I started off my passion blog last week with talking about beauty ideals in America. This week I’m going to continue talking about beauty ideals, but focus on what Japanese women consider beauty to be. Obviously, the Japanese see beauty in a much different way than we do here in the US. There are many places around the world that don’t share the same beauty ideals with America.
For one, Japanese women don’t find “curves” to be necessarily attractive, rather they are thinner and don’t have very prominent hips. They also pride themselves in being pale and achieve this by using beauty products to make their faces that white powdery color. Some women actually get facials done using Uguisu, which is made up of bird droppings, but is said to clean up skin and make it smoother. I read a blog about a woman that describes her experience when she traveled to Japan and witnessed these beauty treatments first hand. She talks about all of the products they sell in the drugstores that we don’t have, such as different creams, lotions and toners that are all for different uses and have to be used in order. Smooth, taken care of skin is obviously an important beauty ideal in Japan. An interesting fact that she mentioned in her blog was how when she went to the beach what she observed was people covered up in clothes from head to toe along with umbrellas trying to keep the sun away from their skin. Very opposite from how we live here where tanning is a big reason why a lot of people go to the beach; we even have tanning salons where people can artificially tan without having to physically go to the beach. Another way Japanese keep their skin so smooth and white longer is their intake of vitamin C. Part of their daily diet is made up of oranges, which “deoxidize and break up melanin”, thus whiter skin results. Some other Japanese beauty secrets include, drinking tea every day, eating fish (Omega 3), and by using seaweed to cleanse the face.
Although pale white skin is the beauty norm in Japanese culture, there are also several subcultures that challenge these ideals. For example one subculture is called Gyaru, which includes many subcultures under itself as well. This subculture is seen as a sort of “rebellion against Japanese society.”A main difference with this subculture is that people do tan and, therefore, don’t follow the pale white skin norm. Another difference is people will dye their hair in this culture, blond is a popular color, but other colors are possible, too.
Japan has a bunch of hidden beauty secrets that keep their skin beautifully pale, white, and blemish-free. Just as long hair, a thin body and good teeth are considered to be beautiful here it is always fascinating to see how other countries around the world differ in their perceptions of beauty.