See How Much Kenyan Beauty Has Changed Over 100 Years


At this point, we've seen quite a few of WatchCut's 100 Years of Beauty videos. If you're unfamiliar with the company's creations, they highlight the trending hair and makeup trends from various countries, on one model, and in the span of a little more than a minute. The results are always fascinating, and we never seem to get tired of witnessing the changing moments. We've been transported to Japan, Ethiopia, Ireland, and back to the U.S. several times over. This time around, WatchCut is taking us to Kenya.

The looks start in the 1910s, which brought us close-cropped hair and African pride. The 1920s were all about the cornrows, and once the '80s rolled around, the hair shifted to straight and heightened styles. As WatchCut's behind-the-scenes Pinterest board explains, the '90s-beauty moment was influenced by the musicians and artists of the time — a clear Western spin seeping in. The 2000s ushered in glitter eyeshadow, glossy lips, and thin eyebrows — taking after Kenyan musician Amani. Fast-forward to 2010, and the looks have done a full centennial circle, taking us back to the short, natural hair from the early 20th century. The inspiration is, as one might expect, the beloved Lupita Nyong'o.

"Most known for her Academy Award–winning role in 12 Years a Slave, Lupita Nyong’o’s international admiration as a dark-skinned, natural-haired actress has broken international beauty ideals in fashion and film industries," the summary explains. "Lupita has consistently used her spotlight to shed light on issues of representation in the film and fashion industry as well as on many human rights issues. Even more, her rise to fame is indicative of the emergence of Kenya’s young, creative talents."

Check out the video above, and let us know your favorite decade in the comments. WatchCut's videos continue to hit it out of the park, and we can't wait to see which country is next.
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