Beth Stebner
November 06, 2015 12:36 pm

In the past few months, there have been a glut of “beauty through the ages” videos, showing off what a woman’s beauty look might have been depending on the decade in which she lived. We’re not going to lie, we love those videos. They’re amazingly compact time capsules that happen to double as killer beauty inspiration.

But a new video, courtesy of blogger and photographer Karolina Żebrowska, has emerged that’s making us delve a little deeper into the realities of beauty from years past.

When Zebrowska started doing research into retro looks in order to make her own video, she too wanted to make a glossy pass at each decade. But something stopped her.

“As I was doing some research, I became more and more aware that beautiful faces and fashion we see on the photos, ads and fashion plates are just an idealistic version of reality,” she writes on YouTube. “So here’s to reality.”

And her video shows some pretty harsh truths.

Instead of the over-the-top bouffont-like “Gibson Girl” hairstyle of the 1900s, Żebrowska shows a frazzled, tired young woman whose hair is haphazardly stacked to the top of her head and pinned back in preparation of another exhausting factory shift—a harsh reality of the time.

The 30s show Depression-era poverty over the Katherine Hepburn femme fatales of the day, and instead of the “Betty Grable” style of a bright red lip, bandana, and a mess of curls in the 1940s, there’s a nurse a splatter of blood on her cheek and the sound of air raid sirens, a sober nod to the carnage of World War II.

It’s a pretty poignant message that while it’s well and good to Daisy yourself up for a “Great Gatsby”- themed party, it’s not okay to gloss over the fact that each decade was riddled with its own set of very real problems.

Forgetting those problems – or romanticizing them in one fell swoop of eye shadow – isn’t the best way to honor these women, Żebrowska says. And we couldn’t agree more.

(Image via YouTube)

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