Research examines evolving standards of beauty

October 11, 2017, The JAMA Network Journals

A new research letter published by JAMA Dermatology analyzes People magazine's World's Most Beautiful list to compare standards of beauty in 1990 with the present day.

Neelam A. Vashi, M.D., of the Boston University School of Medicine, and coauthors compared 50 celebrities from the 1990 list with 135 celebrities from the 2017 list. Researchers extracted information from the list for age, sex, race, type, hair color, eye color and any visible dermatologic conditions.

The authors report:

  • In 1990, lighter skin (Fitzpatrick skin types 1 to 3) represented 88 percent and darker skin (Fitzpatrick skin types 4 to 6) represented 12 percent of the list. In 2017, lighter skin types represented 70.4 percent and darker skin types 29.6 percent of the list.
  • The average age of celebrities on the list increased from 33.2 in 1990 to 38.9 in 2017.
  • The proportion of females increased from 52 percent in 1990 to 88.1 percent in 2017.
  • The proportion of celebrities of nonwhite races also increased from 24 percent in 1990 to 40 percent in 2017. Celebrities of mixed race were represented by one person (2 percent) in 1990 and by 14 people in (10.4 percent) in 2017.

"As evidenced by our data and contrary to our hypothesis, at present, a wider variety of skin colors and inclusion of older age groups are represented among those deemed to be the most beautiful. ... The mass media platform has for years introduced certain criteria for what constitutes beauty. Through an examination of the WMB [World's Most Beautiful] issue of People, we found that these beauty standards are evolving as people learn how to integrate the effects of media with exposure to new cultures and different norms," the article concludes.

Explore further: Safety of microfocused ultrasound with visualization in darker skin types

More information: JAMA Dermatology (2017). DOI: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.3693

Related Stories

Safety of microfocused ultrasound with visualization in darker skin types

August 27, 2015
Microfocused ultrasound (MFU) treatment to tighten and lift skin on the face and neck appeared to be safe for patients with darker skin types in a small study that resulted in only a few temporary adverse effects, according ...

Microneedling appears promising in darker skin types

February 8, 2016
(HealthDay)—Microneedling represents a promising treatment modality for dermatologic conditions in darker skin, according to a review published in the February issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Skin pigmentation, fluence determine IPL side effects

August 5, 2016
(HealthDay)—Darker skin pigmentation and increasing intense pulsed light (IPL) fluence determine side effects after IPL exposure, according to a study published online July 30 in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

Hispanics should be wary of the sun's rays, too

March 3, 2017
(HealthDay)—Many Latinos think they're safe from sun damage, even though advanced skin cancer is increasingly common in this group, a New York skin specialist warns.

Similar skin cancer incidence seen with teledermatology

June 26, 2017
(HealthDay)—The incidence of skin cancer is similar for patients evaluated by store-and-forward (SAF) teledermatology or face-to-face (F2F) consultation, according to a study published online June 20 in the International ...

Suspicious pigment spots more common on darker skin

December 14, 2015
(HealthDay)—People with darker skin are about one-third more likely to have potentially dangerous pigment "spots" on their palms and soles, a new study finds.

Recommended for you

Smartphones are bad for some teens, not all

February 21, 2018
Is the next generation better or worse off because of smartphones? The answer is complex and research shows it largely depends on their lives offline.

Tackling health problems in the young is crucial for their children's future

February 21, 2018
A child's growth and development is affected by the health and lifestyles of their parents before pregnancy - even going back to adolescence - according to a new study by researchers at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, ...

Lead and other toxic metals found in e-cigarette 'vapors': study

February 21, 2018
Significant amounts of toxic metals, including lead, leak from some e-cigarette heating coils and are present in the aerosols inhaled by users, according to a study from scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public ...

Why teens need up to 10 hours' sleep

February 21, 2018
Technology, other distractions and staying up late make is difficult, but researchers say teenagers need to make time for 8-10 hours of sleep a night to optimise their performance and maintain good health and wellbeing.

Electronic health records don't reduce administrative costs

February 21, 2018
The federal government thought that adopting certified electronic health record systems (EHR) would reduce administrative costs for physicians in a variety of specialties. However, a major new study conducted by researchers ...

Low-fat or low-carb? It's a draw, study finds

February 20, 2018
New evidence from a study at the Stanford University School of Medicine might dismay those who have chosen sides in the low-fat versus low-carb diet debate.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.