What is beauty? Beauty can be described as the qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses. People say that qualities that beautiful people have are kindness, honesty, respect, confidence, generosity, positivity, and willingness. Beauty can be a feeling, to feel peaceful and happy with yourself and to want someone else to feel those feelings, that itself is beautiful. The feminine beauty ideal is a socially constructed idea that physical attractiveness is one of the women’s most important assets, and that all women should strive to achieve. Representations of women are often defined by how men see women, or by how society expects women to look and behave. Many representations of women concentrate on looks and emotions. Others focus on their relationships with others. Arguably today’s beauty standards are the individual qualifications women are expected to have to embody the feminine beauty ideal. However, what makes today different from the past is that women are allowed to show their uniqueness as society has become more inclusive.
Nefertiti Bust is a painted stucco-coated limestone bust of Nefertiti. Nefertiti was the great royal wife of the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten. The bust is believed to have been crafted in 1345 B.C.E by Thutmose because it was found in his workshop in Amarna, Egypt. It is one of the most copied works of ancient Egypt. An Egyptian queen renowned for her beauty and, she was immortalized in exquisite sculptures made at the time. The bust of Nefertiti is one of Egypt’s most iconic symbols. The bust of Nefertiti can be found in an isolated glass case in a small circular room within Neuses Museum in Berlin.
Nefertiti is the symbol of beauty and feminine power. Her name means “a beautiful woman has come”. She is often seen in positions of authority and power, which traditionally only Egyptian pharaohs would be represented this way, which goes to show what an equally powerful and well-respected figure she was at that time. Nefertiti is a beauty icon; she is one of the most powerful women who inspire us until this day. She seized the opportunities of her time when her husband died. But Nefertiti also left us with many mysteries.
The fame of a bust adds to the representation of Nefertiti. Her face continues to evolve throughout her husband’s reign. The long nose, square jawline, and strong chin contributed to a striking portrait of a woman with a few masculine characteristics. The Queen’s likeness operates between the realms of the masculine and the feminine. For some people, the merging features create a hybrid face that is both fascinating and disturbing. The Nefertiti bust fitted perfectly with the colorful, geometric art and deco style that was starting to represent post-war opulence and glamour. A contemporary sculpture could have created it.
Perhaps, her power as co-ruler transformed the power of the image. Whilst looking at Nefertiti we want to un-riddle the story of her life. Perhaps the power that she had and the changes that she made is the reason she is represented as a beauty icon. We may never know for sure. What we know is that she is beautiful and that many women from many generations look up to her, what Nefertiti represents which is power and confidence together with a person’s personality should be what people consider to be women's beauty standards today, not their looks neither their emotions. Beauty is skin deep and that’s what matters.