The ancient Chinese culture idolized a slim petite shape, glowing complexion, and pearly white teeth. Believing in the Ying and Yang of things, the Chinese knew that opposite forces are complementary. The Chinese’s pursuit of beauty balanced their coal black shinny hair along with porcelain white skin and bold floral color accents. Their beauty regime included ingredients from gems, flowers and herbs.
Ancient China has one of the oldest and longest cultures and several astonishing women that have been noted as poetic beauties during many of the Chinese Dynasties. The most notable are the Four Great Beauties of Ancient China. These women were renown for their beauty, reputations and influence to their country and their people. Their legends remains today because of how there beauty impacted in Chinese history.
Xi Shi (506 B.C. to unknown) was known to be so beautiful that she could gaze into a pond only to have the fish were so entranced that they forgot to swim and would sink away from the surface. Her legend also says that birds would fall from the sky, the moon would fade and flowers would close their petals in shame in comparison to Xi Shi. She knew the art of seduction and would drink wine to appear vulnerable while she would dance for her King. Her beauty is connected with the local tea of Chinese Longjing and drinking natural water from the Western lake.
Wang Zhaojun (First Century B.C.) was known as daring, determined and intelligent woman. Her legends portrays her as so beautiful that she was considered more beautiful than all the other court ladies added up together. She often portrayed in a red cloak. Her father often called her ‘a pearl in the palm.’
Diaochan (Third Century B.C.) was known as using her beauty to charm the Warriors and Warlords and of her country. She was considered graceful, delicate and dainty, however she lived in a combatable country. She was able to use each of her traits to manipulate and bring down a brutal Warlord.
Yang Guifei (719 to July 15, 749 A.D.) was known as having a full and fleshy figure. She loved to eat Lychee, a flavorful fruit rich in protein, vitamin B, vitamin C, phosphorus and iron. Her bath was originally rimmed with pink jade. The Chinese consider Pink Jade to be associated with beauty. It was said that Emperor would only allow her to wear pink jade.
Each of the Four Great Beauties legends have mostly evolved through hundreds of years of poetic story telling with out much records to the accounts of their beauty regime. However they each represented women of extraordinary natural beauty. Taoism has been practiced in China for centuries. Traditional Taoism is living in harmony with the ‘way’ and beauty was something that was obtained and maintain with nourishment from internal and external. Taoism has the fundlementals of achieving wellness and harmony by living each day fully and actively. It’s important to live healthy, as well as to be strong and flexible. Eating well is also important. The diet is should have proper balance and consideration on what you are eating and how it’s connected to the Tao. If animals were treated inhuman and then consumed as meal, that animal’s fears and stresses are also consumed with the meal. Everything is full circle and to be mindful of these things is important. And lastly, Taoism focuses on understanding one’s own path or way rather than what society’s advertising defines what we should be or look like.
In essence, the Four Beauties are just legends of the ideal perfect beauty. But with Taoism, it’s what only what you considers to be beautiful – not society’s definition of beauty. In other words look beyond the beauty magazines and find your own path to beauty. Being mindful that beauty is not just external but also internal.
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