On the Beauty Standards in Ancient China
Nourished by the five thousand years of history, ancient Chinese had formed distinctive viewpoints about the feminine beauty. In general, the beauty standard of the ancient Chinese is: tender, tiny, pretty and small-boned with white skin, bright eyes and white teeth. However, in different historical periods, the beauty standards varied in terms of their emphasis.
Slender Beauty in the Han Dyansty vs. Plump Beauty in the Tang Dynasty
During the Qin and Han Dynasties: the physical beauty of women was appreciated, but morality was more stressed, exhibiting the tendency of placing morality over physical beauty. In this period, women's clothes were relatively simple, and little difference was shown between women's clothes and shoes and those of men. But once they realized that a white complexion was powerful enough to hide a hundred faults, they started to powder their face. The combination of coat and dress, the make-up with face powdered and eyebrows darkened, and the plump yet small-boned figure constitute the basic pattern of feminine beauty in ancient China.
During the Sui and Tang Dynasties: "natural, graceful, portly and healthy" became the mainstream beauty standard in this period. Wide forehead, round face and plump figure were supposed to be the indispensable features of beauty while healthiness was also a kind of beauty appreciated by people at that time. In addition, women were dressed in a rather open and bold style, showing sort of "sexy" tendency in modern West.