Originally Posted by Margaret
I would think quite the contrary -- that the diversity of cultures leads to a much broader sense of what is considered attractive. As much as the fashion industry and celebrity culture is assaulted for promoting unrealistic, idealized standards of beauty, it seems to me that in the last 20 years, there has been a significant broadening of what's considered attractive. Hardly a week goes by that I don't see some fashion magazine featuring a model who in another time might have been considered too pale, too dark, too full-lipped, too scrawny, too heavy, too chesty, too flat-chested, too freckled, too swarthy, too bald, too 'ethnic'...
That's true. It is interesting in that it might explain the shrinking "ideal" male nose. All in all, however, changes in beauty ideals are minor. Color is one of the first things people notice about others. If you look beyond it and certain ethnic features, the beautiful people of any race tend to look quite similar. (With certain sex-related differences.) Also, male beauty ideals probably change even less than those for females. Likely because males are less picky and don't necessarily prefer the current "ideal." Possibly the change toward the youth ideal is more responsible for the popularity of cosmetic surgery and the broader category that includes less invasive procedures..
For the record, the opinion here is that complaining about conforming to standards of beauty is pointless. It is human nature to conform, especially regarding something so linked to competition and "value."