Sunday, May 10, 2015

My final post for this year.

   My favorite part of this project by far has to be researching all of the insane things that women and men did to achieve beauty standards as well as watching how beauty has transformed through the years, and how some ideal stuck and are still seen today. However my least favorite part was not being able to finish my entire time line in the time I was given. I seem to have researched far too long on the same things to make sure my information was true, and in a result I wasted quite a bit of my time.
   I love Genius Hour research because I get to research whatever I want without losing time that I need for school work since it's built into my school work. The only thing I really dislike about Genius Hour is that I have so many things I want to research I have a hard time picking out what I want to research. I honestly just love researching too much to pick a single thing to research when I have so many options.
   From this project I learned that everyone is physically beautiful. I often struggle, like most people, to find the beauty in myself, but to know that way back when pale skin and insanely curly hair was considered beautiful made me realize how beautiful I, and everyone around me is. While pale skin and curly hair is't exactly the standard now, it makes me happy to realize that how I look was once the standard, and that even most gods and goddesses were depicted this way.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Medieval Beauty Standards

Portret damy by Rogiera van der Weydena

Lady Owien by Alan Lee

   In the above photos you can see three women from the Medieval time period. In this time period Christianity was a major part in life and beauty. Since Christianity had made a huge entrance into the everyday lives of people women generally wanted to look like Mother Mary. Mother Mary was often depicted with a long neck, slender body, pale clear skin, long hair, and a relatively large forehead. When it came to achieving this ideal of beauty women did wear makeup, but it wasn't very obvious because the church hadn't really approved the use of makeup so there was a stigma over makeup, makeup was also associated with hookers and actresses so women didn't want to wear a ton of makeup and be associated with these people. Since the church hadn't really voiced it's thoughts on makeup women normally resorted to home remedies such as herbs, juices, distillations, blood of a hare or bull, brimstone, and willow tree water to help get flawless skin.(Please don't tries these at home. They're weird.) The shops that sold makeup even had back doors so that way the women could buy makeup without being seen going in and out of the store.
   Makeup products that women generally bought was white powder, blush, eyeliner, and sometimes lipstick. When it comes to what these products were made out of the normal substances were crushed up bugs or flowers for pigment in eyeliner, blush, and lipstick which isn't that bad, but those products weren't used nearly as much as white face powder which was made out of white lead. Yes, the poisonous metal. The reason why this product was used so much was to cover blemishes on their faces such as scars, pimples or traces of the plague that generally showed on the face first. Since the church hadn't really voiced it's thoughts on makeup women normally resorted to home remedies such as herbs, juices, distillations, blood of a hare or bull, brimstone, and willow tree water.
   Aside from makeup women would also not eat as much as normal in order to achieve a slender body. Slender body types where generally favored just as much as pudgier body types for men, but women normally liked a more slender and sleek look. As for getting a larger forehead women would normally pluck the hair from their hair line by their forehead in order to make their forehead seem larger. Women of high status also plucked their eyebrows and eyelashes.
Albrecht DΓΌrer self portrait (age 26)

   As you can see Medieval men weren't really held to very high standards because they already held a ton of power just for being born a male. Older men would wear blush on order to look a bit younger and, shaving facial hair wasn't desired because that made them look more feminine. Honestly, for men the more masculine you looked the better. Hair length doesn't seem to have been a huge thing to worry about, but pale skin was still desired but not obsessed over like it was for women. Men would also use some home remedies if signs of the plague surfaced on their skin or if they had a stubborn pimple, but this was rare and considered a drastic measure just for a pretty face for men.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Greek Beauy Ideals


Some random bust guy. (Sexy huh?)

   First things first I would like to let you know how hard it was to find photos of accurate Greek beauty ideals that weren't naked. You're welcome, I spared your eyes from burning out of your skull. On that note I want to explain that the Ancient Greeks found beauty in the entire human body... Every. Single. Bit. Most of the marble statues of people in Ancient Greek times are stark naked.
   So what aspects of a body was beautiful to them? Well for starters lets start with the fact that tan skin was no longer a trend. The paler and more sickly you looked the better. Pale skin generally meant that you had enough money to stay inside for most of your life which normally meant you were rich. Not only was pale skin a tend but so was a plump body for women because this also meant you had a lot of money.
   The above information doesn't exactly apply for men. Men were supposed to be muscular and tan, the complete opposite of women. This was wanted by women because it meant that the man was in good shape and could protect to woman if she was in need. (Woman wanted macho men.) For both genders having curly hair or wavy hair was desirable, as a matter a fact Aphrodite is often depicted with curly hair just like most other goddess and gods,

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Ancient Egypt Beauty Standards

   In the above photo you can see Ancient Egyptian's beauty for women generally consists of slender bodies, tan skin, winged eyeliner, golden jewelry, and perfume since baths were very hard to come about.  Having a symmetrical face was very very desirable for Egyptians, hence the eyeliner that elongates the eyes and makes their look more symmetrical over all. Their eyeliner was generally a lot like the paint they used that was made of crushed insects and oils from various plants. Golden jewelry was desirable because that meant that that person was rich enough to have that kind of jewelry which generally meant they had a high standard living or were royal. 
   Having tan skin was just genetics for the Egyptians, and luckily they liked it! To the Egyptians having pale skin made them think that that person had recently been sick or was currently sick which also meant they weren't desirable. As stated before people back then were very stinky. An average person would probably have a shower about once a month, so perfume was a must and a very booming business. Cleopatra even put lavender perfume on her boats sails so that way when people smelled the lavender they would know she was coming.

   What you see in the above photo is an ancient Egyptian man applying his makeup. Yes, men wore makeup as well because they were held to the same beauty beauty standards as women with one exception, they were expected to be fairly muscular. Men even wore perfume as well.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

What time periods will I be researching?

   I have decided to go with the general years for the above musical time line, I'll be adding in modern years as well. I chose to divide my work up this way because these time periods line up with the times that beauty generally changed. Some of these time periods may have more than one beauty standard so I may have to spend more time on one period than the other.
   In addition to using these general time periods I want to be able to focus on the main areas where beauty changed the most. (ie. Greece, Egypt etc.) It seems most countries have different views on what body and facial beauty is so I want to focus on the main two countries of each time period. I also don't only want to focus on the beauty of women but on the beauty of men as well.
   The beauty of men hasn't really changed much, but I do what to know the general basis for manly beauty because it seems when people talk about beauty feminine figures pop in mind so I really want to cover the ideal body of a man as well. Yes, even men are held to standards so high that they're practically unattainable.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

How Has Beauty Changed Through Time?

    For my Genius Hour I wanted to learn how beauty has changed through time, why it changed, and some extremes that women go through in order to achieve these often unattainable ideals of "beauty." My curiosity in this sparked when I saw a Buzz Feed video about a girl who took a picture of herself, without any makeup and her hair pulled up, and then sent it to photo shop experts around the world telling them to "Make me beautiful." When she got the photo shopped pictures back they all looked very different. Another video from Buzz Feed showed three girls who researched their heritage and then got a make over to portray their traditional heritage idea of beauty. 
  Both of these videos made me desperately wonder why and how beauty changed through time. I did research about beauty in the Medieval times, and I will admit I didn't find the Medieval ideal of "beauty" very beautiful at all. Realizing that I didn't find that beautiful, and neither did my sister or mother, made me wonder even more about the evolution of beauty.
   Now I plan on starting my adventure in the past all the way up to modern beauty to see how and why these ideals changed, as well as compare them to modern ideals that are similar. I hope to also recreate my favorite time periods on my own face, and possibly my mothers if her face structure fits the requirements a bit better, in order to bring the beauty of the past into brighter light in the present. I will not only be researching facial beauty, but body beauty as well because that has changed from age to age as well. I hope you enjoy this ride in the beauty time machine as I will.