The West and East have long had different indicators of beauty; the West has had a particular model or ideal throughout the ages (which evolved) but the East tends to have criteria that look at the body as a whole. In South Asia in particular, the ideals of beauty have long been linked with Ayurveda, the local medical discipline that is a thousand and more years old. Here are the 5 different categories any person must tick in order to be considered the epitome of ‘beauty’:
A 1000 Megawatt Smile
Interestingly the East seems to have valued good oral hygiene right from the start and it is still so today; children still visit the dental clinic regularly when they are young. In countries like Sri Lanka, it is even regulated by the school.
This means that your teeth can bright as possible, clean and healthy, with none to a minimum number of cavities possible. This can be achieved through regular brushing at least twice a day from the time we are little. Eating less sweets and more wholesome fruits can also help by not causing any diseases that ravage our beautiful smile.
A Rippling Cascade of Hair
Although most beauty standards call for long hair, the standards here speak more about healthy hair and make no bones about length. More important was the fact that the hair was glossy, bouncy, and strong with minimal breakage. South Asian regularly used herbal oils to enervate their roots and scalp and came up with medicines to combat lice and other pests that thrived in the tropical climate. A steady diet of mostly vegetables, fruits, legumes and grains ensured that the hair received all the vitamins it required. Today, not unlike a dentist, hair technicians prescribe pills so that modern Man can receive all that nutrition too.
Smooth and Silky Skin
This did not mean that a person had to have tanned, bronzed skin or lily white, pale skin. It simply meant that skin had to be firm, elastic, glowing and healthy with few blemishes. Remember that there was no cure back then for diseases like chicken pox, so scars were common. Anyone who didn’t have them stood out. Drinking plenty of water, getting regular exercise, avoiding oily and fatty foods would immediately show up in your skin becoming clearer, reducing pimples and blemishes and your skin feeling smoother overall.
Curvilicious and Young At Heart
The last two categories kind of go hand in hand. Interestingly, the standards call for a person to have firm muscles and curves, which is antithetic to most beauty standards that used to be peddled in the last few decades. Curves were valued, especially in women, because it was taken as a sign of health – unless that person was naturally slim. The final category called for young looks, where a person would look younger than they actually were.