The desire for more sensual, shapely, and BIGGER lips is not new in our culture. It’s been going on for over 50 years. Though the trend hasn’t change, what has changed is the magnitude. I recently read a piece in Slate about some rather unfortunate runway appearances involving overdone lips. The article is subtitled “the rise of the trout-pout” – a graphic if not wholly accurate description of the phenomenon of overdone lips – and traces the current rise of the sensual mouth from Brigitte Bardot in the 1950′s and 1960′s to modern stars like Angelina Jolie.
Despite all of our poetry, song lyrics, and fairy tales, the concept of beauty is fluid. What is considered beautiful in our society today may be very much the opposite in 3 or 4 decades. Some enduring concepts exist (hold out for the next BLOG post for more on this topic!), but even a casual glance around one of the country’s great art museums will rapidly demonstrate my point. Traveling from the Rubenesque nudes, with their voluptuous figures – round bellies, plump cheeks, full hips – to Post-Modern figure drawings or Cubist portraits – with their sharp angles, long and lean figures, and chiseled faces – we can see that over the course of a couple centuries, “beauty” transformed from one extreme to its opposite.