Take A Look At Indian Beauty Over A Period Of 100 Years

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In the seventh episode of their 100 years of beauty series, Cut video shares the visual history of the past 100 years of beauty in our country, India.

In the video below, model and dancer, Trisha Miglani shows us how the looks of Indian women evolved since the 1910s. She models bindis, bangles, henna tattoos and looks inspired by Bollywood and the socio-political environment of each decade.

The 1910s was all about keeping it simple. Makeup was barely thought and heard of and hairstyles were practical.

The British Empire had well established itself in India around this period. After the partition of Bengal in 1905 by the then Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, revolutionaries and freedom fighters strongly advocated economic and political movements like home-rule or self governance and self sustainability. Everything western was thoroughly rejected and people embraced domestic products and the Indian way of life.

By 1920s, braids, dangling earrings and bright red lips took prominence.

By this time, India’s struggle for freedom became more aggressive and a lot of weight was given to the spirit of individuality and independence.

In the 1930s, lips became redder, eye makeup was kept to the bare minimum and clothes were usually homespun. The pallu saw its return because the concept of Swadeshi had taken a stronghold yet again.

Women actively participated in the national movement around this time as the freedom movement took on more momentum. They became confident individuals who were driven by the spirit of nationhood.

The hair in the 1940s broke free from traditional buns; curled and worn down. Mascara and eyebrows were bold and dramatic.

Extensive violence, nationwide revolts and political upheaval defined India around the 1940s. The country was on its way to become independent and free.

Women wore short and wavy hair and had a carefree look. Western culture slowly started to have an effect and women were more free-spirited and feisty during this era.

The 1950s saw India recovering from the British Raj and restructuring itself as a sovereign.

The winged eyeliner and bold bindis were a huge style statement in the 1960s.

Bollywood was flourishing in the 1960s and by the end of the decade, India saw its first woman Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi.

It was all about the hippie look in the 1970s. Center parted straight hair, flicks and hoop earrings ruled the Indian fashion.

1970s was an era of off beat and over the top fashion. It was a decade of disco, hip hop and party wear trends.

Color made a huge entry in the 1980s. Loud eye shadows, bubblegum lipstick, deep pink blushes and side braids were huge around that time.

During the 1980s, Indian fashion trends were trying to match pace with the western world.

Indian women embraced bangles and vermilion as part of their modern Indian look in the 1990s. There was a conscious effort to bring back the traditional Indian look.

India’s beauty began gaining global recognition as women like Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai made a mark in the world by winning international pageants.

Long, wavy, parted hair and minimal makeup with bold accessories defined the period of 2000s. 

Women actively started picking and choosing elements from the western world and mixing it with the Indian tradition.

Women in the 2010 decade chose to stick with the ordinary, natural and professional look. Nude tones made its way into women’s fashion and is probably here to stay for quite a while.

Women’s right and safety are of supreme importance in the socio-political sphere. Indian women are at their most vocal at this point of time.

So, tell us your favourite look!




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