Japanese female beauty standards have always a huge impact on various trends in Japanese society. From trending fashion and beauty looks to the hottest movies and celebrities, Japanese female beauty standards are an integral part of shaping prominent media and even conventional attractiveness among the Japanese folk.
While we will lay out what exactly makes up these Japanese female beauty standards in greater detail later in this article, there are some prominent figures that we feel best embody these Japanese beauty conventions for women.
Some celebrities who can give you an idea of what this looks like are Yui Aragaki, Kanna Hashimoto, Minami Hamabe, Hirai Momo, and Suzu Hirose. Perhaps the most notable of these faces is none other than actress Keiko Kitagawa – who has consecutively won Oricon Japan’s survey for who the face of Japanese beauty is among celebrities.
But what exactly makes Keiko Kitagawa and the rest of these names the pinnacles of Japanese beauty standards? Read on and learn about which traits make up the classic beauty standards that we still hold in modern Japanese society today!
1. Perfect Porcelain Skin
Did you know that the global skincare market is currently valued at 181 billion dollars? It is no secret that many people are willing to invest in taking care of their skin and preserving its youth and beauty. Japanese people are no exception, if not more so!
One of the most prominent traits that make up common Japanese beauty standards is fair and smooth skin. While some attribute this to the prominence of geisha culture in the 19th century, others also believe that this may stem from how light skin was a prominent feature among the nobility in feudal Japan.
Regardless of its origin though, maintaining a light complexion is so important to Japanese women that they are willing to cover up even in the hot summer weather. If you wish to turn some heads as a visiting female tourist or as a curious local hoping for some romance, maintaining your light complexion is a good start!
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2. A Small, Sweet Face
Perhaps one of the lesser-known features belonging to Japanese female beauty standards is that of possessing a small, slim face. This adds an air of delicate beauty, which is popular among Japanese people. Apparently, this is also a common beauty standard prevalent among ordinary Japanese women.
In fact, Japanese women blessed with small and cute faces find plenty of popularity among their colleagues when they work in corporate settings. Being told you have a small or slim face is also one of the best compliments to receive about your looks, and is often a good indicator that someone might be admiring you!
3. Double Eyelid Dilemma
It’s quite strange that this trait finds itself on the list considering that the majority of Japanese women have monolid eyes. Perhaps the rarity of having double eyelids adds to the appeal of this physical feature, but it may also stem from the fact that double-eyelid eyes look bigger, cuter, and more awake or alert.
The trait is so popular that in fact, there is a Japanese term coined specifically for double eyelids. This term is ‘futae mabuta’. Because of its value in Japanese female beauty standards, many women opt to get double eyelid surgery. Those who are not comfortable with such a permanent change also use specialized double eyelid tape just to replicate the trait.
If you are of a nationality that naturally possesses double eyelids, then you may be catching someone’s eye if you are on the hunt for romance in Japan!
4. Enchanting Curled Lashes
There is something charming and enticing about long and wispy curled lashes, no matter what nationality you are. In Japan, you can frequently see Japanese women of all ages whipping out a handy Daiso or Shiseido curler (depending on their budget), and curling their lashes on the train.
Whether Japanese women opt to have this by getting a set of natural-looking false lashes or by carefully curling their lashes until they are satisfied, this particular trait creates a darling doe-eye look that will have many swooning. Aided by a swipe of mascara, this Japanese beauty standard is one that is far more achievable and cheatable than a few others on this list.
5. A Cinderella Weight
Fancy yourself in a fairytale? In Japanese female beauty standards, weight actually plays a large role in your perceived attractiveness. In Western countries, BMI scales are simply categorized by how much you weigh. Japan takes this to a whole new level by dividing their BMI categories by ‘standard weight’ (hyoujintaiju), ‘beauty weight’ (biyotaiju), and ‘Cinderella weight’ (shinerera taiju).
The lightest and most notable of these is Cinderella weight, as the name apparently comes from being light enough to not shatter a pair of glass heels that you wear to the ball. You must also be light enough for the prince to come and sweep you off your feet and into his arms instead. Talk about a fairytale romance.
6. Hourglass Body Shape
Is the Cinderella weight a bit too extreme for you? Another Japanese female beauty standard about weight is possessing an hourglass figure. These full-bodied figures are coveted since most Japanese people are inherently slim and petite.
The term ‘Bon Kyu Bon’ is a good way to represent this trait. This is because the trait is all about body ratio, with Japanese women having a large bust, a small waist, and large, curvy hips. While Japanese society is still pretty split on which figure is more popular, it is nice to know that hourglass body types also get some love from the Japanese people!
7. A Prominent Sniffer
Many Japanese people possess a small and cute nose. This is why it may come as a shock to some that prominent or high-bridged noses are actually a preferred trait when it comes to Japanese female beauty standards.
This may be due to how the feature lends a more unique vibe to Japanese features, making them look slightly more foreign or ‘Western’. While some countries certainly prefer a cute button nose, it seems that Japan is not one of them!
8. Long Legs For Days
Japanese women by default are mostly petite in stature. However, their body structure is unique in that despite their typically short height, it is a popular feature among celebrities and beautiful women to have a pair of long, slim legs that add to their natural beauty and charm.
In fact, many Japanese women on the shorter side consider short legs to be one of their biggest insecurities. Japanese female beauty standards really are quite comprehensive, considering that even this is part of the coveted traits in Japanese society.
9. Natural Makeup, Please
In other countries, makeup is often considered almost an art form or a form of self-expression nowadays. In Japan, having a more natural makeup look is still the preferred style. For them, this allows natural beauty to shine through while also making Japanese women look just cute enough without looking too over the top.
In the past, makeup that exaggerated facial features used to be popular in Japan. This style was called ‘gyaru’. A small niche of people still do their makeup and dress this way, but most Japanese women opt for some light makeup, mascara, and a nude lip to get them through their day.
10. Grace & Meekness Above All Else
Good manners are attractive in any context. In Japan, this is even more noticeable. This is because there is a general preference for women that are more quiet and meek, compared to those that are louder, more extroverted, and chattier.
This is likely a societal thing, as the Japanese tend to be polite and meek as a people in general. Talking loudly or obnoxiously, especially on the train is a quick way to discourage heads that were turning to admire your beauty. This particular Japanese female beauty standard definitely proves that looks are not the only thing to consider.
Japanese Female Beauty Standards: Reasonable or Impossible?
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They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Despite what we have listed in this article, we definitely share this belief and believe that beauty can come in all forms, shapes, and sizes! At present, many Japanese women continue to embrace their natural beauty and their bodies. We believe that this is a positive change and a great way to help break restrictive barriers of beauty norms in Japan.
However, Japanese female beauty standards exist as a big part of their society and they contribute largely to the success of Japanese celebrities and day to day socialization of Japanese women.
Whether you are a visiting foreigner who wishes to adapt to certain Japanese female beauty standards for a shot of romance in Japan, or you are simply curious about the beauty norms in this complex and beautiful country, we hope that these 10 Japanese female beauty standards helped to shed light on the matter!
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