Beauty Standards Around The World: Russia

Beauty standards are different all around the world. In this series, we explore the most beautiful women in each country and the beauty standards her country holds.

By Meghan Dillon3 min read
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Shutterstock/Fred Duval

Russian women are known to be very beautiful. Many of their beauty secrets are easy for us plebeians to recreate, but what makes a Russian women beautiful? How do the Russians evaluate beauty, and who's the most beautiful woman in Russia?

What Is Beautiful in Russia?

When one thinks of beautiful women in Russia, they often think of tall, thin, blonde, blue-eyed tennis players like Maria Sharapova and Anna Kournikova. Though both women are stunning, one often forgets that Russia is an ethnically diverse country. According to the CIA, the ethnic makeup of Russia is “Russian 77.7%, Tatar 3.7%, Ukrainian 1.4%, Bashkir 1.1%, Chuvash 1%, Chechen 1%, other 10.2%, unspecified 3.9% (2010 est.)”

This broadens the view of what’s considered beautiful in Russia for different areas of the country. Since Russia is geographically the largest country in the world, this leads to different standards of beauty. Women in Northwestern Russia likely have Eastern and Northern European features, women in Southern Russia will likely have darker features like Southern European and Central Asian women, and women in Central and Eastern Russia will likely have more Asian features.

Some beauty standards like tall women with high cheekbones remain.

However, some beauty standards like tall women with high cheekbones remain. When one thinks of the most beautiful woman in Russia, one should consider a woman who has a variety of these diverse features.

The Most Beautiful Woman in Russia

From former Miss Russia contestant Natalia Pereverzeva to model Nastasiya Ovechkina, there are many beautiful Russian women to choose from. However, the most beautiful woman in Russia goes to model Irina Shayk because she represents the diversity of Russian beauty. She stands tall at 5 feet 10 inches and has stunning green eyes and brown hair.

Irina always looks chic and put together. Whether she’s on the red carpet or running errands with her daughter, she always looks put-together and elegant. Russian women traditionally dress more feminine, as women are expected to have dresses and skirts in their wardrobes. Though Irina doesn’t always wear dresses or skirts, she never fails to look feminine.

Russian Beauty Standards Compared to Global Standards

It’s common to see women in the United States going out to the grocery store in sweats, but this is a faux-pas in Russia. Russian women go out of their way to look put together, no matter what they're going out to do. 

Katrina Keegan, a University of Chicago student who studied abroad in St Petersburg writes, “There is still something specific about all Russian women, whether they conform to the stereotype or not: Their appearance is intentional. If a woman is wearing teal and lime-colored running shoes, she has a teal and lime-patterned scarf to match. Lipstick is the exact shade of earrings. A girl who has committed to short pink hair has also committed to a sparkly coat, and when a girl wears fishnet tights, you can bet she has heavy eye makeup.”

Russian women are in the habit of being beautiful, of actively choosing and caring about their appearance.

Keegan continues, “Russian women are not just inherently beautiful. They are in the habit of being beautiful, of actively choosing and caring about their appearance. It is no accident that there are beauty salons on every other block. My 70-year-old host grandmother became very concerned when she noticed a few of my hairs were falling out in the shower, and bought an anti-hair loss shampoo to show me.”

Keegan points out another difference: “The concept of candid photos does not exist. The entire city of St. Petersburg has been enjoying the beautiful fall leaves in suburban parks, and of course, taking a lot of photographs. While I am thrilled with a mid-laugh photo with my hair in my face, they gather the brightest leaves into bundles and pose.”

Russia isn’t the only culture that expects women to be impeccably dressed and put together. In countries like Spain and South Korea, looking your best at all times is the norm.

Russians Appreciate Beauty in Every Aspect of Culture

One reason why Russians hold their women to high standards of beauty is because they demand a high standard of beauty in nearly every aspect of their culture. Have you ever been to a Russian Orthodox Church? From the tiniest churches in villages to the large cathedrals in cities, Russian Orthodox churches hold themselves to a high standard of beauty. 

If the exteriors of these churches blow your mind, the interiors are even more beautiful. The altars are often decorated in gold and pearls, and the ceilings present beautiful paintings and icons of religious and historical figures. 

When one thinks of art forms that Russians excel at, some of the most notable are ballet, literature, music, and poetry. Russians have always been lovers of the arts, and unlike the elite in the United States in recent years, the Russian elite has always provided the common people with beautiful art. From ballets like The Nutcracker and Swan Lake, writers like Leo Tolstoy and Anton Chekhov, musicians like Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and poets like Alexander Pushkin, Russian art is held to the highest standards of beauty.

The same sentiment is echoed on the streets of Russia’s largest cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg. They’re some of the most beautiful cities in the world, many of the streets looking like they came out of a storybook.

Closing Thoughts

Russian beauty standards for women are high because the majority of Russian culture is held to a high standard of beauty. From ballet and literature to architecture, some of the most beautiful works of art in the world come from Russia. It only makes sense for Russian beauty standards to be high and to reflect the diversity of their population.