hair.
During Victorian times from c. 1837 until 1901, women used tight fitting undergarments to cinch their waists. This provided the perception of a desirable and perfect hourglass figure. This time period continued during the reign of Queen Victoria. Many people consider her one of histories most influential figures.
An androgynous looks was an important part of beauty for women in the 1920’s. The clothing worn provided a curve-less look and chests were flattened by the bras. Women began wearing their hair shorter. This eliminated the notion held for so long that long hair was a symbol of desirability and beauty. The trend of the boyish figure was gone fairly quickly. A decade later the hourglass figure made a comeback. An excellent example of a woman considered to have the ideal body was Marilyn Monroe. She became Hollywood’s golden girl. The motto for the 1960’s concerning ideal beauty was thin, love and peace. The cultural scene and flourishing fashions of London during the 1960’s were referred to as Swinging London. This influenced the style and dress for women in American during this time.
Workout videos became the rage during the 1980’s. This encouraged women to be both fit and thin. This caused an increase in anorexia during this time. Some experts believed this happened due to an obsession with exercising. The exercise crazed phenomenon continued during this period. Heroin chic was a part of the 1990’s. This was a celebration of women who appeared frail, thin and neglected. Kate Moss was a model who became the heroine during this decade of thin, withdrawn and pale women. Currently, women’s beauty standards include a healthy type of skinny, a flat stomach, a thigh gap and a large bottom and breasts.