When east meets west: beauty standards and ideals in Singapore
Dhillon, Sasha Kaur
Date of Issue2017-04-07
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Beauty is an elusive concept that we encounter on an almost daily basis, in every aspect of our lives. It governs the identities of both men and women, albeit in different ways. I focus on the physical aspect of beauty, from the top-down perspective of personnel from Singapore’s beauty and fashion industries in uncovering and showcasing how Singapore constructs beauty ideals. Through my interviews, I discovered that Singapore constructs along unique lines – intertwining both Eastern and Western cultures with heavy emphasis on themes like skin colour, gender and race. In fact, to a certain extent my data also showcases palpable state influence in the construction of these ideals. I also show how beauty is a gendered concept that disciplines the body of both men and women, on varying levels. I also showcase that racism exists in Singapore’s construction of beauty, despite us being a nation that prides itself on racial equality.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University