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The Age of Beauty

In Egypt today, I see many women with a more conservative sense of dress and beauty, quite unlike the time of my grandmother.

As I look back at her pictures and I see a beautiful lady who carried herself with grace and elegance. Her beauty rituals included visits to the salon every Tuesday for her weekly hairstyling, pedicure and manicure and perusing fashion magazines from Paris. She wore bare back dresses in vibrant colors and prints, evening gowns to concerts and high heels designed and fitted by Pierre Clouvas.

The Golden Age of Egypt seems a world removed from today. Now, due to religious and social conservatism, beauty seems to be hidden. What are the changes in beauty that you see around you?

Originally published in the Imagining Ourselves exhibition.

Grace Kadzere
Grace Kadzere
South Africa

South Africa, beauty changes

In South Africa, many women tend to visit salons everyday than in my grandmother's era. Women do their hair and makep, manipedis better and way too many times. I have never called for a wax and gotten an appointment for the same day that l call, all salons seem to have a booking for everyday.

More fashion magazines are read today than ever. But with a lot of women following the European fashion trends, some men have taken offense and have started abusing women in mini skirts but yet women who dress traditionally, exposing their breasts and covering only their private parts are seen to be dressed well. So many local designers have begun to incorporate the different cultural colours and designs into modern day designs.

Another trend that l have noticed among the blacks, is having locks. A lot of women still straighten their hair but most of them now keep natural hair and locking it.

My hair... (Grace Kadzere)

Starting Young

I love this photo of you Grace!

I have been obsessed with hair since I was a little girl. For some reason, my mother really liked to perm my hair when I was young. Looking back, this was really quite dangerous to put chemicals on a young girl's head. But she must have dreamed of being a hair dresser in an alternate life and every year, she would perm my hair.

Maybe the chemicals got to my head, but I've been obsessed with my hair ever since. I color it, I spend hours in the bathroom fixing it perfectly, I spend a fortune - that I don't have - in the salon getting it done. I've tried so many times to break my obsession and just let my poor head be, but I can't. I'm just lucky that the perm has gone out of style.


In Mexico

In Mexico those who can afford it still go to the salon every week, ladies get together there, or at the gym, or for coffee, or all three, and it is a social time. Younger women go in to have their hair brushed out. Nowadays the style is to have perfectly straight hair, so practically every other corner has advertisements for an "alaciado express" which is express hair straightening. I know some women in my office who actually do this every single day.

It is lovely that women spend extra time and appreciate elegance, although a little bit daunting for those of us too frazzled from work to keep up with what used to be mainly for women who stay at home and have domestic help. I've never had my hair straightened but I confess I do go in to have it washed and brushed if I have something important coming up and it feels like a little luxury to start the day.

Netherlands, the

Plastic fantastic

In Holland almost everyone is obsessed with beauty. It shows in magazines, in an overkill of tv programs about beauty and to just look at what is walking on the streets. They want to look like a Bollywood star. A lot of bling bling.

Plastic Surgery in Holland is not (yet) as crazy as in the US but upcoming. All wanting to be perfect.
Plastic fantastic...

PS. Video clip = Anouk! Best singer of Holland and has a clear message in her song 'modern world'.


The Pacific Look

Malo bula from our country today it is sad to see that most young women are more appealed to the western look, with their hair straightened a far difference from the beautiful curly frizzy hair we Fijian women are known for. More so i'am still proud of the beauty Pacific women possess and we stand up proud to say to other women across the globe that outward beauty is a true sign of the inward goodness.

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