Female Beauty Ideals Around the World: Japan vs. Italy

Women's Beauty Ideals in Japan

By: Erica Winters

Japan and Italy are polar opposites when it comes to their ideals of beauty for women. Japanese men tend to go for softer, more conservative looks such as a creamy white complexion, narrow high bridged noses, slim faces, thin petite bodies with little to no curves, long legs, and polite or submissive personalities. Italian men tend to find a tan, shorter woman with lots of curves and a loud personality to be beautiful. The biggest, most obvious differences we see in their ideas of beauty are in skin color.

Japanese women like to keep their skin as white and creamy as possible. It is known in Japanese culture that if you have tanned skin, it is looked upon as if you are part of the lower class, but an individual with a soft, creamy complexion is more likely to be perceived as part of the upper class. In Italy, this standard is quite different. Italian women are found to be most attractive when they are tan, with little to no tan lines, and if a woman is pale or fair skinned, she is considered to not be as attractive. To achieve something like this, it is expected to have your skin exposed to the sun at all times. Women in Japan will go out of their way to cover up on a sunny day, but women in Italy will see an opportunity to work on their appearance.

Another huge difference we see between Japanese and Italian beauty standards is facial structure. Japanese culture focuses a lot on a small or slim face with a small, narrow, high bridged nose. Italian women tend to have rounder, fuller faces with wider bridged noses. Body structure varies on a great scale as well. Japanese women tend to be thin and petite with little to no curves, while Italian women tend to be shorter which produces a stockier frame and they celebrate their curves. Japanese women work out so that they can achieve a thin frame with little muscular definition, while Italian women work out to achieve a thinner frame but like the look of muscle structure. Long legs are highly sought after in women in Japan, while Italian men prefer to have a women that are shorter than them.

Women's Beauty Ideals in ItalyAside from the obvious aesthetics of what makes a woman beautiful in each culture, I find the biggest difference to be personality. Japanese women tend to be quieter and softer spoken. It is frowned upon in Japanese culture to have a woman be loud, abrasive, or obnoxious. However, in Italian culture, a quiet and soft-spoken woman would not attract a partner. Italian women are looked at as strong willed, opinionated individuals, but these characteristic in a woman would not interest the opposite sex in Japan.

Both cultures are polar opposites of each other when it comes to beauty standards for women, however each culture celebrates beauty in their own way. Japanese women tend to be more conservative and softer spoken, while Italian women tend to be more out there and vocal. Both of these ideals of beauty are correct, and the important thing is that we all celebrate what makes each person different, while respecting cultural differences.


More About the Author:

Erica Winters is a regular contributor to our Thigh Guards body positive blog. Her work has been featured at numerous online media outlets. She's an expert on skin care, a style guru and we can only assume that she loves the Hoosiers since she hails from Indiana. Stay tuned for her next take!



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