Beauty And Fashion: From The Roaring 20s To The New Millennium

Now as we move to the closing months of 2016, we can barely remember the beauty and fashion trends that we celebrated last year. We imagine that while things may have changed a little, they are minor variations on the same themes.

This year women are still welcoming new styles and the idea of fashion trends are getting more outlandish from one year to the next. We like change, refreshing change, and we rely on fashion to usher in something new and exciting into our lives.

Our beauty care concerns are pretty much the same as before. We still want flowing silken hair and like to use products like Dermaclara Complete to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. We also still drink plenty of water to keep our skin hydrated and try our best to stay in shape through yoga, Pilates, or running.

The fashion and beauty trends of the new millennium, from 2000 to the present, has always been an era of interesting choice and liberating self-expression.

Yet despite more choice than ever before, including the celebration of curves, we’re seeing a revival of many fashion trends that occurred in past decades, ranging from shoulder pads to wild prints. Still, we have a few unique contributions, like super-skinny jeans.

This fascination with choice extends into beauty trends, too. Hair extensions give women a chance to choose a wide variety of hairstyles, and makeup can range from coral to a natural look.

Interestingly, it’s hard to imagine that things have not always been this open-ended and free-flowing in past decades. In order to appreciate the contrast with how much things have changed, let’s take a trip back in time to the beginning of the modern era:

The 1990s

Kate Moss embodied the idealized body type, an androgynous, emaciated, tense look. Living on the edge was seen as the way to go. The grunge look was also in, with unkempt hair and flannel shirts considered edgy and fashionable. Tops that were short enough to sport midriffs were popular and pierced belly buttons made their first bold appearance.

The 1980s

This was the age of the Material Girl. Bodies were toned through the aerobics craze. Fitness was chic, and women who had a slim, well-toned look were considered to have it all. Everything was over the top. Big hair was popular, as were gaudy neon suits, enormous shoulder pads, and spandex. Make-up trends were equally over the top, with Madonna epitomizing just how much blue eye shadow it was fine to wear and Brooke Shields making bushy eyebrows trendy and seductive.

The 1970s

Farrah Fawcett pretty much outlined the trends of this decade. She was thin, but fit and toned. Her hair was just the right amount of wavy and feathery. Her clothes were loose and flowing. The idea of the bronzed look, reminiscent of a day in the sun on the beach became the look. Since everyone didn’t live in California, bronzers and self-tanning became the default way to look as if you had been out enjoying the sun and sand all day, even if you happened to live in Minnesota.

The 1960s

The 1960s were a sharp cultural dividing line between the conservative fifties and the liberal seventies. You weren’t thin unless you were Twiggy thin, and if you were liberal you sported the hippy look, with tie-dyed shirts and bell-bottoms. Still, if you didn’t want to go for the hippie-flower-child look, you could opt for the swinging woman style. Swinging women had short haircuts rather than the long-haired hippie look, and they also had fake eyelashes and mascara as opposed to the no makeup hippie look.

The 1950s

If the 1960s were characterized by a revolutionary view of things, the 1950’s championed conservative values. This was the era of Marilyn Monroe, a time when hourglass figures were considered perfect and a woman’s purpose on earth was to catch a good man and raise a happy family. For this reason, no self-respecting woman would go to the supermarket with sweatpants on. The casual look was considered sloppy. Hair was short and fell just below the shoulders, and it usually had soft curls or light waves. Flawless skin, a peaches and cream complexion, was considered the quintessence of feminine beauty.

The 1940s and 1930s

These two decades were fairly similar because they were considered the Golden Age of Hollywood. Women exercised and dieted to look good. Feminine curves were celebrated by Dior and Chanel, the glamorous designers of their time. Platinum blondes and red heads were popular, thanks to the influence of Jean Harlow and Rita Hayworth. However, brunettes were championed by Marlene Dietrich. Pasty white skin was considered perfectly acceptable and women used foundation that didn’t hide their natural complexions.

The 1920s

Think of Coco Chanel’s influence in fashion or F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literature about Flappers to get an image of The Roaring 20s. This was an era of the tomboy. Women even bound their chests with cloth to achieve a flatter look. Hair bobs were popular and powder was applied without reservation to make the skin look pale. Eyebrows were penciled to appear thin, lifted, and quizzical.

A journey back in time helps us appreciate how far we’ve come in terms of freedom of self-expression. We have more choice than ever before in beauty, fashion, and lifestyle.