Traditional and Contemporary Female Beauty Ideals in China: Focus Group Interviews with Young Chinese Women

Date
2018-01-01
Authors
Jung, Jaehee
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Abstract

The current study was aimed to examine how young Chinese women define the cultural standards of female ideal beauty in contemporary China as well as traditional concepts of female beauty using a qualitative research approach. A total of 23 female Chinese students (ages between 20 and 22) enrolled in Donghua University in Shanghai were recruited for focus-group interviews. The most frequently mentioned characteristics of the traditional female beauty ideal were (being) fat, followed by a round face. Characteristics of female beauty ideals in Contemporary China included a slim body, followed by a small face. Women in contemporary China seem to endorse much of the Western standards for female beauty ideals pervasive in media images. Traditional concepts of female beauty seem to have changed in the context of rapid and disruptive social change, particularly changing gender roles for women.

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