- Model Feven G. showcases the hair and make-up trends, which are created by a professional stylist and make-up artist
- The video begins in the 1910s and ends at present day, demonstrating how styles have evolved over more than 100 years
- The trends of the decades are often influenced by powerful women, pop culture, and globalization
A fascinating new video shows just how much beauty standards have changed in Ethiopia since the 1910s, becoming more and more influenced by western trends.
The African country is just the latest to be spotlighted in Cut.com‘s popular series 100 Years of Beauty, which examines how hair and make-up ideals in a given place have evolved during the past century – and how those changing trends reflect the changing position of women in that place.
With the help of a hair and make-up team, model Feven G. flaunts the trends, starting with the natural styles favored in the early twentieth century and ending with looks that will be very recognizable to western viewers.
1910s: Model Feven G. shows off hair and make-up looks from every decade, including this one from the turn of the twentieth century
1920s: The Afro was in as women were influenced by the trends worn by the country’s rulers
To demonstrate the 1910s, Feven has her hair done in cornrows, also called sheruba, which give way to loose, natural hair in back. She also wears earrings and a hoop on her cartilage.
The look was inspired by Taytu Betul, an Empress Consort of the Ethiopian Empire from the late nineteenth century to 1913. As the wife of Emperor Menelek II of Ethiopia, she held unprecedented power and even commanded her own battalion in the country’s military.
While the trends of the 1910 were clearly influenced by royalty, they also likely had something to do with the country’s ongoing wars with Italy, since historically, beauty trends have tended to be more simple during times of war.
For the 1920s, Feven’s hair is done up into a short Afro, and her face is still natural. This look, too, was inspired by royalty: The video’s glam squad studied a photo of Empress Menen Asfaw, the wife of Emperor Haile Selassie, to get the look.
Like Taytu Betul before her, Empress Menen Asfaw was also quite forward-thinking. She promoted women’s issues in the country and was even Patroness of the Ethiopian Red Cross.
1930s: Women were big on letting it all hang lose in the ’30s, a decade that saw the country fall to fascist Italian ruler Mussolini
1940s: ‘Fros were back in the ’40s, and this time they were bigger than two decades before
The model’s hair is styled to look much longer for the 1930s. It’s worn loose and natural, with a side part that lets her hair bounce on her shoulders.
The look may have been inspired by pin-ups, as western influences slowly made their way to the African nation.
In 1936, Ethiopia fell to Italy’s Mussolini, and the country saw an influx of Italians who settled there. It is also possible that wearing loose, free hair was a reaction to Italy’s fascist takeover.
By the beginning of the 1940s, though, Ethipoia had managed to reclaim its independence and was focused on reconstruction. They were modernizing, too, and even got their first airline.
To epitomize the decade, Feven’s hair is worn as an Afro again, though this time a little bigger and wider than the one of the 1920s.
New look: A hair stylist and make-up artist ran in between each new look to transform Feven
1950s: This decade’s more painted-on beauty look was inspired by the very popular singer and actress Asnaketch Worku
1960s: Feven models a bob and pink pout to represent the decade that the country first launched a national television station
After the glam squad swoops in again, the model is truly transformed to capture the trends of the 1950s. Now, she wears noticeable make-up, with bright berry lipstick painted on.
Dark shadow sits atop her lips, and her eyebrows are more sculpted. Her hair is also pulled back into a scarf.
The look was modeled off of Asnaketch Worku, a singer and the first Ethiopian actress. Asnaketch was a major player in the local entertainment industry as well as an incredibly influential fashion icon, whose fans compared her to Elizabeth Taylor. Many clamored to copy her look.
Media continued to influence beauty trends into the ’60s when, in 1964, the country launched Ethiopian Television.
For that decade, Feven’s hair is straightened and tucked into a bob. She also wears light pink lipstick and a touch of dark eyesadow
1970s: Feven’s ’70s look, including a sleek updo and berry lips, was inspired by Ethiopian Airlines stewardesses
1980s: Much like in the western world, everything about beauty – including hot pink eye shadow – was over-the-top in Ethiopia in the ’80s
The model’s ’70s look was inspired by a photo of an Ethiopian Airlines crew fro that decade. A more global society, including increased international travel, exposed women to trends around the world. Ethiopia was also becoming more urban, with more and more people moving to cities.
As such, Feven’s 1970s hair ins straightened and tied into a tidy updo, with a few tendrils on either side. She has berry colored lipstick, too, and looks quite similar to American or British models from the time.
When the ’80s hit, though, they really hit. It seems that nearly every nook in the world experienced that decade’s beauty the same way – big hair, bright make-up – and this eastern African nation was no different.
Inspired by Yeharerwerk Gashaw, who is credited as the country’s first international supermodel, Feven wears hair piled high on her head, while bright pink eyeshadow adorns her lids. She also wears a lot of sparkly jewelry.
1990s: Ethiopia didn’t miss out on the scrunchie trend – or having its own supermodels – in the ’90s
2000s: Feven wears a smoky eye and a ponytail; her look was inspired by former Miss Ethiopia and current TV host Dina Fekadu
2010s: Today, beauty trends in the African country are much like those in the rest of the world
The ’90s got a little more low-key, with Feven showing off a smoky eye and mauve lips – an aesthetic influenced by Ethiopian model Anna Getaneh, who posed for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition in 1990.
The only not-so-understated part? Her hair, which is twisted into an updo and wrapped with a bright gold scrunchie.
That’s changed in the 2000s, when her locks are ironed flat and tied into a pony tail. She wears pink lipstick and medium-sized gold hoops.
Finally, for the current decade, it’s clear that country lines have become all but nonexistent when it comes to beauty trends. Feven, done up to look like an actress on the red carpet, wears glossy red lips and cat-eye liner to complement her wavy, voluminous strands.
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