beauty standards around the world
“Beauty” is a concept that continually evolves and varies by culture, ethnicity and location. The definition of beauty depends on where you are, what culture you call your own and what decade you’re living in. Let’s take a look at how female beauty standards vary over time and according to location.

Beauty Standards in the U.S.

In the U.S., facial beauty standards have changed constantly over the last century. Don’t believe us? Just look at what was considered beautiful from the neck up in each decade of the past 100 years.

1920s – Round face, “bob” haircut, stark painted-on eyebrows, bold lips, and sly facial expression.

1930s – A beauty spot, platinum hair, miniscule painted-on eyebrows and lips in the form of a cupid’s bow.

1940s – Shimmering hair, glossy lips and natural eyes and eyebrows.

1950s – Perfectly manicured platinum hair, blue eyes and oval face with high cheekbones.

1960s – Exaggerated features such as wide eyes and big lips.

1970s – Thin and pale but natural with little makeup.

1980s – Floppy blonde hair, big lips, thin eyebrows, rectangular facial structure.

1990s – Large eyes, black hair, strong chin and full eyebrows. The grunge look.

2000s – Practical, short hair styles to match the athletic craze. Heart shaped face and delicate cheekbones. Also of note during this period was the emergence of “ethnic” beauty as a popular construct. Think Halle Berry.

Beauty Standards Around the World
Beauty standards vary markedly from one country/culture to another. The world is a big place, and we can’t cover every country, but here is a sample of the diverse beauty standards of several cultures and countries around the world.


As in other areas of Europe, in France natural beauty is what women strive for. French women are notoriously graceful and appear effortlessly stylish at all ages. But unlike some parts of Europe, makeup is used sparingly in France.


Thailand and Southeast Asia are often said to be obsessed with light skin, and based on the ubiquity of skin-whitening beauty products on the shelves, it’s hard to deny. Light skin is often associated with status, money and beauty throughout Southeast Asia (and in some other areas of Asia). Thailand is also famous for the neck-elongation techniques of the Kayan tribe. Women of this tribe add brass hoops to their necks one at a time as they get older, eventually achieving long necks considered to be gorgeous in their culture.


In Iran rhinoplasty is often considered the key to a beautiful face, not to mention a huge symbol of status. So much so, in fact, that many people who have had nose jobs flaunt their bandages. Tens of thousands of Iranians undergo rhinoplasty each year. And noses aren’t the only facial feature that gets attention. Due to cultural mores requiring women to cover most of their bodies, faces take center stage.  Women do everything they can to accentuate their eyes, eyebrows and other facial features.

The Maori (New Zealand)

The indigenous Maori of New Zealand are known for their intricate facial tattoos, called “mokos.” Unlike in the Western world, the Maori have been donning facial tattoos for hundreds of years — though in the past they were more common among the wealthy. Among women, large blue lips and chin tattoos are considered to be particularly beautiful.

South Korea

Many South Korean women take pains to achieve round, wide eyes, which is how facial plastic surgery procedures like blepharoplasty have become so popular. Some 10 percent of women in South Korea have had an eye lift procedure. The trend even extends to children in some cases.

Dr. Sam Rizk – the Best Surgeon for International Patients

Dr. Rizk has been recognized both in the U.S. and abroad as one of the world’s top facial plastic surgeons. He has extensive experience performing rhinoplasty, facelift and many other facial plastic procedures on patients of numerous ethnicities. Dr. Rizk is also known for his delicate bedside manner and his steadfast dedication to safety and patient care, as evidenced by the state-of-the-art equipment and powered micro-instruments he uses in all of his procedures to provide outstanding outcomes. If you are interested in scheduling a consultation with Dr. Rizk but live outside the United States, this can easily be accommodated through iChat or Skype. Call his office today to schedule a virtual appointment.