When it comes to beauty around the world, beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. In America, a slender body, blonde hair and perfect complexion may be considered the stereotypical characteristics of beauty, but in other countries throughout the world, that is not the case. Each country holds a different image of what beauty is. Beauty in one country may be unattractive in another, but such different views are what shape different ideals of beauty around the world.
In Japan, women view a smooth, pale complexion as the epitome of beauty. Historically, pale skin was honored in Japan because it signified wealth. Pale skin meant women could afford to stay inside and maintain a pale complexion rather than darken their skin from working outside. According to Oprah’s past segment “Beauty Around the World,” collagen-infused foods are popular among women in Japan. Because collagen has been shown to improve complexion, many women consume foods rich in the protein for improved skin quality.
Straight and silky hair is also considered the norm in Japan, the “Marie Claire” article “Extreme Beauty Report: Japan” said. Not all Japanese women have naturally straight hair, but many use hair-straightening treatments to capture the look. In fact, using hair chemicals and flat irons to straighten naturally curly or wavy hair began in Japan, “Beauty Around the World” said.
Makeup may be seen as an asset to bringing out one’s beauty, but in France, the natural look is preferred. Although the French see physical attractiveness and grooming as important, they prefer highlighting natural features rather than layering on makeup product after makeup product.
“It really astonishes me the way American women wear so much makeup,” said Laura Mercier, the creator of makeup line Laura Mercier, in a New York Times article. “French women are not flashy. They must be subtle.”
To accentuate natural beauty, French women follow a strict skincare plan to maintain healthy skin. In addition to following a skincare regimen, French women also watch what they eat since diet can be a reflection of skin quality.