There’s no doubt that beauty standards change with the times–just compare the “beauties” from Renaissance paintings to any fashion magazine today. As “beauty” is no more set in stone than culture, it’s hardly surprising that there have been changes over the years. But it’s easy to forget that our contemporary standards haven’t always existed–and even easier to be bewildered by old photos. Nothing emphasizes this difference as much as the recent appearance of photos comparing actors from contemporary Chinese TV dramas and photos of their actual historical counterparts.
Check out this video by Off the Great Wall, a YouTube channel run by two Asian Americans, to get a glimpse of Chinese royalty on TV and in reality.