As cliche as it may sound, beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. However, there is also a standard of beauty to contend with. Everyone is beautiful to someone, but those who align with their culture’s beauty standard may fall within the definition of classic beauty.
One of the best examples of classic beauty is Grace Kelly. The petite, elegant blonde was an American film actress who starred in many Alfred Hitchcock films. Her face was delicate, symmetrical, and well-proportioned. She exuded charm and, as her name implied, grace. It’s no wonder this classic beauty became a princess.
Let’s examine what it means to be a classic beauty. There are some surprising scientific studies on its appeal. But classic beauty is more than looks — it is also an attitude. We will help you learn what classic beauty is and how to emulate it in the article below!
My Friend Called Me a Classic Beauty. What Does That Mean?
If your friend called you a classic beauty, they want you to know how pretty you are! Maybe you have an exceptionally well-balanced face or a sculptural form. Think Grace Kelly (as we mentioned above), Audrey Hepburn, Kerry Washington, Henry Cavill, or Naomi Campbell.
Classically beautiful people may be seen as ladylike or as a debutante. Many people are famous for their looks because of their classic beauty. In an artistic sense, people who are classic beauties are appealing to look at.
Famous paintings and other works of art often draw on the standards of classic beauty. But art also plays a part in perpetuating or even creating beauty standards too. Think of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa portrait. That picture has been at the center of endless debates on what classical and feminine beauty ought to be, for better or worse.
What Does It Mean to Have Classic Beauty?
As we stated earlier, classic beauty is essentially very symmetrical. When we think of the people we find most attractive, a large part of enjoying their appearance likely is because they look symmetrical or more “complete.”
Humans are actually hardwired to like things that appear symmetrical. Researchers discovered that babies would begin to show a preference for symmetrical objects at just four months old during studies done with young children. This liking of symmetry isn’t a trait that is unique to people, though.
In his 1938 book Symmetry, physicist Hermann Weyl spoke about beauty as a universal attribute that we can appreciate everywhere. He wrote, “Beauty is bound up in symmetry.” it is connected not only from an aesthetic point of view but a mathematical one as well. Even honeybees prefer flowers that have radial symmetry.
Some scientists argue that the appeal of symmetry is just another way our brains combat chaos and disorder in nature. American scientist Alan Lightman maintains this in his book The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew. He wrote, “I would claim that symmetry represents order, and we crave order in this strange universe we find ourselves in.”
Lightman later explained that “the search for symmetry, and the emotional pleasure we derive when we find it, must help us make sense of the world around us… Symmetry is simplicity. Symmetry is elegance.” Classical beauty would then be an attribute in a person that gives us calm and feelings of completeness.
So, should we consider classic beauties as scientifically proven to be beautiful? Scientists haven’t gone quite that far yet. But the prevalence of classic beauties who have garnered fame for their looks certainly demonstrates that they are pleasant to see and watch.
What is Classic Beauty in a Woman?
Another way to think of classic beauty is so-called timeless beauty. This phrase gets thrown around a lot, but we rarely consider its meaning. Classic beauty is something that is appealing even out of the context of its own time, like classical music or architecture. It exists within the space in which historical people enjoyed it, but it is also relevant now. That is the meaning of ‘timeless.’
The same is true for human beauty. Some hyper-trendy looks will look out of place in any other period, like the extra-thin eyebrows of the nineties or the vampy makeup and rouged knees of the twenties. But some trends catch on and become part of what makes classic beauty unique.
Jeans, for instance, were articles of clothing once very far from classical beauty standards. Now, over a century later, it is fair to say that jeans are a central item in a classical wardrobe.
To take trends and lift them up to classical beauty standards is one thing art can do. Think of Renaissance paintings. Titian was one of the most prolific Renaissance painters, and many of his subjects were real women. Some of them are clearly representative of the trendy appearance of their time, but some of them, like “Flora” and “Venus of Urbino,” have faces that could easily fit into today’s concept of beauty.
Is Being Called a Classic Beauty A Compliment?
Being called a classic beauty is certainly a compliment. If someone calls you classically beautiful, they think you are on par with the other great beauties throughout history.
But the exciting thing about classical beauty is this: it stands for both timeless beauties and being ‘current’ or fashionable. Of course, we’re not talking about following all the latest trends, as mentioned above. Instead, classical beauty has always been a compliment, but the standards change year after year.
For example, Ancient Greeks had an idea of classical beauty just like we do. But their standards were different. Greek classical beauty preferred:
- Full figures for women
- Hairless bodies for men
- Small feet
- Red cheeks
- White lead lipstick
- Hair styled in rolls and locks
We can see how far ‘classical beauty’ has evolved since the time of Ancient Athens. The main takeaway is, being called a classical beauty is a great complement. Just keep in mind that the classical beauties of centuries ago may not have seemed so beautiful today.
How Do I Look Like a Classic Beauty?
Just because you weren’t necessarily born a classic beauty does not mean you can’t emulate the looks and even present them as your own. Luckily, there’s always a way to emulate classical standards. Let’s break down the steps to looking like a classic beauty:
Don’t Wear Too Much Makeup
Makeup is a beautiful art form, but classic beauty typically radiates from within. Overly dramatic makeup may detract from the very features you are trying to enhance.
However, makeup can play a part in giving yourself a classical look. Deep red lipstick, a light rosy cheek, and kohl-rimmed eyes have persevered as classical over the ages.
If the synonym for classic is timeless, then the antonym for classic is trendy. For the most part, a classic beauty is one that is relevant in all eras to all viewers. If you have the aforementioned nineties eyebrows or you wear loud, of-the-moment clothing, it can wash over the concept of timeless.
There is a reason that there are pieces of clothing deemed “classic.” Items like a good pair of jeans, a little black dress, a tailored blazer, and the perfect white t-shirt have always been and will always be relevant.
If you can, try investing in pieces like this that will last you a long time. It’s always better to spend a bit more on a single item of clothing than have to rebuy the same style repeatedly because it is of cheap quality. Timeless clothes will often outlast the wearer.
The concept of “classic” is inherently exclusive towards people with a smaller budget, but it’s easy to get creative with your wardrobe to look just as lovely. Thrift stores are always a great place to find classic pieces of clothing because their items will span years if not decades of style. After all, there’s a reason why everyone wears jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers: they look good on nearly everyone!
You can also find classic pieces on online thrift stores like Etsy, Depop, and Poshmark. Sometimes these are easier to use than digging through a thrift store for the perfect skirt because you can filter by size, color, and style. Just keep in mind that the price markups will be reflective of this.
Keep a Neat Appearance
Simplicity and neatness are some of the qualities that make a person classically beautiful. Complex clothes which stretch the definition of a dress, pair of pants, or jacket may attract more attention, but they aren’t commonly classical.
The little black dress or “LBD” has become a legendary element in many women’s closets, and for a good reason. It is the perfect expression of simplicity, neatness, and quiet glamour. Likewise, blue jeans without too much wear and tear have a timeless quality. Why? Indeed the simplicity of the lines and the linear contour of the fabric gives a pleasing impression.
Another part of being neat is choosing colors that accent your natural body type. Obviously, not everyone was born with the body frame of Grace Kelly. But tailored clothes in appealing colorways can go a long way. Black and white are always timeless, especially with outerwear like coats and jackets that people see right away.
Maintain Proper Hygiene
Not many people enjoy spending time with someone who smells of body odor or has unwashed hair. It can be off-putting to see someone who doesn’t care for their appearance. If you want to be a classic beauty, try keeping up proper hygiene.
Some ways to do this are by showering or bathing regularly, washing and conditioning your hair, and brushing your teeth. Also, take some time to create a skincare routine. Since the time of the Romans, people have considered clean skin a beautiful attribute.
Skincare is part of health, and if your skin tans or burns in the summer months, take care of your skin. Classically beautiful skin color has changed (and will continue to change) over the years. Today, a light tan is part of the classical image of beauty. In the past, pale skin was much more desirable, especially in Europe. Interesting how trends change!
If you don’t know how to make a skincare routine, start with facial cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and sunscreen. These are the building blocks for classically beautiful skin. You can experiment with different serums, tinctures, mists, and ingredients to make your skin feel happy and healthy.
Emulate a Classy Personality
This part of classic beauty is perhaps the hardest to adopt and make your own. Everyone has a unique personality, and it’s crucial never to hide who you are. In fact, you could argue that ‘being yourself’ is the central element of classical beauty. Nevertheless, a standard classy personality is something we all recognize when we see it in someone.
What is a classy personality? There are several elements we can pick out with relative confidence:
- Intelligence: being informed of current events and having a personal opinion
- Confidence: classical beauty means living your true self
- Positivity: we all go through times of sadness, but a positive attitude is important
- Effortlessness: it might take a lot of time to collect a nice wardrobe and stay fresh and clean, but it shouldn’t seem so
- Happiness: we’re all attracted to happy people
- Personable: being kind and inviting to people
It isn’t easy to give advice to emulate a personality that doesn’t come naturally to you. For the most part, staying true to yourself is a much better policy. A classy personality is related to specific character traits and clothes, it’s true. But living an authentic life can make up for a lot.
Beauty is always a matter of opinion, but classic beauty is about as close as you can get to universally appealing. If someone refers to you as a classic beauty, they mean it as the utmost compliment. Despite beauty standards shifting all the time, classical beauty is the anchor you can count on.