Saturday, October 6, 2012

Japanese Beauty Aspirations



In the States, there is a sense that an ideal beauty is very thin, with large breasts, long legs, perfect teeth (white and straight), tan, with high cheek bones. Barbie is the epitome of these atributes, and is a beacon of unrealistic beauty. 
Japanese have very different beauty aspirations. Most desire to be petite, with pale skin, long legs, big eyes, and a very heart shaped face. Cutesy and pretty are nearly synonymous, and even child like faces are held in the highest esteem. 



Anime plays off these ideals, and just like barbie, exaggerates these ideals to completely unrealistic levels. 

Beauty must be found in the unattainable. Every culture has it's own set of rules that no-one can attain. I've stopped believing that beauty comes from a biological drive of any sort, if that were the case, there would be some continuity between cultural beauty ideals.

The only beauty ideal that I've found to be international is youth. We say that women who show aging look distinguished, but in no culture are signs of aging desired. Flawless, wrinkle free skin, is always an international aspiration.  



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