How Did Beauty Change Its Face? The Decade-by-Decade Evolution of Beauty Standards

  Apr 12, 2024

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.

For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry…” 

  • A beautiful poem by Sam Levenson

There was a famous saying in the ancient Greeks that goes like this, “The key to a woman’s beauty is their perfect proportions.

 And we jump straight to the Victorian era, where rosebud lips were considered quintessential elements in a beautiful face. We can see a pattern of constantly evolving beauty standards. 

But, How far we’ve actually come? And do these beauty standards still fit the modern contemporaries? 

Well, it might shock you, but the perception that surrounds beauty and an ideal body type is not defined by cultural and societal norms.  Instead, it has evolved throughout the history. 

So, In this read, we will explore how beauty has changed its face throughout the ages. Along with how aesthetic and cosmetic surgery in Salt Lake City have become a conventional practice. 

Let’s get into it! 

So, How Did the Beauty Standards Change Throughout History? 

We know that every body type is beautiful, regardless of the societal standards they live in. But the world has been constantly changing its mind on what looks “best

Here is a comprehensive analysis of the changing beauty standards throughout history:

Ancient Egypt (c. 1292 – 1069 B.C.)

Ancient Egypt Beauty Standards

Beauty was a big thing in Ancient Egypt and used to hold far greater rights than most of the contemporary society. One of them is a sex-positive environment, where women could divorce their husbands without shame. 

And considering the sculptures, paintings, and the poems, women were idealized as: 

  • Graceful and slim. 
  • Blue-black hair.
  • A pale skin. 
  • Long neck
  • With small waists and firm breasts. 

Ancient Greece (c. 500 – 300 B.C.)

Ancient Greece Beauty Standards

In Ancient Greece, women looked up to Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and fertility. This then became the beauty ideal of the Greek women. 

During this period, the ideal woman had: 

Long wavy hair. 

Light skin 

And full, plumped body. 

Do you know? 

5 out of 10 girls in the United States feel pressured to be beautiful. 

Han Dynasty (c. 206 B.C. – 220 A.D.)

Han Dynasty Beauty Standards

The patriarchal Chinese Han dynasty favored women with ultra-femininity, Where small feet were widely appreciated, and the girls used to wrap their feet in tight binding to prevent their feet from growing. 

The famous Han dynasty projects feminine beauty through: 

  • Slim and delicate bodies. 
  • Pale skin. 
  • Long black hair. 
  • White teeth. 
  • Red lips. 
  • And a graceful walk with small feet. 

Italian Renaissance (c. 1400 – 1700)

Italian Renaissance Beauty Standards

If we look up to the beauty standard during the Italian Renaissance, it was a bit odd. And it was a wife’s duty to reflect her husband’s status. For example, if a woman was thin, it indicated that her husband was not wealthy enough to feed her enough. 

And if we conclude the artwork, the beauty standards during the Italian Renaissance included: 

  • Blonde hair. 
  • Rosy lips. 
  • A pale and hairless skin. 
  • White teeth. 
  • Small breasts. 
  • Rounded stomach and full hips.

Victorian England (c. 1837 – 1901)

Victorian England Beauty Standards

The Victorian era lasted through the reign of Queen Victoria. And women of this period went to great lengths to adhere to the beauty standards set by society. 

The overarching beauty of Victorian England was:

Full-figured body with tight-fitting clothes. 

  • Fair skin. 
  • Lightly rosy cheeks. 
  • Dark hair. 
  • Bright eyes with tinted lips. 

Roaring Twenties (c. 1920s)

Roaring Twenties Beauty Standards

The beauty standards of the 1920s were associated with an androgynous look for women. And it was then that women started shortening their hair, which from the ages signified beauty and desirability.

The beauty ideal of the 1920s featured: 

  • Straight body with minimal curves. 
  • Short bob hairstyle. 
  • Downplayed waist. 
  • Heavily defined eyes with dark eye makeup. 
  • Boyish figure. 

Golden Age Of Hollywood

Marilyn Monroe

The boyish figure trend didn’t last long and was totally crushed during the golden age of Hollywood that started somewhat around 1950. And Marilyn Monroe (Golden Girl of Hollywood) became a classic example of this ideal woman. 

This period witnessed a significant rise in the popularity of Non-invasive procedures for subtle aesthetic enhancements without major downtime. 

The female beauty standards of this era included: 

  • Hourglass figure. 
  • Gentle curves. 
  • Slim waist. 
  • And tailored clothing. 

Did you know? 

80% of the women admitted that the beauty industry deeply affects their self-esteem. 

The Evolution of Cosmetic Surgery

The Evolution of Cosmetic Surgery

As we ventured to the late 20s and early 21st centuries. People started embracing their individual preferences, instead of traditional beauty standards. 

It was then cosmetic surgery nearly revolutionized the aesthetic appearance. The advent of safer technologies and innovations like endoscopic surgery and silicone implants offered more precise sculpting and improved outcomes. 

Nevertheless, cosmetic surgery has been deeply rooted in our mainstream media. This contributed greatly towards fulfilling the human’s quest for aesthetic enhancement. And helped millions of people considering a rhinoplasty, Liposuction, and breast augmentation without thinking about the societal norms. 

Final Thoughts

In closing, the evolution of cosmetic surgery is a testament to humanity’s quest for beauty. And as we look further into the future, it is clear that the aesthetic appeal will be dominated by technology. 

That’s it! Your complete guide on how beauty standards have changed throughout history and how cosmetic surgery contributed to rationalizing aesthetic appearance. Hope it helps! 

Thanks for reading!