If someone were to look at the Victorian society or the American society today, the makeup worn by the women would reflect the women’s lifestyles. Women in Victorian England, like American women today, were seen as more beautiful with makeup. However, the purpose and appearance of the makeup were different; paleness was the ideal then, whereas women today want a healthy glow. What is the significance of this difference?
Alexandrina Victoria reigned over the British for a longer time than any other royalty in British history. Queen Victoria was a very strong, influential woman and during her reign, England grew into 4 million square miles with 124 million people (“Victoria”). Luz Maria Martinez, a feminist who shares information on women’s history, noted that Queen Victoria did not want the British to adopt the French cosmetic ways so she banned makeup in the 1800s (Martinez). The queen did not like the idea of covering imperfections and she thought that makeup was associated with promiscuity and only worn by actors and prostitutes (Martinez). According to awarded author Christy French, since makeup was banned, women no longer wore full makeup and instead starting using specific ingredients to accentuate certain features on their faces (French). For example, lemon juice was dripped into eyes to add a sparkle, pomade added sheen to lips, and rice powder was used to dust a nose (French). Far from being banned, makeup is part of most women’s everyday routines in America today. Compared to the Victorian women, American women today can be seen wearing full makeup. Stay-at-home moms and workingwomen alike wear makeup. Makeup has become such a normal part of everyday life for American women that it is sometimes seen as a must for a profe...
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