A couple of nights ago, I took my shirt off and threw on a headband so I could wash my face before bed.
This particular headband is from Free People, and I adore it because it's an abstract pattern in my Soft Autumn colors. I wish I could find a picture of it online. It's a little like this, but with warmer hues:
Anyway, when I saw myself in the mirror, I was struck by how perfect the headband looked with my stretchy periwinkle bralette. The combination was gorgeous.
I actually spent about ten seconds trying to imagine an excuse to wear the headband and the bralette together somewhere. Just the bralette, mind you. No shirt. A music festival, maybe?
I discarded that idea pretty quickly, LOL.
But the feeling of happiness that I got from looking in the mirror and thinking, "That really looks beautiful!" stayed with me.
One of the reasons that I love knowing my perfect colors is that I get those moments often. I look in the mirror and see perfect color harmony, and my day is a little brighter.
Visual beauty brings us joy. Being able to look in the mirror and identify beauty there brings us joy. We all deserve to have more of that feeling.
Last week, I explained that Romantic, Natural, Ingenue, and Gamine characteristics come from physical traits that actually distinguish women from men and adults from children.
I didn't address Ethereal and Dramatic, though. That's because those beauty archetypes don't arise wholly from what's true about actual human women and men.
I believe that the archetypes of Ethereal and Dramatic arise instead from our fantasies of supernatural or inhuman women and men.
More specifically, I propose the following:
Ethereal: The Feminized Supernatural
I believe our idea of the Ethereal quality derives from the feminine physical qualities that we project onto onto imaginary, superhuman beings we see as peaceful or helpful.
The most obvious example is our idea of an angel. But this archetype also shows up in saints, aliens, and deities; whether they're male or female, we tend to give them feminized physical traits.
Our fantasies of such creatures generally depict them physically as having narrow and smoothly ovoid faces; high foreheads; large, widely spaced, oval eyes; high, rounded eyebrows; long noses; unearthly but low-contrast coloring; narrow jaws; and small, tapering chins.
The overall physical impression of these beings is rather feminine, but some traits that characterize average human women, such as a relatively round face and relatively small nose, are missing.
These are feminine faces, but it's an imagined femininity, not a mortal, "estrogenized" femininity.
From this imagining, I believe, emerges the archetype of Ethereal beauty.
See the similarities between the faces above and the Ethereal faces below. Faces are elongated and oval-shaped, gently sculpted but without harsh angles. Eyes are penetrating, wise, and peaceful, more almond-shaped than round, and often heavy-lidded. Noses are long and narrow. Lips are a bit fleshy and feminine, but not voluptuous. Eyebrows are narrow, long, and gently arched. Foreheads are high. The hairline is rounded.