Renaissance Beauty Essay

1233 Words 5 Pages
Female rulers in Renaissance times brought a small revolution for women throughout Europe. However, for all those who were not innovative or radical monarchs, there was no access to the ‘luxury’ of subscribing reasonable standards of behavior. For nearly all Renaissance women, conduct and image where highly regarded as the most important aspect of women, especial those with wealth and nobility. Coming out of the Medieval Ages, the demands that were to be met by women drastically increased and became significantly more intricate and demeaning. Further, this lead to the female population not experiencing the Renaissance in the same way of their male equivalents. Throughout the Renaissance, the standards of femininity not only increased, but also …show more content…
Beauty standard drastically shifted coming into the Renaissance after centuries of Dark Ages where in physical appearance for women was not nearly as influential in daily life. Hygiene altered from being a water, bath, and steam based concept to one where water was almost completely replaced by linens, perfumes, and powders. This transition was not only difficult to maintain, but was also extremely expensive. Weight, as with modern beauty, was an incredibly important part of status for Renaissance women. The “graceful, narrow-hipped, and small-breasted” ideal for women in Medieval times gave way to the Renaissance paradigm of a “plumper, wide-hipped, and full-breasted model of feminine beauty.” This model was also indicative of wealth and status, while the slender view of only centuries early was perceived as ugly. As well as being an important fixture of wealth, the attempts at gaining weight was also a way to try to emulate men, who, for the most part, ate more than women at the time. Cosmetics were also very important features of one 's appearance during the time. The use of “powders, creams, and paints” was incredibly wide spread even to the point where it was rumored that entire cities and even dishwashers wore cosmetics of some kind. Make-up was primarily worn to achieve a look of paleness. The maintenance of the hair was also incredibly important. Also a symbol of social status, hair was best when it was "blond, thick, wavy, and long." It 's because of this that women spent long periods of time under the sun with concoctions of lemon and rhubarb juice, sulfur, or saffron. These practices assisted in attempting to give women a sense of inferiority to men of the time. Women were made to focus on their outward appearance in order to

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