The standard of beauty varies around the world. Beauty is both biological and cultural, and one can agree that each ethnicity has its own “ideal” versions of beauty. The stick-thin models put on a pedestal may not be as favored in other countries because some like their ladies plump. Like they say, ‘real women have curves’.
One company conducted a study to determine the standard of beauty from 12 countries around the world. The U.K. online pharmacist company, Superdrug Online Doctors set up a project called “Perceptions of Perfection” to explore these different cultural ideas of beauties around the world. The company hired 18 designers (14 women and four men) from different countries to Photoshop the same stock image of a woman to fit their respective country’s beauty standards. The company also created a chart showing the estimated weight and body mass index (BMI) of the Photoshopped model by country. Their goal was to promote understanding and enlighten consumers around the world. To begin with, the original reference photo was a stock photo from Photoshop. The hired designers were The designers were allowed to play with the size of her waist, hair, face, and even shoe choice. Read on to see the interesting results.
Argentinian women commonly have angelic features and sky blue eyes. Typically they require little to no makeup to enhance their looks because they are born beautiful. Most Argentinian women have flawless skin and perfect figures. They all look like they could be on a billboard. They are also low maintenance compared to other Latin countries as they do not spend much time and fortune on personal beauty products. The Superdrug Online Doctors estimated the BMI of the photoshopped image, which was 21.1 and weighed 127 lbs. The BMI was within normal range. We can see from the photo that the photoshopped one was slimmer from head to toe with a very prominent thigh gap which most women covet. The skin was also a little bit on the sunkissed side.
Captivating Ukranian women take great care in being presentable and are always mindful of their physical appearance. Unlike other European countries, Ukraine is not as developed. There are modern cities in the country but it’s not up to par, unlike their rich neighbors. Unfortunately, the women are stereotyped as mail order brides. Maybe it’s because of their country’s low economic status. Most women usually want to leave their country for a better life. But despite that, these women are considered to be very caring and nurturing. Physically, the Superdrug Online Doctors, measured them to have the third lowest BMI among the list, which is 20 and weighing 120 lbs., but still within normal range. Physically, most Ukrainian women have fair skin and longer hair is favored.
Colombia has been sensationalized around the world for the most part. But despite the bad press, people around the world still turn their heads for the beautiful Colombian women. Since Colombia has such mixed race, the beauty of Colombian women is also diverse. Their skin color ranges from black, olive, to fair-skinned women. The women also take their time to put on makeup and dress in a trendy fashion. Education ranks high in the life of these women and is very family-oriented. Religion plays also an important role in their lives, especially in decision-making. They are ranked second to the last with the highest BMI at 24.5 and weighing 147 lbs, still within normal limits. The Colombian women favor hourglass figures with a long, wavy and well-kept hair.
Spanish women are said to be the best lovers in the world. They are also fun to be with than they get credit for. These women are also said to be quite loud. In fact, Spain is considered the second noisiest country next to Japan. They are very sociable and love social gatherings. Physically, Spanish women are also diverse because of the influx of immigrants in the country. They are also known to be on the curvier side. In fact, the study concluded that they have the highest BMI among the group with a value of 25.5 and weighing 153 lbs. It’s a little on the overweight side but they are proud of their full figures. They are very high maintenance in every aspect and have an aristocratic feel on how they carry themselves. Spanish women are very proud of their heritage. They are also very opinionated and express their feelings openly.
The beauty of Egyptian women has long been revered since the ancient times. The most famous Egyptian woman would be Cleopatra and a mesmerizing beauty comes to mind. 90% of Egyptian women are Muslims although they quite lenient compared to other Islamic countries. They also have more rights and can wear whatever they want to a certain extent. Typically, an average Egyptian woman will have olive to brown skin, black hair, and dark eye color. In the photoshopped image, the woman has a very curvy figure with a prominent hip to waist ratio difference. We’re not sure if a typical Egyptian woman is that curvy since most of them wear traditional Islamic clothing. The BMI result was average with an index of 22 and weighing 132 lbs. Among the list, this country had one of the most drastic changes in the group.
If there was a beauty lottery, Serbia is the jackpot prize. It has been said that Serbia has the, “most beauty per square foot”. They are almost perfect in every inch. A man walking in the Serbian streets would definitely feel like walking around supermodels. Serbian women are typically tall, slender and have thick glossy hair. For the most part, their skin tone is between fair and beige. It is common for the younger women to wear revealing and skin tight clothes. They aren’t afraid to show some skin. They’re like real-life Barbie dolls. Today, most Serbian women have a higher degree of education and can speak English well. The BMI showed 22.5 with a weight of 135 lbs. Very much within the normal range.
Italy is one of the major fashion centers in the world, so it is safe to say that Italian women are one of the most fashionable women in the world. They love their bodies and they love dressing up. Italian women are very particular about physical appearance, theirs and the people around them. These women are passionate and romantic lovers. They love all the fine things in life including good food and good wine. Although they may have a short temper and tend to be argumentative at times. They are also very expressive and use hand gestures a lot when talking. In the study conducted, Italian women had the second-lowest BMI with a result of 18 and weighed 108 lbs, which is already considered underweight for an adult female.
Mexico is known for its breathtaking shoreline which attracts tourists around the globe. The cost of living is also relatively low so some foreigners choose to retire here. Mexican women are known to be happy and hospitable people. They also have a high regard for their traditional values. A typical Mexican woman is usually short in stature, with skin tone in varying shades of olive, and lush dark hair. They love to cook, eat, and social gatherings which is why they are excellent caretakers. They also value close family ties and religion, with a majority of Catholics. Curves are also favored in women. The BMI in the study was 21.3 with a weight of 128 lbs.
Netherlands is considered to be one of the most liberal places. Amsterdam in Netherlands is infamous for its red district and outlandish museums. The women are not an exception and express their freedom in various ways. The majority of Dutch women don’t wear heavy makeup and are more low maintenance compared to other European countries. But their young contemporaries are vainer. Due to the cold weather, they are almost always covered up but still look feminine at the same time. They are also culturally and environmentally aware. Dutch are one of the tallest people on the planet and more than half of the women are naturally blonde. A slender figure is also more favorable to them which is why the estimated BMI of the study is 21.1 and weighed 127 lbs.
Modern-day Britain has a very diverse population which is why British women come in all shapes and sizes. British women are very opinionated and outspoken but still respectable to others. They are very trendy and fashionable women. Going to nightclubs, beaches and romantic getaways are some of their interests. British women are highly educated and are regarded as equals in gender. Most British women have fair skin and a well-proportioned slender figure is more favored. The BMI result was 21 and weight is 126 lbs. They are the fourth country to have a low BMI among the group but it’s still withing the normal range.
Chinese women are known for their chinky eyes and rounded cheekbones. They are stereotyped as innocent and very conservative. But that depends on what part of the country you are in. China has a rich history and the people have a strong sense of preserving and following traditions. Chinese women are also known for their fair yellowish skin tone, silky black hair, youthful and blemish free skin and petite frame. In the study conducted, China had the lowest BMI result with a value of 17 and weight of 102 lbs. It’s a very unhealthy number.
America is a melting pot of different cultures and people so American women come in all colors. They value equality and are very independent and opinionated. But can sometimes be too liberated and loud. They are also very physically conscious and even go under the knife to achieve ‘perfection’. Physically, they tend to be bigger compared to their foreign counterparts. They tend to almost always follow fashion trends or whatever is the latest craze in the media. They love having fun and are mostly adventurous. Although they are stereotyped as liberated and high maintenance there are some women that are still traditional. The resulting estimated BMI was 21.3 and weighed 128 lbs. Even though we see stick thin American women, the majority of them have an average figure and are pretty normal.
What did you think of the study? It’s shocking how some countries view beauty. Beauty is not a one size fits all standar, for what may be attractive to some may be unattractive to others. It’s a matter of cultural influence and perspective. But these ‘ideal’ standards cannot be considered definite because even people with the same culture and background could have different preferences. People will always chase the idea of ‘perfection’. In the end, how you feel about yourself matters the most as beauty is fleeting.