D EFINITION OF B EAUTY What qualities does a culture or society consider beautiful?
T HE A GE -O LD B EAUTY I NDUSTRY Although answers vary, certainly the perception of beauty is as old as humanity itself since attractiveness is an imperative for mating and reproduction The use of beauty aides (makeup), for example, has been around for millennia But is now an established and global industry whose sales currently total over 330 billion dollars
T HE R OLE OF I NDUSTRIALIZATION & G LOBALIZATION From a global perspective, beauty is also tied to industrialization, globalization, and a biased image of Western beauty (i.e. white) as ideal In fact, beauty aides were mostly available only to the economic elite, until 19 th century industrialization allowed affordable products to be made in factories that then created brands Exs: Ponds, LOreal These brands became global during the simultaneous imperialism of the U.S. and Europe of most of the rest of the world
H OMOGENIZED I MAGE OF B EAUTY This created an increasingly homogenized view of what it meant to be beautiful Paris became known as the capital of fashion, reflecting its reputation for luxury With this came a white image of beauty that infiltrated through a large part of the world
C ONSEQUENCES OF A N EW H OMOGENIZED I MAGE In the U.S. products catered exclusively to white skin tones and hair textures, so entrepeneuring African American women created their own brands and products which forged the hair-straightening industry In Japan, the modernizing Meiji government (though it wanted to avoid Western Imperialism) banned traditional practices such as tooth blackening, eyebrow shaving, and male use of cosmetics With the advent of film and Hollywood in the early 20 th century this trend only solidified
I NFLUENCE OF L OCAL C ULTURE & T RADITIONS Local cultural and societal traditions did not disappear and companies did adjust to the market For ex: In the 1930s Lancome launched five fragrances that were meant to appeal to women from different ethnicities Colgate-Palmolive changed their marketing strategies by hiring local celebrities rather than Hollywood actresses Even within Europe differences were seen One study in the 1960s found that women in France and Italy wore much less make up than Germany or England
G LOBALIZATION P ARADOX After the decolonization of the world in the late 20 th century, a resurgence in local ideals began However, this also coincided with the opening of markets that had closed during Communist Russia (as well as China), which meant a renewal in the decimation of a western, Hollywood-based ideal of beauty Thus, the aftermath of this globalized view of beauty can still be felt.
G LOBAL B EAUTY T RENDS I NTRO Clearly, beauty is a human obsession, one that spans cultures and centuries. From Iran, where the perfect nose is considered the ideal form, to parts of West Africa, where fat is fabulous, one country's beauty can be another's ugly, or at least bizarre. Americans may obsess over the skinny, plastic ideal, but we aren't always the norm but look out for the effects of 19 th century globalization and homogenization.
I RAN Both Iranian men and women embrace rhinoplasty as a display of status and beauty. Iran is now known as the nose-job capital of the world. More than 30,000 Tehranians received rhinoplasties in 2006 alone.
S OUTHEAST A SIA Pale is the ideal and is associated with wealth, beauty, and social class. Over the past decade the white skin often seen in American beauty magazines has been aggressively marketed. In Thailand, for example, it's hard to find skin cosmetics that don't contain a whitening agent. One market research survey estimates that 4 in every 10 women in Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, and Taiwan use a whitening cream.
A MERICA S E VER -Y OUNGER B EAUTY A FICIONADOS American young girls are bombarded with a Hollywood image that embraces a combination of Botox, implants, diet and hair extensions- 43% of American 6 to 9 year olds are already using lipstick/lip gloss 38% use hairstyling products 12% use other products
W ESTERN A FRICA In parts of western Africa still beholden to traditional beauty ideals, women are considered most attractive when they're overweight and sporting stretch marks. In Mauritania, many parents send their daughters, who are often married at a young age, to camps where they are fed up to 16,000 calories a day.
A FRICA & A MAZON – L IP P LATES The tradition can be traced to ancient cultures in Iran, Sudan, and MesoAmerica. Today, the custom is maintained by a few groups in Africa and Amazonia. Significance of the size of the lip plates vary from social class to amount of cattle given to bride
E THIOPA In Ethiopia, the women of the Karo tribe wear scars on their stomachs meant to attract a husband. The scarring process starts in childhood and once finished it means that the woman can get married and have children.
B RAZIL Although revered as a land where women have a beautiful curvaceous figure, a new trend towards slim body has been made manifest. Historian Mary del Priore told The New York Times, "By 'upgrading' to international standards of beauty," Brazilians are giving up on the belief that "plumpness is a sign of beauty." LOST TO ANOREXIA Ana Carolina Reston as she was 18 months before her death in November. Five anorexia deaths in Brazil have followed hers.
K OREA Many Korean women believe the surgery, which makes their eyes wider and rounder, also makes them more beautiful. Plastic surgery in general has skyrocketed in Asia recently. In Korea in particular, researchers estimate that 1 in 10 adults has been nipped and tucked, and even children are getting their eyelids done. The surgery, essentially an eye lift, creates a fold in the eyelid and gives the look of bigger, more Western eyes.
E UROPE In parts of Europe, including France, it's the natural look that's considered most "It really astonishes me the way American women wear so much makeup," Laura Mercier, the French creator of the cosmetics line told The New York Times. By contrast, Mercier continued, "French women are not flashy."
T HE M AORI OF N EW Z EALAND Men and women adorn themselves with swirling face tattoos called moko --a sacred beauty ritual that spans centuries. Originally worn by Polynesian descendents as a sign of status Maori men and women now wear moko as an honorary throwback to their cultural history. One of the more distinctive forms of moko is the pattern women wear on their lips and chins.
C HINA In parts of China, men and women are turning to a painful leg- lengthening procedure that stretches their bones to make them taller. Here, height is a sign of status so for some it has become prerequisite for success. Surgeons insert metal bars into their legsthat break their bones and stretch their legs apart.
T HE K AYAN W OMEN OF B URMA Sometimes referred to as long necks these women represent an ethnic minority that maintains a centuries-old tradition They wrap brass coils around their necks when young and add more as they age The women's shoulders are weighed down by the weight of the rings giving the illusion that their necks are In the wake of conflict in Burma, (now Myanmar) many Kayans were forced to flee to neighboring Thailand, They have now become a tourist attraction
B IBLIOGRAPHY Geoffrey Jones. Globalization and Beauty: A Historical and Firm Perspective. EurAmerica (2011): pdf : 3 Jul pdf Tara Lewis. "The Lengths We Go For Beauty. Newsweek lename=beauty-ideals-around-the-world: 3 Jul lename=beauty-ideals-around-the-world