Around the world there are various perceptions on youth and beauty. What the west generally views as beautiful vastly differs from the opinions of others around the globe. Here, we explore cultural ideals on the concept of beauty.
What being beautiful means
Generally in the west, youth is equal to being beautiful though some of those standards are beginning to change. Beauty has long been equated to good health, a good standing in society and sexual allure to find a partner. If we consider how various products are marketed, they are often advertised by celebrities or those who are considered physically beauty. Anti-aging creams and treatments to make us look and feel more youthful are the norm. However, other parts of the globe have other perceptions on the subject of beauty.
Beauty around the globe
The definition of beauty varies depending upon the society and culture you live in. In the US, someone who is slim and tanned is likely to be viewed as more beautiful than someone who isn’t. In other parts of the world, curvier women are viewed as more attractive than slimmer body types. For example, in Nigeria women who are larger are associated with good health as they are viewed as being more fertile and able to carry more children. In other parts of the globe, such as the west, a larger woman is traditionally viewed as being unhealthy and is linked to various health problems. In particular Asian countries, a fuller figure is seen as a sign of wealth and status due to being well fed.
In many Asian cultures being viewed as western looking is seen as beautiful and youthful. Many Asians use whitening treatments to lighten their skin and some even undergo surgery on their eyelids to appear more western.
Global thoughts on aging
The west generally view aging as being related to death. However in certain countries, such as Greece, age is celebrated and therefore isn’t seen as a negative aspect of life. In Korea, age is also celebrated with big celebrations held to celebrate a person’s 60th and 70th birthdays. Similarly, age is viewed as a sign of respect in China with the young caring for their elders. Elders are also the head of the family in India and its normal procedure for them to help care for their grandchildren.
Aging and beauty
Even certain European countries have differing views on aging. In France, middle aged women are viewed as being attractive and alluring which provides a contrast to media perceptions in other countries. Many western countries are bombarded with media images that are photo shopped and digitally altered to make both women and men look more attractive. Many cultures that aren’t exposed to media ideals of beauty demonstrate a different view of aging, such as certain African countries where aging is seen as a sign of health and prosperity.