A culture can under go cultural revolution after cultural revolution — many of them totally upending social and gender roles, and yet perceptions of a woman’s beauty remain more or less the same.

Take China.  Very few countries experienced such a dramatic shift in opposed gender roles as this one.  Soon after the revolution, women went from foot-bounded, oppressed damsels to hard-core workers in the fields, factories and offices.

Fast forward decades  and Chinese culture is changing once again as it becomes more Westernized.  And it would seem women’s roles should become that much more equal to men’s.

And yet, there still remains more than a trace of sold-fashioned exism when it comes to women’s appearances.

In the wake of the country’s first Miss World Beauty Contest win (as well as tons of Olympic gold medals), many eyes are on China.  And what is being observed is that ancient views are hard to break.  According to a recent article, The Meaning of Beauty in Chinese Society, beauty contests are rampant.  Even Cow herders conferences add a beauty contest for fun. And not only must women provide pics with their resumes, but sometimes they have to comply with height and weight requirements to be hired!

Chairman Mao tried his hardest to wipe out all remnants of ancient Chinese society during his reign of terror.  And of course many things changed. And yet, old-fashioned views of women and their beauty can’t be totally eradicated.

How long does it take anyway?

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