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Beauty Standards in Different Cultures

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Beauty Standards in Different Cultures

Ailin Atasoy, Staff Writer

On a recent trip to Taiwan, I was struck with how different my cousin looked. The last time I saw her, we looked very similar as we were almost the same age. Now, the difference in our outlooks on beauty sets us apart. She has finally achieved the Asian ideal most of us have grown up with, pale and petite, while I grew even more tan and stocky. Through my time in Taiwan, we talked extensively about the differing beauty standards.

What struck me most was the difference between what the two societies dictated as ideal. In America’s melting pot, there are various figures of perfection. Though they often appear stereotypical, they are still prominent: African American and Latin cultures prefer curves and hourglasses; many Caucasians tan and get toned to achieve an athlete’s lean figure; Asian communities wish to be slender and long-legged.

Still, I was surprised when my cousin confided in me about trying to meet the expectations. As someone who has never paid attention to eyelids, I never realized the popularity of double eyelid tape. In Taiwan, a smaller butt, pale-almost-snow-white skin, and a small mouth evoke an image that is completely opposite of Kylie Jenner, one of the most desired female bodies amongst young women. In America, lip injections, fake tans, and butt implants are on the rise.

Whether it be body shape or skin color, the dominance of white culture for the past millennia has greatly affected beauty ideals held around the world as countries try to shrug off the effects of colonialism. And though the world is becoming more diverse and mixed, these long-held traditions are hard to let go and are even harder to turn away from if your community still upholds them. But the first step to acceptance of everyone is accepting themselves.

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Beauty Standards in Different Cultures