Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Beauty is in the eye of the Nation

When I spend time at home now I feel thoroughly left behind by the fashions and make-up. In England the trend is to be tanned (sometimes teetering on orange) and of course to strive always to be mega thin. In other countries, however, the idea of what beauty is may be totally different. In Korea I was called fat on countless occasions (boohoo) because girls-and often boys- are pint sized there. In Saudi Arabia many women are overweight and men seem to prefer them that way. So now I'm skinny!
In Korea white skin is favoured, to the point where some people actually put white make up on. Skin whitening products are also readily available. In Saudi Arabia, there's a tendency to look down on people with darker shades of skin.
In terms of fashion, Koreans like to dress the same as each other- short shorts, t-shirts (no shoulders please!) and high heels no matter what the occasion or weather. Here is Saudi there's a mega obsession with designers and expensive jewellery. It's all about how you look and what you're wearing, ironic because most of the time all that is seen by others is a burka.
Eyes are another interesting area. Often in Korea I saw adverts for eye surgery and it's common knowledge that most celebrities and a fair few regular people too have it done.

In Saudi the eye-related beauty measures are less extreme, but still entertaining. They wear loads of mascara and even more eye liner and I think it's maybe because this is one of the only areas where they can express their personality and show an element of individuality.

They also have big eyebrows, often pencilled in or with the lower hairs bleached blonde. A bit weird, but I still prefer it to the 'plucked to within an inch of your life' eyebrows that some girls opt for at home.

I guess what I'm trying to say in all this is that beauty is subjective, and that there really it's just silly to feel pressured into follow a certain fashion or idea, because often one countries glamour is another's shit. Just go to a different country! And on top of that, a nation itself is constantly evolving in terms of what's fashionable or beautiful, and if you've cut half your eyelids off in the quest then you're gonna find it a bit problematic to change them back when the time comes. Just sayin'.

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