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Why women in the USSR looked older: reasons revealed

Anna OnishchenkoLife
Why women in the USSR looked older

Women in the Soviet Union tended to look much older than their peers in other countries. This phenomenon had many reasons related to the political, economic, and social structure of the USSR.

The image of a Soviet woman is often associated with a tough appearance, fatigue, and a faded look. OBOZ.UA has collected several reasons why Soviet women looked much older and worse than modern women of their age.

In photographs and newsreels of the time, we see women who look much older than they are. One of the reasons is that looking good and taking care of oneself in the USSR was considered a badge of honor, because a beautiful woman was like a "non-labor element" or even a "woman of easy virtue."

Even in Soviet films, you can see that attractive women were turned into anti-heroes. They were ridiculed against the backdrop of hardworking and loyal to communism characters.

Why women in the USSR looked older: reasons revealed

Hard work

Soviet women were allowed to work on an equal footing with men as early as 1917. This was primarily driven by pragmatism, as they became an additional labor force and were engaged in hard manual labor throughout the twentieth century.

The "liberation" of women from the obligation to be the keeper of the home turned into their exploitation for the needs of the country.

Hard physical labor had a bad effect on health and changed the appearance of Soviet girls, including burns and scars. In addition, after work, women were expected to perform "purely female household duties," such as cooking, washing dishes, etc.

Why women in the USSR looked older: reasons revealed

Domestic slavery

Women who did manage to escape hard physical labor at the factory still could not afford to live their best lives because they were trapped in domestic slavery. In the USSR, it was believed that women were responsible for an endless series of duties. She had to do the laundry, keep the house in order, sew, cook breakfast, a three-course lunch, and dinner for the whole family.

Why women in the USSR looked older: reasons revealed

In addition, a woman was fully engaged in children's care and had to motivate and please her husband in every possible way. At least 85% of people lived in this system.

Also, all those who did not work had to stand in lines every day to buy something to feed their families.

Shortages

The USSR did not even have normal feminine hygiene products, let alone hair, dental, and skin care.

Decorative cosmetics in the union became publicly available only in the 80s. It was not of the best quality, but due to the lack of alternatives, women used what they had. Cheap cosmetics with poor composition provoked dry skin, redness, and various rashes.

At the same time, care cosmetics in the USSR were mostly medical, prescribed by doctors, and sold in pharmacies. Imported skin care products were in short supply, so only wealthy ladies could afford them.

Folk methods

Cosmetic procedures in the USSR were also difficult. Such services were provided mainly in big cities and were very expensive. This encouraged women to take care of themselves at home, using so-called folk methods, which often made the situation worse.

Why women in the USSR looked older: reasons revealed

Food

It's no secret that the USSR didn't have as wide a choice of food as it does now. That's why people often didn't get all the nutrients they needed.

In addition to the fact that you had to stand in endless lines to buy food, the quality of the food itself was also quite low. Many foods contained preservatives and stabilizers, which have a rather bad effect on human health and, as a result, on appearance.

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