From puff to skinny, or How did the standards of beauty change in Bollywood

A slightly protruding belly, full thighs and voluminous buttocks is a prerequisite for feminine beauty.

Indian cinema is a very special genre of cinema. Incendiary dances and songs, delightful costumes and fascinating love stories. The cherry on the cake is a stunning beauty of a girl in bright saris, hung with bracelets, beads and earrings. Thick hair the color of a raven's wing, perfectly smooth skin, huge eyes and a white-toothed smile are classics of Indian cinema.

Photo: Getty Images

The only thing that has changed in recent years is the figure of the charmer. The more modern the film, the slimmer the beauty. If, however, as an ideal to consider the paintings of 30−50-year-old ago, the main characters differ too exciting forms. Simply put, most of the old-fashioned Indian actresses can be called puffs. Take at least the beautiful women from the legendary “Zita and Gita”, “Bobby” and “The Magnificent Seven”. To explain this phenomenon is quite simple: in India, girls in the body have always been valued.

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: shot from the movie "Bobby"
The last decades in the country are increasingly influenced by Western culture.

Standards of female beauty in India were shaped by the caste system, political and economic components. In antiquity, the concepts of “slimness” and “weight loss” were completely absent. It was not so easy for the ancient ladies to get a long-awaited lunch - a fair amount of work preceded the eating of food.

In the twentieth century, completeness was considered an attribute of luxury, but they did not even think about slimness and slimming. Striving for the ideal, the girls especially ate a lot to gain weight. Thinness indicated soreness or poor financial condition, and therefore, malnutrition or excessive physical activity. And it was also believed that slender girls are not able to reproduce healthy offspring into the world.

To this day, in the ideal female figure in India, the navel is the center of the circle that makes up the hips. A slightly protruding belly, full thighs and voluminous buttocks is a prerequisite for feminine beauty. With narrow shoulders and massive hips, small stature is highly valued, soft skin, thin wrists and ankles.

Photo: Getty Images

Draupadi, the main heroine of the Mahabharata, had black curly hair, elongated lotus-like eyes, a thin neck, red lips and a small face. The author clarifies that the beauty was not slim. Meanwhile, genetically all Indian women are prone to corpulence.

Perhaps that is why fullness has always been the only consistent favorite in the tastes of Indian men. Most of the details of the appearance of Indian women actively changed over the twentieth century. Until the 1920s, the image of local beauties was notable for simplicity and minimalism in make-up and hairstyles. In the same years, the struggle for freedom from British rule began in India, and the mood of the people was reflected in including on the female appearance. Makeup has become more aggressive. Of the hairstyles in the same priority "tails" and braids. However, already in 1940, India became a sovereign state and more and more women began to wear loose hair.

1920 year
Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

In the 1950s, western fashion began to seep into India - local girls began to wear short wavy hair following the example of Marilyn Monroe. The 1960s - the birth of Bollywood, the world first saw the beauty of Indian women.At this time, the beauties preferred to wear wide “winged” eyebrows and thickly draw eyes. In the 1970s, we saw Bollywood girls with straightened hair, active makeup and massive round earrings. An example of this was the American hippies. Since the beginning of the 1990s, Indian women began to loose weight. Fashion was set by local models, which began to participate in world shows and tried to match world-recognized beauties. In 1994, the Indian Sushmita Sen became world famous along with the title "Miss Universe".

Photo: Getty Images
Sushmita Sen, 1994
Photo: Getty Images
Actresses are equally organic in both European outfits and traditional bright sarees that highlight the luxurious lines of the figure.

By 2010, Western fashion has firmly joined the Indian realities and cinema. The sari, previously loved by Indian women, faded into the background, and the camp of local actresses became thinner every year. Today, the European beauty canons are increasingly sprouting in the hearts of Indian beauties. In a fashion, general thinness - just like at the fashionable Parisian shows.

However, even today, for most Indian women, a very special type of figure with soft, feminine forms is characteristic. Male viewers are simply enchanted by their bulky hips and chest.But the main advantages remain unchanged for decades - long, luxurious curls, huge eyes, full lips and delicate skin. Everything together creates a harmonious, seductive and at the same time proud image.

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