How cinema, music and fashion influence the perception of bodily beauty

Today there is often a statement that the canons of beauty have become obsolete: diversity, inclusivity, ethnic expressiveness, etc. are welcomed in the world. Indeed, sometimes you can see XXL size models on the pages of magazines and in commercials, and recently a girl with a short haircut won a beauty contest in France. But in reality, the perception of bodily beauty in modern society is still subject to fairly strict standards.

And, although these criteria largely depend on the cultural characteristics of a particular country, cinema, fashion and the music industry have a strong influence on current trends. For example, in almost every corner of the world, girls with large breasts attract special attention. That's why the service remains so popular: a professional photo designer will help you change your photo by making your bust 1-3 sizes larger. In this case, there will be no noticeable traces of retouching.


Beauty as an artificial concept

For our eyes, symmetrical features, an even complexion, a proportional body, shiny hair are pleasing - these features indirectly speak about a person’s health. But all other criteria of attractiveness are a social construct, an artificial idea that changes from era to era, from country to country.

Moreover, the development of cinema, radio, and television made beauty standards truly fleeting: a new ideal began to appear every few years, or even more often. At the same time, modern criteria for attractiveness may have little to do with health, naturalness, or even actual attractiveness to the opposite sex.

A good example is the English model nicknamed Twiggy, who in the 60s launched the fashion for painful thinness. Or Pamela Anderson, who at one time owed the popularity of plastic surgery. The list of such idols can be endless, but their appearance is usually unattainable for “mere mortals” because of its unnaturalness. Therefore, it is so important to critically perceive any fashion trends regarding bodily beauty.

What makes certain external characteristics truly popular is a celebrity’s talent, charisma, extraordinary personality, or simply a love of risky behavior and adventurous actions that bring fame. The desire to associate oneself with a bright media character is what makes his appearance or individual features beautiful in the eyes of fans. Thus, the fashion for crooked teeth in Japan (today this trend is no longer popular) was introduced by pop idol girls who did not strive to correct their smile for performing on stage.

At the same time, modern trends in Europe and the USA place increased demands on women. Men from the category of “sex symbols” may have wrinkles, gray hair, baldness, a crooked nose bridge, an imperfect figure or other features (Vincent Cassel, George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Brad Pitt, etc.). The most attractive women are considered to be “forever young”, fit beauties with impeccable facial features (Jennifer Aniston, Beyoncé, Angelina Jolie, Megan Fox, Scarlett Johansson, etc.).

National beauty standards

National beauty standards are less dictated by Hollywood and other global trends. They are mainly associated with local features of appearance. For example, people with thin, slightly elongated facial features are considered especially beautiful in Northern Europe. In Asian countries, people have a small, round face and a slender build. In Western Europe and the USA - people with a slender figure and expressive cheekbones. In PAIRS - those with curvaceous figures. This phenomenon is formed historically and is oriented towards the ethnic type of appearance that prevails in a particular region. Accordingly, this is reflected in local culture: fashion, music, cinema, etc.

Global beauty standards

Most often, such standards are set by Hollywood actors/actresses and pop stars, whose work is popular in many countries. So, over the years, a pierced navel like Britney Spears, high cheekbones and plump lips like Angelina Jolie, a masculine profile like Brad Pitt, etc. were popular. Moreover, sometimes such global beauty standards are superimposed on national ones, giving rise to unattainable images. For example, when the American trend for curvy buttocks and breasts came to China, where thin girls with thin legs are valued, it was only possible to conform to the fashion after a dozen plastic surgeries.

Image before appearance

Fashion, cinema, the stage suggest not so much paying attention to the real face or figure of a person, but rather immersing yourself in the perception of a holistic image. You need to understand that dozens of professionals are working on it: make-up artists, costume designers, screenwriters, image makers, etc. In ordinary life, a famous actor or a bright singer can pass by in a stretched hoodie and go unnoticed. While a beauty standard is formed on the basis of a glossy image.

Fortunately, the recent trend is still aimed at moving away from stereotypes; each successive generation promotes an increasingly correct attitude of society towards appearance - open and accepting.

Copyright © Blog author - Photographer in Kiev Arkady Shapoval. 2009-2023

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