BY: ALEXANDRIA LEE
Seeking to include the roles of everyday women, a costume blogger has created a video showcasing the makeup and outfit styles of “Beauty Through the Decades.” Domowa Kostiumologia (an alias) sought to create a more realistic portrayal of women instead of previous compilations seen before, which show beauty standards “in a very stereotypical and pop-culture way.”
Of course, as a white woman, Kostiumologia’s style focuses on European standards and situations relevant to her cultural background. “It was hard for me to make this video universal and find papers referring to the whole Europe or even the whole world, so the numbers I used may be a little misleading,” Kostimulogia wrote in an accompanying article.
The video, which was published on Oct. 24th and has amassed over 530k views in three weeks, begins from the 1900s and continues to the 1940s. For each decade, Kostiumologia shows the wealthy, glamorous side, and the lesser-depicted working-class side.
The first look has Kostiumologia as a 1900’s Gibson Girl, with voluminous hair and off-shoulder sleeves. The Gibson Girl’s influence in the early 20th century was much like Barbie’s was in the late 20th century, portraying women as strong individuals who could both play sports and look good. Created by artist Charles Dana Gibson, the iconic image dared to challenge stereotypes and trends.
Still in the 1900s, Kostiumologia moves to 1901 where “almost 40% of factory workers were female.” Doing her hair up in a messy bun and wearing a high-collared, long-sleeved shirt, Kostiumologia gives off an impression of long workdays and tiresome labour.
The 1910 look shows Kostiumologia in the “Titanic” era, emulating the wealth and optimism found by those who went on the maiden voyage. Kostiumologia donned a scarf and a large, wide-brimmed hat decorated with peacock feathers.
A more sombre appearance is made next with the 1910’s suffragette movement, where Kostiumologia parts her hair and puts on a sash, showing off the signature catchphrase “Votes for Women.” The suffragettes were members of organizations who advocated the right to vote for women.
In 1920, flappers and silent films were popular, and Kostiumologia wears a classic head-wrap, v-neck dress and pointed lipstick, giving off Gloria Swanson vibes. She also contrasts this glamorous look by depicting “one in every nine women [who] worked in domestic service” with a traditional maid’s outfit.
Everybody knows she’s a femme fatale. In the 1930s, the stock character of a dark, seductive, mysterious woman charmed men on the big screen, such as actress Pola Negri. Kostiumologia shows the other side of the Hollywood life, covering herself in grimy makeup and a giant shawl. “1933 was the Great Depression’s lowest point” is the accompanying video caption.
For the 1940s, the trendy Betty Grable style is shown with a head-wrap and cat-eye sunglasses, which is often depicted in cartoons and comics. A World War II contradiction is shown, where Kostiumologia is dressed in all white with smeared blood on her face. “In 1945, there were more than 21,000 nurses in the US Army.”
The video ends with a message advising viewers: “Please, don’t forget real women.”