100 Years of Beauty
March 17, 2015 4:26 PM   Subscribe

In Cut.com's new video series, a model runs through iconic makeup and hairstyle looks of her country for each decade from 1910 to 2010. This is an ongoing series, but there are now four videos up: one each for Anglo-American and African-American women, one for Iranian women, and one for Korean women.

Some commentary on the Iranian video explaining some of the historical context of Sabrina's style shifts can be found here. And here is some more context on the second video focusing on black women's hairstyles in the US.
posted by sciatrix (24 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
But what is it an advertisement for??!!? WHAT DOES IT WANT ME TO BUY?
posted by TwelveTwo at 4:37 PM on March 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


I am surprised at the variety of typical hairstyles in North Korea, that we know what they are, and that for quite a few decades, they are quite a lot nicer than the South Korean ones. (Of course, I say that from my particular perspective as a white Canadian in this decade -- I might have loved the crap out of the South Korean 80s look in the 80s.)
posted by jacquilynne at 4:38 PM on March 17, 2015


Wow, that was really interesting ... and a vivid reminder of how tightly personal presentation and politics can be linked.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:51 PM on March 17, 2015


Interesting to see the shift from the traditional Korean look in the 1910s to westernized/modernized Korean look in the 1920s. I should also note that the 1910s style was a style reserved for royalty or courtesans -- it was not for the commoner.
posted by tickingclock at 4:51 PM on March 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


I remember seeing the first one on Anglo-American hairstyles, and enjoyed it a lot; the use of lipstick from the 1920s was particularly appealing. The new videos are just as well done, both in content and in editing.
posted by Westinghouse at 4:57 PM on March 17, 2015


The Korean one is absurdly off the mark for the last couple of decades. The preferred look involves a hell of a lot of makeup, but it's more a sweet, fresh faced look that's the goal, not the sultry style they've shown.
posted by peppermind at 4:57 PM on March 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


The westernized / modernized Korean look in the 1920s was not a style for commoners, either. Especially the style from the 1990's drove home that these were pop star or movie star looks.

> The Korean one is absurdly off the mark for the last couple of decades.

I completely agree. The eyebrow and eye makeup is so off for the 2010s - haven't they watched any k-drama or leafed through Korean women's magazines? The favored eyebrow look is thick and feathery, almost as if eyebrows had been drawn on with a wide watercolor brush, and straightish in shape, not the pronounced arched eyebrows they drew on the model.
posted by needled at 5:02 PM on March 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


So in the 1910s Iranian women actually covetted the unibrow?
posted by Hazelsmrf at 5:10 PM on March 17, 2015


I'm not overly impressed with the makeup skills--at the beginning of the Iranian video, for example, they're trying to make her lower lip look smaller with foundation and it's really, really obvious. (Or was that a Thing?) And a lot of the hairstyles look weirdly unfinished--the model for the African-American video got a bad set of extensions, for one.

Still, neat concept.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:12 PM on March 17, 2015


This video from a Korean makeup artist shows the currently favored Korean eyebrow look, which looks nothing like the 2010s eyebrows in the 100 Years of Beauty video.

(The jungsaemmool YouTube channel is fun to poke around, you can learn how to do boyband makeup or replicate a k-drama character's look.)
posted by needled at 5:19 PM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's neat, but I can't help to be weirded out by the lack of clothing. Surely that's important? Well, except for the sixties.
posted by Trifling at 5:20 PM on March 17, 2015


I can't help to be weirded out by the lack of clothing. Surely that's important?

Agreed. What they've done is cool, but it would've been way more interesting to skip the high-speed remaking between poses, and instead show a full look with a period outfit.

Also agreed that the last Korean one is inaccurate. Or... something. In a sense they're all "inaccurate" because they're focusing on what a model would look like rather than what a regular person would look like. At least, I assume; that's certainly how the last 4 decades of American ones looked, anyway. And it's like the last Korean one is waaay off to that end of the scale; people in glossy magazines may look like that but no one you're going to run into on the subway.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 5:28 PM on March 17, 2015


I love these videos so much! I hope they or someone else will make a version of this for men with as much realness as the originals so that we can see all of the mullets and beards and frosty tips and brylcream and Afros and flat-tops and mustaches and etc.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:34 PM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, the hair showing for the Iranian lady since 1980 is pretty awesome.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:35 PM on March 17, 2015


I love these videos a lot. I found the Iranian one very interesting because the headscarf keeps moving further back...and back...and back in each decade.
posted by rednikki at 9:08 PM on March 17, 2015


In a sense they're all "inaccurate" because they're focusing on what a model would look like rather than what a regular person would look like.

Yes, I agree. I didn't comment on this earlier, because I'm not an expert on Korean fashion of yore, but I definitely got that impression.
posted by tickingclock at 9:11 PM on March 17, 2015


In this juxtaposition video you can see Marshay (African-American) next to Nina (so very very-White American).

Some years look similar (allowing for hair) or very different (because: hair), but 1920 is weird. Marshay looks like a flapper, and Nina doesn't, even though a similar style ought to work for each of them. Were American girls not flappers? Were flappers an African-American style that crossed the Atlantic? Or is it just a stylistic choice?
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:46 PM on March 17, 2015


African-American = American, no ocean crossing necessary. And my vague understanding is that flapper styles owe a lot to African-American culture, despite the popular version that we see now being the final, white version, yeah.
posted by eviemath at 4:06 AM on March 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


In a sense they're all "inaccurate" because they're focusing on what a model would look like rather than what a regular person would look like.

Well, yeah - this is a video series that is about what women in these periods were being expected to aspire to - meaning, "this is what people thought 'beautiful' looked like in each time period." Meaning - this was the ideal. Meaning - this is what the models looked like.

I'm actually a bit surprised people are having a problem with that distinction.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:56 AM on March 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


Pedantry? On the Internet?
posted by Sangermaine at 8:13 AM on March 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, yeah - this is a video series that is about what women in these periods were being expected to aspire to - meaning, "this is what people thought 'beautiful' looked like in each time period." Meaning - this was the ideal. Meaning - this is what the models looked like.

I'm actually a bit surprised people are having a problem with that distinction.

That was not stated clearly (to me, anyway) as the objective of this project. Your explanation makes sense.
posted by tickingclock at 3:57 PM on March 18, 2015


I think that when we put people in period clothing, people tend to focus a lot on the clothing, and subtler things like makeup and hair (at least for decades where hair was subtle) tend to get overlooked. I think leaving out the clothing keeps the focus where they wanted it.

It might also simply be a practical decision, because getting really good quality, authentic period clothing might not be feasible given the budget of the project. Hairstyles have changed, but hair is hair and you can still work with it in much the same ways. Clothing is more difficult. If you have budget or clout you can try to get museum pieces. Otherwise, you have to try to recreate things and fabrics have changed a lot in the last 100 years, so you'd be trying to do it with materials that aren't necessarily the same as what they worked with then. It can be done, of course, Hollywood tries to do it a lot. But it's important to realize that they do it with much larger budgets than a little web series has and they still often do it very, very badly.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:23 PM on March 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


I can already envision the mayhem that will be the Japanese version of this. The "Seiko-chan" look of the '80s, the "Juliana's Tokyo" look of the early '90s (possibly mildly NSFW), the ganguro gal look of the mid- to late-'90s...

Here's a more mainstream look by Shiseido. Link (pdf).
posted by misozaki at 6:53 PM on March 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Nooooooo! I was planning to post this once they had more videos! :( Thanks for linking to the commentaries, really interesting and I hadn't seen them before.

This is one of those ideas I love so much I wish I had thought of it. I love the idea of going country by country and that -- so far -- they're focusing on non-European countries. I can't wait to see what they pick next.
posted by Alexandra Michelle at 11:15 AM on March 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


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