Recently, I read an article about Karolina Żebrowska, a costume designer, and fashion blogger from Poland, who decided she wanted to show the “real” truth about how makeup and beauty trends have changed throughout the decades. Like most of you, I’ve seen the “Beauty Through the Decades” videos where the pretty woman goes through different transformations into popular trends of the past 100 years. The woman always ends up looking glamorous and sophisticated, and I think to myself “Wow, living back then would have been magical. If only I was born a few decades earlier.”
But for Żebrowska, she felt something missing from these very popular videos. The real women.
Each decade in these videos focuses on the rich women and what trends they wore. Feeling that was a bit one-dimensional, she took it upon herself to juxtapose images of women in pop culture trends we’ve always seen and the real working women who lived during these different decades. Going from the 1900s to the 1940s, her short video reveals how glamourous the trends may have seemed, but how, in reality, women struggled during these decades.
For example, while the stereotypical image of women in the 1910’s might some like Rose from the Titanic, Żebrowska takes the time to show the women who were fighting for their right to vote during the Suffrage Movement. She concludes her video with the message “Please don’t forget the real women – we won’t.”
So as a modern day woman, don’t get enchanted by the past’s trends. Get enchanted with the real women of the past. Żebrowska’s video reminds us of the greater struggles women have gone through to get us to this very point in time. Enjoy the trends, but remember, you are a real woman and are more important to society than your makeup is, so embrace your realness. Beauty is your struggles and triumphs, not whether your eyes look brighter or your hair is shinier than the girl next to you.
A Glimpse at Real Beauty Through the Decade