The standards of beauty vary from generation to generation, with trends going in and out of fashion, surfacing from almost anywhere.
Contouring, strobing, baking, feathered brows, loud colours on the eyes and lips, extravagantly-done long nails and a whole lot of in-your-face trends that lack subtlety are the norm now. However, it is a little known fact that these trends originally came from the LGBT+ community.
The LGBT+ community has been inspiring ideals of beauty for longer than most of us are aware of.
The paintings by the Kerala artist Raja Ravi Varma made him a household name, with his depictions of curvaceous, feminine women dressed in saris, posing delicately influencing the mannerisms and dressing style of the women of those times.
However, Ravi Varma had actually styled those paintings on the poses and looks of sex workers, many of whom were transgenders, according to a lecture given by Dr. Mangai, a famous Tamil theatre artiste and former professor at Stella Maris College, Chennai.
Back in the day, women from respectable families were not allowed to model for painters, so Ravi Varma had to seek out models from the lower strata of society, which included transgenders.
Their exaggeratedly feminine mannerisms were soon admired and adopted by the ladies who admired Ravi Varma’s paintings, and were thus brought into the mainstream.
Drag Queen Make-Up
The heavily made-up look that involves the applications of layers and layers of primer, foundation, powder, etc that has been popularised by the Kardashian sisters and several Instagram beauty bloggers was actually inspired by the make-up of drag queens.
The purpose of heavy make-up with multiple layers is to create a feminine facial structure of a masculine face, which is why it is a technique adopted by drag queens who wish to look like women.
However, now even cis women have started applying their make-up the same way. According to make-up artist Wayne Goss, “We are using the exact same techniques with the same heavy hand and experiencing the same results.”
Read More: How Do Indian Men Define Beauty In Women?
“Corrective Make-Up” Is The New Norm
According to Melissa Moore of the London College of Fashion, contouring and other such techniques do not serve to enhance our personality, rather, they work as “corrective make-up,” and hide our flaws while enhancing our bone structure.
This is a problematic trend because the facial structure that is achieved through these techniques is that of a “stereotypical, white European,” thus setting unrealistic standards for make-up enthusiasts around the world.
It is my personal opinion that before we blindly start following beauty trends just because others are doing them, we understand how they came into being and what their original purpose was, so that we can use them correctly.
When women who already look feminine attempt to ape drag queen make-up, the effect is rather overwhelming. It might look good on camera, but it also changes the entire appearance of the wearer.
Make-up is meant to enhance, not smother!
Image Credits: Google Images