Chinese and Japanese Beauty Standards Explained
Suppose you’re traveling to China or Japan. In that case, you might notice that many women look pretty similar with tiny feet, perfect skin, and thick black hair, to name a few features.
However, the reason behind their similarities is much more complex than it seems on the surface. Chinese and Japanese beauty standards are typically categorized by four criteria (face shape and size, hair color and texture, body type and height, and foot size).
Still, these categories often overlap and intersect in various ways. This guide will help you learn about these beauty standards and how to follow them yourself successfully!
The History Behind Chinese Beauty Standards
When a woman begins her transition into adulthood, she goes through many different stages of China’s Three-year rite of passage. This includes three years of cultivating your inner self (spirit), three years of developing your outer self (appearance), and another three years of discovering who you are in society.
According to Chinese Culture, it is believed that one’s appearance directly impacts others’ perception of you. For example, if your face looks good, the chances are that people will perceive you as well-educated and approachable. After all course, there are sometimes exceptions, although as a general rule, it holds.
Therefore, women have been very conscious about their physical appearances since ancient times. They believe that how they look affects their social standing and overall life success. It was also seen as an honor for women to be chosen by men because men were perceived as having higher status than women.
Therefore, being beautiful was a great honor for them because it meant they were more likely to be married off by their parents at an early age and have children sooner than other girls in their community. These days however things have changed quite a bit due to western influences from movies and TV shows which caused drastic changes in fashion trends among young girls today.
Traditional Practices in China
Chinese women make it a priority to have clear, smooth skin. Many Chinese women regularly go through daily whitening creams and exfoliating products. These typically contain acids, retinol, or vitamin C, which can be very effective at fading dark spots over time. Some standard practices in China include slathering on whitening facial masks (often made with some fruit acid) up to three times per week, using low-concentration hydroquinone twice per day, and regularly exfoliating their face with a physical scrub every other day.
Fading dark spots also have cultural significance in China; women are pressured to achieve an even complexion as quickly as possible—no hyperpigmentation is allowed! However, many people believe that these traditional methods are too harsh and often lead to irritation.
So how do you get rid of dark spots without causing damage?
Kojic Acid. This natural ingredient helps brighten your skin tone by inhibiting tyrosinase activity, the enzyme responsible for melanin production. Kojic acid works exceptionally well when paired with Vitamin C.
We recommend pairing your kojic acid serum with a high concentration vitamin c serum like our Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Serum. The two combined will help fade those pesky dark spots in no time!
The History Behind Japanese Beauty Standards
Although Japan is one of Asia’s most progressive countries, it hasn’t always been that way. There was a time when many women were too afraid to show their faces in public—but only because they felt too ashamed of their prominent facial features. During that period, women in China and Japan typically had smaller eyes, chubbier cheeks, wider foreheads, and more prominent noses than their modern-day counterparts.
To mask these characteristics, women would often pull their hair back into buns or cut bangs to make themselves appear more youthful (or wear hats). This look eventually became known as kakkoii, which translates to cool in English. The goal was not necessarily to be beautiful but rather to be attractive enough so that men wouldn’t turn them away for being unattractive.
Because men were seen as superior, having an ugly face could mean being rejected by society altogether. It wasn’t until Westernization took over Japan that beauty ideals shifted from kakkoii-looking girls with masculine features toward those with more feminine traits like big eyes and small noses.
Traditional Practices in Japan
In Japan, young girls start with a heavy regimen of treatments at a very young age. First, a scrub is applied to cleanse their skin. Then, their faces are soaked in an enzyme-rich solution that removes dead skin cells.
Next, after their face is steamed to open pores (and soften stubble for shaving), they get shaved by someone in their family—typically by Dad. They finish off with an antioxidant mask that’s left on for 20 minutes to reduce wrinkles.
Natural Skin Care Ingredients
In China, thin skin is considered beautiful. While they have different preferences for facial structure, Chinese beauty ideals are synonymous with a slender build. The traditional Chinese diet consists of white rice with everything fattening removed—fatty meats, dairy products, vegetables with thick stalks (including carrots), and dried fruit.
Rice porridge and jasmine tea are standard breakfast options. Simple noodle dishes or soups such as wonton soup take center stage at lunch and dinner. Desserts such as sugar-coated fruits or lotus seed paste (available in sugar-free varieties) are also typical during meals. Whether you follow a traditional diet or not, eating foods rich in fiber will help keep your metabolism steady throughout the day.
To say that both of these cultures have specific beauty standards. While a Chinese woman would love to wear high heels with her qipao and a sash, she wouldn’t dare do so no matter how slim her legs are.
If she wanted to keep up with normal society, she must hide behind high-heeled shoes like every other girl in China. In Japan, it is just as crucial for women to fit in; if their hair doesn’t look presentable or their face isn’t made up correctly for school, they could get in trouble by either getting teased or even failing classes.