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How the standards of female beauty in Russia have changed
How the standards of female beauty in Russia have changed

Today, the criterion for a woman's attractiveness is slimness, fit, sportiness. But in old Russia, beauty was assessed in terms of the endurance and ability of a woman to bear healthy offspring. A man, admiring a woman's body, first of all paid attention to the belly.

Read in the material how the standards of female beauty have changed, why a big belly was a sign of a beauty, and how Princess Yusupova amazed with her ideal forms.

Big belly as a sign of a beautiful woman

Lush forms were considered in pre-Petrine Russia a sign of beauty

In pre-Petrine times, special requirements were applied to the Russian beauty. She had to be “rosy and white”, and the forms were necessarily magnificent, appetizing. The logic is as follows: a lady with wide hips, large belly and breasts could most likely endure, safely give birth and feed a healthy baby.

And in those days, they were rarely limited to one child. One should not think that such demands were made only on peasant women. Even noblewomen, rich and independent, did not shy away from physical labor. They could harness a horse, and even bring water from a well on a yoke, and it should be noted that the buckets were large, at least 12 liters. And there were two of them on the rocker.

It is clear that in order to perform such actions, a woman had to be powerful enough. A physician from England, Mr. Collins (personal physician of Alexei Tishaishy in 1659-1666) noted that Russians consider a beautiful fat woman to be a beautiful woman. Skinny ladies are perceived as painful.

Therefore, they try to get fat - they lie in bed for a long time, eat a lot, and even drink this vodka, after which they sleep. But not only the ability to give birth to a child explained the desire to see a woman's big belly. He signaled that the girl came from a wealthy family, where she was well fed and abundantly fed.

The era of Peter I - crushing corsets, emphasizing the waist and lush hips

Catherine I is captured in a portrait in a tight corset that emphasizes the waist

After Peter I ascended the throne, many areas of life, and Russia, have undergone changes. The tsar visited Europe and returned with ideas about improving the fleet and army, but not only. Peter I became trendsetters. Of course, this applied exclusively to aristocrats and wealthy people. The ladies of the court did not need to be persuaded for a long time, they began to follow the European fashion with pleasure - pale, like porcelain faces, gracefulness, beautiful airy dresses. They managed to combine the incongruous: curvy body shapes and fragility fashionable in the West.

If you look at the famous portrait of Catherine I by the artist Buchholz, then you can see a woman wearing a voluminous dress with a cape, and who clearly has impressive shapes. But with all this, Catherine is wearing a corset that mercilessly tightens the body, making the waist incredibly thin.

In the 18th century, women of noble birth did just that: their figures were pulled together so that large hips, belly and chest stood out, but the waist had to be an aspen, emphasizing nobility, grace, fragility.

19th century noblewomen - skinny and romantic

In the 19th century, noblewomen tried to be thin and pale

The fashion for female forms changed a lot in the 19th century. Women tried to become more educated, and not only noblewomen, but also representatives of other estates. There were very fashionable French novels at the time that featured a new fashionable woman. And she was not a lush beauty with large breasts and a fat belly, but a dreamy girl, skinny and pale.

Among the inhabitants of Russia, the fashion went to starve in order to become thinner. They hid from the sun's rays under large umbrellas, trying to prevent darkening of the skin.Motherhood became a business that was unworthy of a fragile and graceful romantic person.

Wealthy families began to take on wet nurses to feed their babies. The noble aristocrat had to eat like a bird, and it was a shame to have a big belly. After all, she did not need to breastfeed her child, it could be done by the magnificent peasant women who had recently given birth to their children. Perhaps this time was the first kind of era of models that we see today on the catwalk - thin, mysterious, elegant.

The ideal shape of Princess Yusupova and muscular Soviet women

The new Soviet woman had to be strong and healthy

In the late 19th - early 20th centuries, women in Russia were divided into urban women with an education and a slender figure, and most often illiterate, puffy peasant women. Fullness has ceased to be fashionable. An overweight woman was called retarded. Fortunately, sophisticated noble girls tried to look healthy, rosy, and strong muscles became very popular. The fact is that many ladies, and not only of noble origin, studied in boarding schools.

In these institutions, they had to do a lot of physical exercises. The huge belly became a sign of vulgarity.

Princess Yusupova was considered incredibly popular in terms of beauty at the beginning of the 20th century. Her portraits confirm that the woman was in great physical shape, despite the fact that she had two children. Princess Zinaida Yusupova died in 1939, and until her last days amazed those around her with her slenderness.

The last of the Yusupov family

In 20 years, the proletariat finally won, but fat women did not become popular again. The pampered and fragile girls began to be replaced by Komsomol members, with a blush on their cheeks, broad-shouldered and strong. Such women were actively involved in social and political work and paid great attention to physical education. It was a symbiosis of a magnificent peasant woman and a thin, but strong pupil of a boarding school for noble maidens.

The Soviet woman had to be strong, because she had to build a new society. High chest, small strong belly - this is the standard of a citizen of a young state. The personification of such women is Deineka's painting "Spring Song". On it you can see three girls in pretty chintz dresses, beautifully fitting strong bodies, muscular, with a small tummy. Here they are, new women, progressive workers.

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