One Haunting Video Shows “Beauty Through The Decades” In New Light

The internet loves showcasing makeup history videos, especially if they're about how beauty standards change every decade, in a variety of countries. Just look to video production company Cut Video for proof. One video, however, stands out alone. Karolina Żebrowska, behind Domowa Kostiumologia, decided to create a similar video, where she focused not only on the glamorized versions of women, but also on their real lives in the past century.
"As a person interested in the history of fashion and beauty it really bugged me how inaccurate some of these are," Żebrowska wrote on her blog. The depictions of 18th- and 19th-century women bothered her quite a bit, but since the most popular videos focused on the 20th century, she tackled those. "I felt that the other videos were completely unrealistic and there was a sense of fakeness that really irritated me," she told Refinery29.
Her initial project intended to compare and contrast these caricatures of historical women with actual popular fashions of the past, "but then I thought it would be even more thoughtful to commemorate those that are so often forgotten, and in some way, pay a tribute to these women," Żebrowska says.
Who are these women? They're the factory workers in 1900s Great Britain. They're the suffragettes fighting for the right of women to vote. They're the women who struggled through the Great Depression in the '30s. But the reality of their lives wasn't easy to portray. Żebrowska tells Refinery29 that she wasn't happy with the '30's "femme fatale" representation because the hairstyle was slightly messier, and thus not accurate to the era's style. The numbers given are also specific to certain countries; "40% of women in factories (1901) refers to Great Britain only, [and] one out of nine women working in domestic service refers to Russia," Żebrowska noted, under the Youtube video.
Still, a glimpse of the real lives of women during these eras is striking. "I became more and more aware that beautiful faces and fashion we see on the photos, ads, and fashion plates are just an idealistic version of reality," Żebrowska wrote. "So here's to reality."

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