Beauty standards from around the world

From country to country across the globe, the definition of beauty vastly shifts. There’s a wide variety of different looks and trends to discover. What people label gorgeous in the United States, might be viewed as ugly in another country, and vise versa. In this century, beauty standards rely heavily on media and the pop culture of the country.

In America, a lot of our ideals are portrayed through the Kardashians, a very popular family who rules media and pop culture. They have the voluptuous and toned body type many teenage girls strive for these days. Shaped thicker eyebrows, bigger lips, and tanned skin is also very popular.

In South America, there are similar standards. Many girls use diet and exercise to achieve the ideal body, but going under the knife to accentuate and make certain areas bigger is extremely common. The main focus is on the body and achieving a very curvy physique.

In both Americas, a more sultry makeup look with a smokey eye and thick black winged eyeliner is the most common and well-liked.

In contrast with America, however, many countries in South America (such as in Brazil) people generally strive to have lighter skin, which represents a higher social status. This trend is also seen in many other societies, such as in East Asia.

Across the ocean, in East Asia (including countries such as China, Korea, and Japan), the very slim and toned body is ideal.  Having fair skin, bigger eyes, and a V-shaped chin is what many girls strive for.

In fact, South Korea is known as the “Plastic Surgery Capital of the World” (Given that title by The New York Times) with plastic surgery being a prominent part of society and even a popular gift for teenage girls who have just graduated high school.

A more “innocent” look is strived for when it comes to makeup, with downturned brown eyeliner (called “puppy dog eyes”), and lighter eyeshadow. Straighter eyebrows are also shaped for this purpose.

Moving over to Europe, in places like Paris, Milan and London, a more tall and thin “modelesque” body type is strived for. Models like Cara Delevingne and Kate Moss, who are from England, are popular modern icon who represent this type of body

Makeup wise, while America is known for using thicker and more obvious makeup, these parts of Europe go for a more natural, lighter look. Unlike most young people in America, the focus in Europe is more on skincare products then on makeup. That way, they would have naturally flawless skin and require less concealer and foundation.

No matter the continent or country, everyone has their own unique qualities and characteristics that make them beautiful.


Disclaimer: These standards are very general and encompass the most popular looks as seen through social media, celebrities, etc. They in no way portray every woman, and every country has a huge variety of different styles and looks that are all beautiful in their own way

Katya Avila is a Junior at Scotch-Plains Fanwood high school. She is a staff writer for the Fanscotian.