19 Jul Beauty Ideals in China: Reconfiguration of the Body through the Prospect of Westernization and Modernization
This study explores the pattern behind Chinese women’s desire to “beautify” their facial features and what builds their standards of a “beautiful face”. By examining the evolution of manners toward commodified beauty, the overall progression of China on its way to modernization is unveiled. The essay follows a chronological order from the traditional beauty ideals in late-imperial China, which are derived from ancient times; and transit to the Maoist era when individualities are sacrificed for the state, followed by an introduction to cosmetic surgeries. This then leads to an analysis on the modern beauty ideals and market in China with theoretical underpinnings, where the extent of westernization is examined, assuming that the level of any constantly altering phenomenon is “measurable”.
Ling Olivia Li