100 Years Of 1980’s Beauty Through Different Cultures

Looking back to the ‘80s from 2018, one can see the difference in the so-called ‘beauty standards’ and how much they have changed since then. But, have you ever thought about how these standards have changed through cultures during the ‘80s?Beauty in the ‘80s revolved around the health and fitness craze, praising athletically toned bodies, tracksuits, and leotards. A comeback of womanly curves was present for a short period of time during the 80’s. But what dominated more was the fitness craze which reinforced the ‘thin is in’ stereotype. The 1980s stereotypes of beauty were women such as Madonna and Kylie Minogue. 80’s fashion had an emphasis on expensive clothes and accessories. Apparel was very bright and vivid in appearance. It was during the second half of this decade that the iconic color scheme had come popular.

Related to this, the Cut video team decided to focus on a single decade instead of a particular culture, resulting in the release of a rad video for its 100 Years of Beauty series. This video revolves around what was trending all the world in the 1980s. The visual anthropologist at Cut video, Christopher Chan said in a video: “Wherever you are in the world, I think you could say that all of these different looks are different reactions or responses to this emerging political and economic regime that we see take hold in the ’80s.”

So, let us see the composite of all the cultures around the world the Cut video has covered:

1. Sweden

“The ‘80s is today’s vintage. What’s happening in the 90s in the United States and the United Kingdom is a kind of quiet conservative revolution.”


2. Italy

“It’s our way of solidifying and communicating to the world who we are. This is also a period in which our keyword just for living a daily life is to be competitive, o be loud, to be exuberant, that’s the ethos that motivates or animates some of the styling choices that we made in the 80’s.”

The 1980s Italian fashion was focused more on ready-to-wear clothes, such as jeans, sweaters, and miniskirts. Milan became more affordable and stylish for shoppers while Florence lost its position as the Italian fashion capital. 


3. East Germany

Even bands used punk as an inspiration to create their own unique post-punk blends.

4. Puerto Rico

Who would have thought that people who grew up during some of the darkest and coldest times in history would have children who desired consciously or not, colors, vividness, vibrancy, expression, vulgarity, and loudness? All these ideals have their histories in the generations that came before. 


5. Iran

From wavy hair in the 40’s to enforced hijabs in the 80’s. After the 1979 Iranian Revolution the hijab was enforced again and women were stripped of many rights .

6. Hawai’i

Simple, yet beautiful.

7. Egypt

Egyptian women wore full-length straight dresses with one or two shoulder straps. And during the New Kingdom period, it became popular for dresses to be pleated or draped.

8. China

During 80’s in China, hairstyles became a bit shorter. You can’t blame the Chinese for being loud, because this was the way the world trend went in 80’s – disorder and pompous.

9. Philippines

We should be careful about making value judgments, about the style of people had in the ‘80s, without knowing how people will evaluate us 20 or 30 years later.

“Styles go in and out of vogue, and that ours will soon go out of vogue.” 

Source: Cut