Outer Beauty is but a Trend

It’s trending all over the place and we at SheRa Mag are also loving the video showing 100 years of beauty trends compressed into one minute and 17 seconds (watch it below if you haven’t see in  yet, or watch it again if you have). The video takes us on a journey from 1910 to 2010 and shows how dramatically hairstyles and make-up styles have changed. It’s got nearly 7.5 million views since it was posted two weeks ago. The power of the internet.

What the video clearly highlights (besides being a feat of technology) is how steeped in society and culture—and how fleeting—the definition of “beauty” in the external sense (i.e. what we physically look like) really is. Beauty trends like fashion trends are very much related to what is happening on a social scale in a time and place, and when I watched the video, I couldn’t help and think of how the place of women in society in a particular decade was reflected in the corresponding trend. The quirky style of the 1920s aligns with women making more of a place for themselves in society: the number of working women increased by 25% and in the US and many other countries, women were given the right to vote. I wouldn’t want to have lived in the 1940s and 1950s—talk about high maintenance. But female empowerment took a plunge during those decades, and women were equated with the word ‘housewife’ and spent their days making the home and putting on their ‘face’ for their husbands. The softer make-up and more relaxed hair of the 1960s and especially the 1970s is undoubtedly the result of second-wave feminism rushing in. In the 1980s, heavy makeup and out-there hairstyles were used to define individuality, a decade also synonymous with the feminist sex wars, marked by debates about sex and the body. Current trends favor more subdued makeup and natural hair, which highlights a woman’s actual looks, and this is a positive thing. But the 2010s are also equated with the ‘selfie,’ and have ushered in a new era of narcissism.

 

Title image source: golem13.fr

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