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Western versus Chinese

Western versus Chinese
Exploring what is the ideal Beauty?
By Anastasia Chapman

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As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder! Whether the beholder is a westerner or a Chinese, there are 'ideal' beauty standards that matter to these people living on different sides of the world. Most of us would be familiar with this age-old debate of Western vs Chinese beauty specifics, let's bring both the worlds face to face to see what sets them apart in their perception of beauty and appearance.


Beauty Standards: Western vs. China


1. Skin Tone

TP 201904 beauty 04Lighter skin tone is not much of a thing to discuss in the western world, but in the Far East, in countries like China, Japan, Korea, India and Philippines, and so on, a white and porcelain-like complexion is highly prized. It鈥檚 a concept that has had a history dating back to the ancient Chinese traditions, and it still holds a strong liking among the Orient. In ancient times, only women of the upper class used to have unblemished, creamy white skin, as they didn't have to work under the sun as opposed to lower caste women. The skin colour hence worked more like a firm division between the rich and the poor. Surprisingly, to this date, a paler skin tone is still a mark of prestige in China that signifies a woman is 'well-kept' and is considered the epitome of beauty. The booming market for skin brightening and whitening products in all the Asian countries proves this obsession to have a paler skin tone.


In the western world just the opposite works. Naturally, effortlessly and luxuriantly tanned skin tone is what every western woman would love to have. Typically described as 'glowing' or 'sun-kissed', western women with a bronze complexion are considered prettier, as it suggests an active lifestyle of outdoor adventures, fun and wellbeing. Therefore, use of sunscreen is limited, while tanning oils with little to no SPF are the go-to beauty products among the westerners. The darker you get soaking the sun, the more appealing and beautiful you will be considered.


2. Face Shape

TP 201904 beauty 05Goose-egg and melon-seed face shapes are considered attractive and feminine in China. A face with very narrow jawline and chin is something that is preferred by most Chinese women. Double-chin and fat on the face is a big no-no! According to Chinese beauty standards, the worst face shapes a Chinese woman can have are a square or a moon-shaped face.

TP 201904 beauty 06On the other hand, in the western hemisphere, symmetrical face shapes are highly valued. Women with balanced features, oval or square shaped faces, with a wider jawline are considered the most attractive in that part of the planet.


3. Body Type

TP 201904 beauty 07For centuries, the ideal body type for Chinese women has remained the same - which is a petite frame with a tiny waist and slender shoulders. Many Chinese women are judged on the basis of weight and figure. They are often compelled to go on extremely low-calorie diets, while some resort to harmful slimming fads to reach unrealistic body goals.


On the other hand, both slim and curvy body types are part of the western beauty standards. Fuller bust, a tiny waist and a plump buttock are what every western woman dreams of.


4. Facial features like Eyes and Lips

TP 201904 beauty 08In modern China rounder and larger eyes are preferred over smaller eyes. Almond eyes with a narrow slit are considered attractive by Chinese women, and some even go to great extents to attain that enlarged appearance. Many Chinese women resort to cosmetic solutions like fake eyelashes, contact lenses, eyelid tapes, and even eyelid surgery to attain double-fold eyelids. In western countries, single eyelid, in general, are thought to give an exotic Eurasian or Spanish appeal to a person's face. It鈥檚 not seen as a bad thing at all.


When rest of the world is going over fuller, luscious lips, thinner 鈥榗heery lips鈥 are considered perfect by Chinese women. Needless to say that western women desire fuller, rounded lips.

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Final Words

As you can see, Chinese and Western beauty standards are different to the extent of being called 鈥減oles apart鈥. However, if there is anything to take away from this discussion, it is that beauty and body ideals may only be a cultural and social construct, it comes in and goes out of style, while evolving with the passage of time. Your idea should be not to get too fixated with 'ideals' when it comes to looks and appearances. So embrace your flaws and be proud of who you are!

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