The myth of Ukrainian beauty

In Kiev, when you go outside, you don’t see a higher number of beautiful women compared to, say, London or Moscow. You see more women wearing fake Chanel bags, you see more women wearing very glitzy t-shirts, and very tight and short skirts that could be mistaken for wide belts, and more women who dye their hair in some bizarre DIY ways than in London (not necessarily than in Moscow).

Yet, there is a myth that Ukrainian women are more beautiful and accessible than women from other countries.


They are more obsessed with external beauty and being slim, that’s true.  Their average slimness defies Western dietary recommendations, according to which Ukrainian cuisine is only good for people who want to become instantly and terminally overweight, and the last meal of a condemned prisoner.

But I understand how this myth is maintained against all the evidence to the contrary.

This is a low-price/discounter pharmacy window, and it promises SOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS LARGE AND SMALL.


And no, the lady on the poster does not work inside. I bought toothpaste there (they don’t have scissors or nail-cutters though. Blast )

You see a lot of such “advertising” around the town, creating a false impression that everything here is run by blond models in high heels. The truth is, today there are more  girls wearing flat sandals, natural colour hair, and intelligent look on their faces in the streets of Kiev than a year ago.

Advertising in Kiev is made by guys who overdosed on Mad Men, but art also plays a role in the perpetuation of Ukrainian beauty myth.

This is the most expensive photograph (so far) ever sold in an auction that was made by two Ukrainian artists, Vitaly and Elena Vassiliev. Husband and wife I assume.


US$ 63,400, without the buyer’s premium.

Myth or no myth, even Ukrainian political process is coloured by sex. Take FEMEN. They  protested against treating Ukrainian women as more accessible by going topless.

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Perhaps,  no one told them the simple truth about making a statement: when men see naked titties they stop thinking rationally and only think of, you know, what they are exposed to, so the envelope is not only returned to sender, it goes back with a very different letter inside.


  1. I can assure you there are plenty of women carrying fake Chanel bags in other cosmopolitan cities (including Moscow, New York and Toronto) and generally looking cheap and tacky. I call this look ” full Eastern-European glory” – short and tight outfits regardless of the body shape and size, “blinged” out sunglasses, straw-like bleached hair, fake tan, etc.

    As to the Ukrainian beauty “myth”…. well, not all beautiful Ukrainian women live in Kiev only. Western Ukraine has a much higher number of beautiful women than the rest of the country – I have observed it during my most trip this May.

    1. A guy I know had been working for a dating web service. He said the highest proportion of beautiful women was in Nikolaev, a black sea port )

  2. Its interesting to see whats going on in reality from a man’s perspective in that part of the world. It makes me think about something here in my own part of the world, living here on a border town in Southern California. There are the myths of the American woman…and the Mexican woman. You can probably guess what those images are. Let me generalize here because I have experience living with and witnessing both (and being a woman). There is much more of a variation in what a woman is, what she is expected to be, and can do here in the U.S. Though superficialities and sexism still exist in the U.S. (via media and the workplace), its not as bad as when I am in Mexico. Whenever I visit family in Aguascalientes, Mexico (which I have done many times), the “role” and expectation of woman is much more narrow and defined than in the U.S. To tell you the truth, it leaves me feeling limited and uncomfortable. All my Mexican female cousins and aunts get so worked up about “looking” feminine and attracting men. Not to say they aren’t intelligent woman, but turn on any Latin American TV show and you will never NOT see a woman made up to look sexy in the stereotypical female way(long hair, lots of makeup, tight clothes, big boobs). Again, you can find this also in the U.S,…but there are also other “types”. I am treading dangerous ground saying all this. But it is what it is.

    1. Apparently we have to wait for the times when a sexy outfit and mind in a woman but just are not contradictory. Forgive us, we men, we are responsible for this confusion, just evolve very very slowly.

    2. That’s interesting, and very similar to Russia or Ukraine. Just yesterday I had an interesting discussion with a Ukrainian lady who heads a large media sales-house in Kiev – she was telling me about her experiences of negotiating deals with men made difficult by their ever-present desire to prove she was inferior negotiator and director, simply because of her sex. And she’s very capable, much more so than most men who head similar businesses in Kiev )

It would be grand to hear from you now!

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