Is Authenticity the Newest Beauty Trend?
Is Authenticity the
Newest Beauty Trend?
What is “beautiful” to you?
What you’d answer now is likely very different from what someone would have answered a few hundred years ago.
That’s because our ideas about what is beautiful shift over time.
In the past, trends tended to change very slowly. Some of the biggest beauty trends throughout history lasted hundreds of years. For example, how upper-class Japanese women practiced ohaguro, or teeth blackening, from 794 until the mid-1800s.
Even dangerous trends lasted centuries, like the obsession with very pale skin that caused rich Victorian women to ingest arsenic wafers and dust their skin with arsenic powders.
In contrast, our modern beauty trends last far less long. In fact, the standard of beauty most of us are familiar with—young, thin and smooth-skinned—is only about 60 years old.
Recently, this narrow beauty ideal has begun to shift again.
Expanding our ideas of beauty…
Much of the recent shift in beauty standards is due to the work of trailblazers like Beverly Johnson, Emme, Aimee Mullins and many, many others who fought for inclusion in the often-limiting world of modern beauty.
As we’ve broadened our ideas of what “beauty” includes, women of every color, size, age and ability have begun to see representation in magazines, movies and television.
Our own founder, Cindy Joseph, was part of this movement.
Scouted off the street shortly after she decided to grow out her natural hair, Cindy appeared silver-haired and vibrant in magazines and catalogs throughout her 50s and 60s.
That was the beginning of the Pro-age Revolution we celebrate today.
Cindy, and others like her, paved the way so that we could all enjoy a more inclusive beauty ideal.
Authenticity and modern trends…
You may have noticed recently that the speed with which beauty trends change has increased even more.
Throughout the 20th century, trends flowed slowly from fashion houses to models, movie stars and celebrities. It often took a year or longer for top trends to make it to the types of stores at which most of us shop.
Today, many trends originate on social media and flow directly to us from the creators’ posts, pictures and videos. Because of this, we’re seeing beauty ideals become more diverse and individualistic in real time.
Anyone can create a community online to influence fashion, beauty and popular culture. Cindy was an early example of this, presenting her pro-age beauty ideas directly to women through “Saturday with Cindy” videos and other social posts.
More recently, some of our very own Boom Ambassadors have become "influencers," gaining followers on Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms.
As social media becomes even more ubiquitous and our communities more diverse, beauty standards are being widened to include every kind of woman and every kind of style.
As a result of these changes, we now have the opportunity to answer, in a much more authentic way, “What is beautiful to you?”
While we’ve always had the option to buck the mainstream, social media has made our culture more open to unique beauty trends than at any point in recent history.
That leaves each of us just a little freer to choose a new definition of beauty for ourselves.
And that’s a beautiful thing.
Have you noticed any recent beauty trends? How do you feel about the way social media influences beauty and fashion?
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