Essay about Beauty And Intelligence As A Means Towards Societal Acceptance

Essay about Beauty And Intelligence As A Means Towards Societal Acceptance

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In ancient China, throughout many dynasties like the Xia, Han and Tang, fashion, beauty and intelligence played an important role in women’s lives. Although women did not have as many rights as men they still had many grooming rituals and standards they followed, as a means of societal position. Examples of characteristics that defined beauty were related to features and aspects of the body. Some of these traits are still valued and practice today and some of the more gruesome practices are now against human rights and laws. Women also had to be intelligent to be attractive to men. It was said by Queen Yangguifei, who ruled during the Tang dynasty, “That is to say, as a beauty, a woman must be both pretty and bright. A perfect face is not enough; it must be accompanied by a bright brain.”(Xinhong, 5.) Some ways a woman could show their intelligence was through music, chess, painting and needlework. This paper will explore dress, beauty and intelligence as a means towards societal acceptance during the early dynastic periods in China.
One of the most basic ways to exude beauty and show position in society is through dress. In the early dynasty period in China they had a unique way of dressing and clothing was thought to have great importance. Their daily attire consisted mostly of robes. Women would wear beautiful full length tunics. The arms of the garment were wide and billowy. As time went on sashes were added to the sleeves for decoration. In terms of beauty, the earlier dynasties, darker, more vibrant, colors were preferred over lighter, duller colors. Lighter colors were typically worn by common people. The darker and more vibrant the color of their clothes the more status they had in society. This was because it was more exp...


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...makeup and was made up of a black balm that was applied to the lips in the same manner as the cherry colored rouge. Because the lips were thought of as the most sexual part of the face, it was written about in many ancient poems. In these poems it is said that women would leave kiss marks with their different lip shapes on a men’s neck or clothing. This would show their show their attachment to a man and would ensure that their meeting would be unforgettable.
In addition to having a perfectly done up face, women had particular ways to style their hair in order to be accepted by society. Hair was usually a dark lustrous brown. It was typically pulled back into different bun styles for added height. Pins and flowers were also an added detail for ornamentation. Although these rituals were time consuming, we still consider them to be relatively normal and humane.






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