These girls are part of the Karen people in Burma. When they are about five or six years old they begin wearing these rings around their necks. As they get older, more and more rings are added, pushing the ribcage down and making the neck look longer. A woman generally has about twenty or more rings around her neck. These women are considered beautiful.
These women are part of the Massai tribe in Africa. Massai women wear long dangly earrings, as many as five or six, suspended from very stretched out earlobe holes. They also shave their heads so they can carry things on them. These women are considered beautiful.
This is a painting from Europe, during the Renaissance. Women wanted to be pleasantly plump, since the more you ate the richer you were. They wanted high, wide foreheads, and would sometimes pluck their hairlines to achieve this. They wanted pale white skin, and would avoid all sun and sometimes paint their skin to look as white as possible. They wanted eyelashes that were short and thin. These women were considered beautiful.
Are you noticing a pattern here?
You may have heard the saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” In a sense, that’s true. What is considered beautiful in one country or time period may be completely different from what is considered beautiful somewhere else.
Right now in America the thing is slim, trim, and tan. Fifty years ago being tan wasn’t nearly so popular, and women tried to be much more curvy. In fact, Marilyn Monroe would have been considered overweight by today’s standards. Who knows what will be the thing in another fifty years?
So here’s my question for you: whose definition of “beautiful” is the real beautiful?
Are the Karen, Massai, and Renaissance women less beautiful than American supermodels today?
Who has the right to say, “This is beautiful, but that isn’t”?
Can anyone have that right?