‘How to be beautiful?’ – this is the main question that bothers all the women in the world, disregarding the epoch, age, social status, and location. The answer to it, however, varies depending on the times they live in. One of the most striking indicators of the changes that take place over the time in the sphere of beauty is fashion –it helps to understand that what was considered beautiful yesterday can easily become outmoded today.
Teenage girls- much more than adult women- are exposed to the influence contemporary beauty image has – forming their personality embraces the fact that they strive to imitate blindfold what the society consider to be ‘a beautiful woman’. Let us observe the main differences between a 1950’s ‘beautiful woman’ and an up-to-date ‘beautiful woman’ and what all this has to do with teenagers.
1950’s indicate the era when cosmetics became a necessity for every woman who wanted to be beautiful. Class, grace and being feminine were the main concepts back then – fabulous neat hair styles (usually softly curled hair) and quite bright make-up with the accent on lips and eyebrows created an image of natural ( although bright make-up was applied, it was used wisely and without being ‘too much’) attractiveness and femininity. These were the times when teen girls wanted to be princesses, and the image of a beautiful woman of 1950’s perfectly matched this idea. As for the perfect 50’s figure, an image of a woman with a voluptuous figure and a ‘wasp’ waist was at the top of its popularity. It is notable that the Barbie doll, as well as Playboy magazine came into the world exactly in 50’s.
With the time the notion of ‘a beautiful woman’ underwent numerous changes and what we have today is way different from what we had in 1950’s. Modeling as a beauty craft started growing rapidly, at the same time deforming greatly our perception of a beautiful woman. Cover girls were becoming skinnier and skinnier, having more and more makeup, getting more and more undressed. Consequently, teenage girls were influenced by these images and wanted to imitate them so much that the real essence of beauty started to resemble as obsession to become anorexic nude woman with the war paint on the face. As a result, our modern society faced an outbreak of such problems as anorexia, risks of early sexual activity and general beauty obsession among teenage girls. Is this really something we wanted to do with beauty?
Technological progress also contributed to today’s perverse image of beauty that does not let teen girls (and adult women as well, of course) be satisfied with themselves and live happily. The introduction of Photoshop misled women all over the world and made photoshopped cover girls the main reason for depression, dissatisfaction with own appearance, other nervous disorders and many more troubles in girls’ and women’s lives. So the main question remains as follows: is it worth being beautiful if you cannot enjoy your life? Or is it impossible to enjoy your life unless you think you are beautiful?
Whatever the answer is, I strongly believe that the notion of ‘beautiful’ should be based on concealing flaws and underlining your natural beauty.
Notably, there is also a positive change that took place since 50’s – back then black women used to do their best to look as white as possible, using tones of cosmetics to lighten their skin and they also used to strengthen their hair. Now, when all (hopefully!) the racism is gone, every woman can be herself and be proud of what nature has gifted her with. And I consider it to be the main principle of being beautiful.