“Anata wa chisai atama!” You have a small head! — a compliment in Japan. So much to the extent that some Japanese wear a five-pound Small-Face-Make-Belt around the head while sleeping. Apparently it helps your head shrink over time. A good example of the role of society in constructing one’s idea of beauty.
Ok, so beauty isn’t only an idea constructed by society. It’s hard to dispute that Victoria’s Secret models are beautiful.
But… would they have been beautiful in the 50s?
A (very) brief, limited and generalized history of beauty:
- 16th Century – flat chest, 13-inch waist
- 17th Century – large bust and hips, white complexion
- 19th century – tiny waist, full hips and bust
- 1920s – slender legs and hips, small bust
- 1940s & 50s – hourglass shape
- 1960s – lean, youthful body with long hair
- 1970s – thin, tan
- 1980s – slim but muscular, toned
- 1990s – heroin chic
- 2000s – thin bodies with large breasts
What are some of the differences between a Marilyn Monroe & a Kate Moss?
Following that song, it is interesting to consider how society constructs our ideas about wealth? And love, which I will post on soon…
How do our stories about beauty, wealth and love impact our experience of happiness?
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