Fashion and makeup around the world
August 2, 2016
Beauty is a construction. This is the thesis I intend to purport in my next feature documentary film. I plan on showing this as I explore the aesthetics of various cultures, starting with the west and moving through each continent. There is no such thing as beauty — it’s purely invented and culturally dependent. How else could you explain one thing being considered extremely attractive in one culture and not in another?
The beginning of the documentary takes place in beauty therapy courses in Melbourne, where I interview students about their perceptions of beauty. Here we can expect to hear attitudes which echo our mainstream Western cultural ideals, for instance, the idea that tall and thin is beautiful, a healthy tan and minimal hair. You can see from all the services that beauty therapists and makeup artists offer that they are based on these ideals. By contrast, go across the globe where, in Latin America, women are expected to be more curvaceous and voluptuous. Even their fashion is markedly different. Where in the west our models where sleek streamlined designs down the catwalk, latin models strut in their vibrantly coloured garb. In central asia, especially Uzbekistan, monobrows are considered extremely beautiful and women who cannot grow them actually draw them on. Moving to Japan, women are naturally quite tan according to the Western beauty ideal, however many of them use skin whitening soaps, because paleness is considered beautiful. I’m sure the students at beauty therapy courses in Brisbane would be utterly shocked to hear this! Paleness in the west signifies unhealthiness, staying indoors and being antisocial. Women who have a healthy sunkissed glow are considered more bubbly and outgoing, and thus more attractive.