The Evolution of Beauty Standards Over Time

beauty standards

Beauty standards have changed dramatically throughout history, and continue to do so in modern times. It’s possible that what is seen attractive in one era may not be regarded beautiful in another. Culture, society, and historical developments all have a significant impact on beauty standards. In this article, we’ll look at how beauty standards have changed over time, from prehistoric societies to contemporary cultures.

Ancient Civilizations

In ancient civilizations, fertility and health were frequently linked to beauty standards. For instance, ladies with larger proportions were regarded as more attractive in ancient Egypt because they were a sign of prosperity and good health. Similar to this, the ideal female physique in ancient Greece was full-figured with wide hips and a tiny waist, which was linked to fertility. However, men were supposed to have powerful, muscular physique that symbolised strength and authority.

Middle Ages

The Middle Ages saw a strong effect of religion on aesthetic standards. Because it was a symbol of affluence and royalty, pale skin was regarded as lovely. Women would use lead-based cosmetics, which frequently resulted in health issues, to great lengths in order to keep their fair complexion. Men, on the other hand, were expected to have a tan since it indicated strength and manhood.


During the Renaissance, the emphasis on beauty standards switched from piety to the human body and autonomy. Corsets were used to help women acquire the ideal proportions of small waists and full hips. Although makeup was used to give a more natural appearance, fair skin was still regarded as attractive. Men were supposed to be muscular, have broad shoulders, and have a full head of hair.

Victorian Period

Morality and modesty had a huge influence on beauty standards during the Victorian period. Women were expected to maintain light skin tones and small, delicate features. Makeup, which was regarded as inappropriate for females, was valued less than natural beauty. Men had to dress well and maintain well-groomed facial hair.

20th Century

In the 20th century, a more young and natural appearance became the new ideal of beauty. Women were required to have a toned, sleek body with a focus on their face and hair. Tanning beds and spray tans gained popularity, while makeup gained more acceptance. Men were expected to look well-groomed in addition to having a powerful body.

Modern Times

In modern times, beauty standards continue to evolve and change. Women are expected to have a toned and fit physique, with an emphasis on body positivity and acceptance. There is a growing acceptance of natural beauty, and makeup is seen as a form of self-expression. Men are expected to have a muscular physique, but also to be well-groomed and fashionable.

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