Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Changing Face of Beauty

The pale faced beauty above is Sarah Bernhardt, the most famous actress in her day. In the Victorian Era, feminine beauty was often judged by the fairness of one's skin. Ladies wanted to appear aristocratic, and tanned skin was a sign of manual labor. As the Industrial Revolution pressed on and the laborers moved inside, the color of beauty changed. Today, the pale faced cubicle masses bear the sign of the working class.
In 2008, there is no question that tanned, golden skin is the predominant picture of modern beauty. One has to wonder if this will soon change once again. The health concerns about excessive tanning are widely known, yet it remains the desired look. The real influence in American beauty is Hollywood, and with its obsession with all things healthy and "green," one would think tans would be out. Amidst all the discussion of global warming, shrinking ozone layers, and going green, none have gone pale in protest.