I’ve been waiting for someone to do it, but since no one volunteered, I shot it myself – a video in the style of “100 Years of Beauty In…” – but this time, a Polish edition. Watching other videos like this, I felt like the Polish one would be different, because of our messy and difficult history. We never really had a chance to be very fashionable until the last three decades – with no access to modern fashion or make up brands, practically no fashion industry of our own, and lack of money to afford the fancy clothes, which were rarely even available. Still, even amongst huge political conflicts and changes, women would style their hair, make their own clothes, and put a lot of effort into looking stylish.
I left the 2010s „blank”, because it’s a decade that still hasn’t closed, and it’s fresh enough for all of us Polish women to have different experiences and memories surrounding it. Also, it’s up to us what it’s going to be remembered for anyway!
Making this video was incredibly hard for me. Not only because I had to transform myself 11 times, and not only because it was very emotional, but because it’s just so difficult to be “objective”, especially when talking about a period of history that is this broad. That’s why I understand if anyone feels the video misrepresents what actually happened, or focuses on things that are not considered historically important. I was doing my best to find one event or historical fact that affected women in each decade (and it so happens that a lot of these revolve around Polish political systems). My choices weren’t based on political sympathies, but rather on what I thought could be widely considered a thing that affected large numbers – but not always all – of women in Poland in the given era. For example, I am aware not everyone was imprisoned in the 1950s, or actively fought the government in the 1970s and the 1980s, and most of the people led quite ordinary lives.
It was also hard to portray a single look for one decade, especially after 1960s, where different people chose different styles and you could be equally fashionable sporting a punk leather jacket as you would be wearing a classy padded jacket and an elegant hat.
DISCLAIMER: I myself am not Jewish and obviously am far from understanding even a glimpse of what the Jews have been through and the trauma their ancestors are dealing with to this day. I was wearing the band as a character I chose to portray.
All looks are based on Polish photos and videos from the eras.
More info: youtube.com
100 Years of Beauty – Poland
1910s – Poland doesn’t exist back then, occupied by three different countries
1918 – Poland is independent again
1920s – Polish culture awakens
1930s – first Polish movie stars emerge
1940s – almost 1/5th of Poland’s population die
1950s – people are held political prisoners
1960s – limited access to basic goods
1970s – mass protests against increasing prices
1980s – the opposition grows
1990s – Poles can finally access foreign goods
2000s – millions of Poles emigrate
2010s – ?
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